Naughty or Nice: Magic ShellPosted: December 1, 2011
It’s the holiday season: a time for family, fun and food. I often tell people that I’m not the best dietitian and, if the American Dietetic Association (soon to be the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) investigated my eating habits, they may put me on probation and stage an intervention. What can I say? I have a sweet tooth and I love food and having fun with food too. That’s why I always have Reddi-Wip or Cool Whip in the house (the “lighter” versions – geez!). My son loves to make a Reddi-Wip taco with his pancakes and there’s nothing like Cool Whip on a tasty pudding snack. At least the pudding is a good source of calcium. And hey, Reddi-Wip is made with real cream. As for the Cool Whip, well…..it’s main ingredients are high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oil, but we are only using a couple tablespoons for goodness sake!
As you can see, I can rationalize most foods and prefer not to label any food as “bad”. Certain foods are just “less often” foods, a real treat that you only have once in a while. This holds true for Magic Shell in my family. Magic Shell provides fun and entertainment as you wait for the chocolate to magically harden and create a delicious candy “shell” on your ice cream. However, if you look at the nutrition label, it may spoil the party. With a serving size of only 2 tablespoons, Magic Shell (chocolate fudge flavor) contains more calories and fat than a regular hot dog to the tune of 210 calories and 16 grams of fat – Yikes! Not to mention that 7 grams of the total 16 grams of fat are artery-clogging, saturated fat – something you don’t expect in your ice cream topping. This all came up a couple of weeks ago when my son and I were enjoying our ice cream with Magic Shell and discussing the nutrition label. Once we made the hot dog comparison, he asked that we change the subject, or else he may not be able to finish his dessert.
For a “more often” topping alternative, Hershey’s Syrup (chocolate flavor), is only 100 calories and 0 grams of fat per 2 tablespoon serving. Hershey’s Syrup is always delicious and has an intense chocolate flavor, but it does not form a shell – which is OK, most of the time. It’s also great for adding a little flavor to your milk (see my post on flavored milk).
The other day, my son used the Magic Shell, which I only buy a couple times a year. I noticed that he lightly drizzled it on his ice cream instead of his usual attempts to try and cover it completely…..maybe I’m not such a bad dietitian after all.
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