Category Archives: Heath candy bars

Healthy Food Choices for Kids


I have sometimes wandered away from my theme of witless dating,

but I stay strong in the area of relationships. With helpful

information on how to make healthy food choices, I hope to

inspire you to make some changes in your lives. This includes

any children that you are in communication with, neighbor’s

kids or your grandchildren. Every time you choose to change

something in your family’s diet, it can impact the guests

and friends of your children, too.

The facts that are here may startle you. I was shocked!

I had known our country, in particular, was having trouble

living longer, healthier lives but I did not know, to the

large extent, the numbers involved. Obesity has doubled in

children, ages 6-11 and tripled in teens, age 12-19.

These numbers, collected by the National Center for Health

Statistics are just unbelievable! The time period is from

1980 until 2010. By 2013, there have been a few reversals

in these numbers but not of significant amounts; yet.

Understanding food labels and the amount of news and media

coverage have helped this trend to start heading in the

right direction. I am pleased that Michelle Obama’s part

is playing a big impact, along with magazines that usually

feature articles with juicy and delicious foods that have

saturated fat and hydrogenated fat have also joined forces,

by including good and tasty alternatives.

Here are five ways to educate children to become more

‘savvy’ in the area of food choices.

1. Help your children (and yourself) visualize serving sizes.

Assemble products that you regularly include in your or their

diet. Examples of applesauce, oatmeal and cereals can be an

easy way to measure what is considered ‘regular’ portions.

When labels with nutrition information are looked at, it

helps to realize these are written for an adult’s size or a

2000 calorie adult diet.

Kids from four to eight, are about 2/3rds the size of an

adult. Teens should consume between 80-90% size of the adult


Measure out single servings. This will take your cell phone’s

calculator and/or paper to figure out! Serving sizes of bars

of candy and little pints of ice cream can sometimes be based

on only a portion of the actual whole content!

2. Help your child to check out the details. These are in the

little fine print on the label. When there is a long list of

names of ingredients that you don’t even recognize, this food

item may not be healthy! Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners,

high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated anything

should signal this food product is of lower nutritional value.

Making this process a game rather than a ‘lecture’ will help

to interact and make this meaningful. Ingredients which you

cannot pronounce often mean, ‘lab-created, fake, food-like

items.’ This was a suggestion from a registered dietitian,

Tara Dellolacono-Thies.

Of course, going to natural food places, including farmer’s

markets, can be a wonderful fun activity for families. Point

out, there are usually no labels on foods that are actual

fruits, vegetables and homemade products, usually include

more natural ingredients.

Comparisons can be made while watching television, with

advertisements that may mislead people into thinking they

are ‘good for you.’ Any opportunity, including driving

down the road, on billboards, can open up discussions on

food choices. Asking, rather than telling, really helps in

these ‘off the cuff’ situations.

I remember, as a child, my parents really wanting us to stay

away from sugary cereals. We still considered it a ‘treat’ to

get ones like, “Sugar Crisp” or “Frosted Flakes.”

When I went away to college, I gorged on dumb things like,

“Captain Crunch” and “Count Chocula,” which came out in 1971.

Buying things, like Hostess products out of the dorm vending

machines, ostensibly to ‘help me study and stay awake,’ such

as “Twinkies,” “Ho Ho’s,” and those pink-colored, coconut

marshmallow iced chocolate balls, called, “Sno-balls” were

my downfalls.

When they talk about “Freshman 5 pound weight gains,” I had

probably ten pounds! I read recently of a famous person,

Maria Menounos, who gained 40 lbs. There is a photo of her,

in April’s “Ladies Home Journal,” that is unrecognizable!

3. Evaluate the numbers and figure out how that computes in your

child’s daily intake. Immediately, I think of salt and sugar

levels in foods, in this message! Discuss the listed numbers

noted for calories, fat, sugar, fiber and cholesterol.

I have been shocked how sugary items, including cereals, have

salt in them. Then, salty items like snacks, have tons of sugar

in them. When evaluating a packaged food for an elementary

school’s lunch box, aim for 175 calories or less per serving,

one gram or less of saturated fat, no trans fats, no more than

13 grams of sugars and no more than 210 milligrams of sodium

content. Try for at least 2 grams of fiber. These were also

suggested by the woman dietitian named, Tara D.-T. I usually

look for 5 grams’ fiber in my whole wheat or whole mixed grains

bread. I have found better cereals these days, particularly, in

the natural foods’ aisles.

