Pros: NO hazardous dyes or preservatives
Cons: OK--there is high fructose corn syrup and wheat flour
*This is on one individual 8oz package, not pack of 12
When Zwieback crackers, biscuits, or thin wafer thingies were introduced to teething babies of the 20th century, those babies might have been thinking, “now where is the yummy taste in this thing?” so something had to be changed. “Give me taste” is what manufacturers heard and for taste is what Keebler, Kraft and Nabisco company which manufactures the most popular brand of animals shaped like zoo animals is Barnum’s Animal Crackers Snak-Saks, delivers.
My experience in enjoying them does not just take me back to childhood, it reinforces belief in some traditional things considered retro are still the root of my daily 'peace of mind'. Some good stuff will always be available . . . on to the review.
This tasty treat is found in a convenient knapsack size 8 ounce package of red shiny plastic-coated baggie that is lined with aluminum-like foil-paper on the inside. It is complete with a re-closeable plastic zipper seam that is supposed to fit snug together to close, but does not very well at all. Here is a huge failure, as it is difficult to make the plastic lines and grooves meet up. They eventually do but only after a few thumb and forefinger squeezes along each side of the top to snug-fit the lines for proper sealing, do you get satisfaction.
You really don’t want to expose these ’crackers’ to any unnecessary moisture or humidity, because with only 8 grams of that refined white processed cane sugar we know so very much about and no additional synthetic chemical dyes, flavorings or preservatives, this product can go stale fast. Although it does not mention exact artificial flavoring ingredients, I can only hope this product is relatively safe for our babies to suck on, toddlers to chew on, and adults like me to just munch on.
However, if your infant is just loosing his or her milk-teeth and growing their adult teeth, sugar is not recommended as there is a total of 8 grams per serving, usually a handful of 17 crackers or 31 grams worth and that can be way too much for baby ! Don’t worry this review is not going to be a dissertation of sorts just mostly about taste, quality of ingredients, and representing a safe yummy alternative to Zwiebacks !
So on with my review . . .
The package says ‘cracker’but I say cookie since when dunked in milk gets oh so soft and even more tasty. It absorbs milk well and should probably be accompanied by a nice cold glass but these are also enjoyed as stand-alone confections of deliciousness ! Barnum’s Animal Crackers Snak-Saks can be enjoyed anywhere at anytime; although kids I don’t suggest you indulge in these until after mom serves you dinner !
Nabisco makes the right bite-size snacks available in a variety of styles, shapes, tastes, and textures. Some of these snacks are lightly toasted or iced with various flavorings but these are the simple right-out-of-the-bag animal cracker cookies. In this particular bag, I only got lions, polar bears, gorillas and elephants; while other boxes or bulk-bags (about 5lb bags) feature other animal shapes like tigers, monkeys or Giraffes.
The bag states that this product is a great source of calcium despite an accompanying glass of milk. It is also full of B-vitamins and flour made with wheat. Barnum’s Animal Crackers Snak-Saks are the most popular and I can tell you that my overall recommendation is I LOVE EM’ !
My reasoning is so enthusiastic and largely due to the simple fact they use no dyes or artificial anything in their ingredients. I know a few of the top writers and contributors here have begun to see a pattern in my Health and wellness or Food and Drink category reviews. I am on a mission and thankfully this snack is not going to be hurt in the process.
Over the last few months I have been concentrating on research of ingredients. What I find on most of the products I use or buy and give as gifts unfortunately carry some slightly dangerous toxins. But on a few items, I find the ingredients listing, appalling. Yes, I said ‘appalling !’.
It is not just that one would have a difficult time pronouncing (I had some pre-med and many many psychology courses heavy on latin terminology) some of the compounds but when you google or yahoo search these compounds, results that come back are genuinely anger-stirring.
