The bad mummy and the museli bar

7 May

I received a call from my son’s pre-school today.

“Your son hasn’t been able to eat his morning tea today!”

“Oh, why not?”

“Because you gave him a museli bar which has nuts AND chocolate. He’s eating his lunch now so you’ll need to bring him something else for lunch.”

“Okay, sorry. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

My son is a fussy eater. I can count the foods he eats on one hand, which is why I was so excited when he at a museli bar for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I struggle to find foods to pack him for pre-school. They gave us a strict list of foods that were ‘allowed’ and ‘healthy’. That means crackers, ham wraps and more crackers. Thank goodness he drinks water.

I didn’t think twice when I packed him a museli bar. It’s meant to be healthy. All the ads say they are perfect for lunch boxes. While I wouldn’t give him one every single day, I didn’t think it would be a problem today.

It was a problem. It was a big problem, much bigger than the 5 chocolate chips waiting to attach themselves to his fat cells and send him on a downward spiral into childhood obesity.

The most popular brand of museli bars contain nuts as a main ingredient. Almonds. Why didn’t I realise this?

Nuts are banned in most pre-schools and all primary schools due to the epidemic of child food allergies. So why on earth would a product targeted towards children, targeted as healthy, still contain an ingredient that could kill so many of them?

Even the yoghurt-topped ones contain crushed almonds.


It doesn’t make sense. Has anyone there stopped to think? Don’t they believe the seriousness of childhood food allergies? Are almonds so crucial to the recipe that they have to have them in there?

I don’t suppose they’ve stopped to think of the publicity that could come their way if a child becomes seriously ill after eating one.

When you have a child will severe food allergies never stop reading ingredients. Read, read, read.

While I’m whinging, what is with the most popular brand of cordial? Haven’t they figured out yet that we don’t like the smaller bottles with the more concentrated version? More concentrated in 2 litre bottles I say. No matter how many times you put your product on special I’m still not going to buy it in a 1 litre bottle. Don’t you realise we make up the cordial in the big bottle?

And something else…(I’m on a roll)…where are the lime flavoured yoghurt tubes that my kids love? Why did you change the packaging of my husband’s favourite yoghurt? Why does my favourite tuna now come in a chilli version, except it looks so similar to the original that I keep accidentally buying it. The kids spit it right out. Don’t you know?!?

My dad has many funny sayings and one of his best is…”Have you been thinking again?” Then he throws his hands up in the air and walks muttering.

La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi

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