Behold the Power of Processed Cheese

…Wait. I don’t think that’s right!?!

I love cheese. I mean I really love cheese.

I think “Behold the Power of Cheese,” was not only a genius marketing, it’s really kind of true.

But, I also think processed cheese, like those individually wrapped squares or those big blocks of bright yellow cheddar are only a few molecules from plastic. In other words, they are not food items we should be encouraging kids to eat or coaxing parents to promote as a “healthy” part of their child’s diet.

Yet, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has bestowed the first “Kids Eat Right” label to Kraft American Singles.

As a graduate of a dietetics program, I can honestly say this isn’t surprising. It has been experiences post-college that have taught me much of what the government shoves down our throats as “healthy” is mere lobbying for the food industry. I discussed this in an earlier blog post, but this act is just further proof.

There are many people up in arms about the decision. The Academy itself refutes the label as an endorsement, dubbing it a display of partnership. Kraft, however, told The New York Times that this was the first time the Academy had endorsement.

This sends a confusing message to parents and kids. Sure, the cheese is a source of calcium and vitamin D that many kids are deficient in, but this is by and far not the best source. How about endorsing spinach and mushrooms or raw almonds and some extra time in the sunshine? Fake cheese, really?

Are whole foods that hard of a sell? In my limited experience mentoring children in their nutrition choices, discussing the value of whole foods in terms they could understand, immediately changed what they were willing to try.

If this is what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is saying, what are kids being taught in school about food and health?

I would like to hear your thoughts.

Parents, does this complicate your viewpoint on the best foods to feed your kids?

Health enthusiasts and experts, parents, do you think it’s ok to endorse this food item and similar ones in the future because it’s got some nutritional value that kids will eat?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Dani Cee (a.k.a., Danielle C. Tworek) seeks to empower women to discover the best version of themselves through the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and fabulous fitness wear. Dani holds a degree in Fashion Merchandising and a degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She is also a NASM certified personal trainer and certified weight loss specialist. She has more than ten years of experience helping individuals reach their wellness goals not only as a writer, but also as a counselor and trainer, including time spent at Jenny Craig, USAA Corporate Wellness, Equinox Fitness Clubs and BodyLogicMD. Learn more from her expertise at www.danicee.com or contact Dani at dani@danicee.com.