In doing a comparative analysis of a widely used flavor and color enhancer, FD&C yellow--I recently got word of studies linking the ingestion of products that contain #5 and #6 of the FD&C YELLOWS is HIGHLY toxic, no matter what level. It is toxic from a slow general progression but toxic nevertheless. The un-used un-metabolized element sticks around and what I feel from what I saw biophysiologically, a deadly plaque may deposit in between synapses of the nerve cell that normally transmits and receives signals and is now interrupted.
Brain signals, people . . .
If I am to provide safe, accurate, concise information for the review I write to be respected, then I must use my voice as truthfully as the experiences my body have led me down this unusual path to better health and wellness. I am forever grateful that NABISCO is right along with the provision of safe manufacturing offering me a product free of either the FD&C YELLOWS or REDS so I offer this list of ingredients that gives us health-conscious reviewers, an edge.
Now onto the crucial part of this review, IMHO . . .
INGREDIENTS are as follows:
Enriched flour made with wheat and Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1 vitamin); Riboflavin (B2 vitamin); and Folic Acid.
Unfortunately there is added High Fructose corn syrup, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Yellow Corn Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Baking Soda, Salt, Soy Lecithin as an emulsifier, natural and *artificial flavor (not a likened ingredient mention here).
NUTRITION FACTS from package:
Serving Size: 17 crackers or 31 grams
Servings per: about 7
Calories per: 140
Calories from Fat per: 35 // Total Fat: 4 grams or 6%
Saturated Fat (raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of blood cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Be aware, too, that many foods high in saturated fats are also high in cholesterol – which raises your blood cholesterol even higher): 1 gram or 5%
Trans Fat: 0 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat (which specifically have a beneficial effect on your health when consumed in moderation. Used to replace saturated fats or trans fats. Polyunsaturated fats can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease):2 grams
Monounsaturated Fat (are known to have a beneficial effect on your health especially when ingested in moderation and used to replace saturated fats or trans fats. This type of fat, the Monounsaturated kind can help lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL is the bad cholesterol), it means low density lipids) in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Eating these types of fats also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells while your skin equally benefits from it being high in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of.): 1 gram
Cholesterol: (any bad (LDL)or good (HDL--high density lipids) is 0 milligrams or 0%
Sodium: (yes bad for most people, be careful but c’mon): 150 mg’s or 6%
Potassium (there are some contraindications if taking any medicines for kidney, liver, or adrenal diseases in which too much extra K+ ions (potassium) on top of those drugs, severe gastrointestinal discomfort can occur. Just don’t consume too many if you have an addiction to these like I do . . . ): 35 milligrams or 1%
Total Carbohydrates (which include compounds including sugars both monosaccharide and disaccharide or simple and complex sugars; starches which are solid tasteless usually white compounds found in potatoes, rice and beans or corn); dextrins which is starch after it has been heated and boiled down to a gummy residue (oh yummy); dietary fiber which is anything our bodies can metabilize into the smallest bits for energy or use in other body part system); and functional fiber which is what makes assimilation and elimination work splendidly together. Your "total carbohydrate" count is a combination of all of these): 24 grams or 8%
Dietary Fiber: 1 gram or 3%
Sugars: 8 grams
Protein: 2 grams (still not a significant source for an all day meal)
Vitamin A: 0% (why list then ?)
Vitamin C: 0% (why list then?)
(Probably because consumers have the right to know and Nabisco serves peoples rights, right)
Now there is also a common Calories based on 2000 or 2500 diet table shown and it makes sense if you are counting that closely. The percentages are higher at 2500 than at 2000, duh . . .
Anyway, the overall recommendation for Barnum’s Animal Crackers Snak-Saks in terms of nutrition, taste, safety, and quality, is YES I recommend these snaks !
There are other varieties like mini-Oreos, Teddy Grahams in Honey and Chocolate, mini Chips Ahoy and mini Nutter Butters. Since I don’t venture to anything but maybe the Chocolate Teddy Grahams, I can only offer this: Eat em up before the kids do ! I bought my Barnum’s Animal Crackers Snak-Saks at Marc’s for $1.30 which is a deal cause they last me almost a week.
Thank you for reading and
**This entry is for the First Review Write-off Sweepstakes**