4. Compare and contrast whenever you have a chance to do this.

No matter when you see food products, on television, in ads

and even on billboards, you have an opportunity to bring up the

subject of good food choices.

My grandchildren and I play that fun game of, “My father/

grandfather/mother or whomever, owns a grocery store and in it,

he/she sells something that starts with a __ (insert first letter)”

This has often been a way to find out where they find the item,

which is one of the many questions that you ask: “Can you find

it in the Meats’ department?” Once we discover from questions,

the product they were thinking of, I get an idea of their favorite

foods. Also, it gives me a moment to prosthelytize.

Under this category, Tara D-T. suggests looking for a high-percent

daily value of important growth vitamins, such as calcium, iron,

zinc and Vitamin D. These important nutrients, by the way, are

also important for all of us, during our aging process, to keep

our brains and bodies strong and healthy!

5. A plan of action should be to translate this knowledge into

good, healthy choices. Once you, your child and family have

become more adept and practiced in this area, you can be less

worried about the times you do ‘slip up,’ with a fast food meal

or a fun time at the movies, eating the popcorn with partially-

hydrogenated fat poured over it. Our Delaware Strand buys a

better product, made from Promise margarine. It isn’t nearly

as high in fat content.

Sorry, this is one of my big downfalls, along with donuts,

candy and ice cream! I have been unable to give up these and

simply, try to limit them.

The trend for teens to drink those high calorie pops, energy

drinks, with loads of caffeine, and flavored coffees, needs to

be addressed. I hope that if this seems to be common among

your teens’ friends or group, that you may wish to suggest some

limits to this. I would say, after my own experience of being

‘denied’ certain foods, that it is best not to boycott these

altogether. As parents you could instead suggest moderation.

Limiting to an extreme, I will remind all of you who were teen

‘rebels’ out there, causes the reverse action to be produced!

With time and practice, children will begin to include the power

of reading food labels before choosing foods. Teens may think

twice, as they stand in front of the vending machines at their

school, work or play centers. By understanding food labels,

the more kids know about what they are eating, the more often

they will choose healthier food choices.

I hope that this will be another way to start Spring, with a

renewal of your New Year’s resolutions to become healthier and

lead longer lives. This include all members of your family,

beginning with the little ones! They are much more open and

less resistant to changes and as mentioned, this can be an

interactive experience.

The Great Ice Cream Debate


Everyone has favorites. Especially flavors of foods,

preferences for companies and sometimes, the local,

homemade flavor are the best! Do you have a favorite

ice cream flavor? Do you have someone in your family

who will make it homemade, churned in an ice cream


This is a fun, intriguing subject for me to ponder about.

My mother always liked vanilla ice cream with homemade

pineapple sauce. She was raised out East and had a cousin,

Roger, who had a candy and ice cream factory. This was a

wonderful adventure for her, to have such a life as a child!

I was fortunate to also indulge in some of the candies, but

alas, the ice cream factory part closed. I worked at Tuck’s

Pharmacy my sixteenth summer and never got tired of the wide

varieties of delicious candies. My favorite was an English

toffee bark that you could get in dark or milk chocolate,

and you could ‘break it yourself, into pieces.’ Yummy!

This gets me to where I tell you my very ultimate favorite

flavor of ice cream is vanilla with heath bars crunched into

it: Pralines and Cream! If the ice cream place is out of this

flavor or doesn’t ever serve this, I enjoy butter pecan ice

cream with caramel sauce drizzled over the top, whipped cream

and a cherry on top!

My father’s favorite ice cream was chocolate and some of

his family would melt marshmallows with cream and sugar

to make a sauce to pour over it, before there was such an

exquisite flavor called, chocolate marshmallow!

My friend, Darryl, the one with three boys and fairly

newly arrived, baby Dondria has been bragging a bit

lately. His little pearl, his cute, pink and precious

bundle of joy is growing very ‘smart.’ Samantha, Darryl,

the ‘hoodlums’ and baby girl were at the Christmas work

party and our mutual friend’s (Jennifer) baby girl, Hazel,

was there, too. They were adorable and gave Santa no kind

of problems, dozing peacefully (D.) and looking in awe at

Santa (H.)

Once Darryl saw Jennifer’s baby girl, they became much

closer friends than they had previously. Jennifer calls her

baby Hazel: “Chunky Monkey.” She is a little ‘butterball,’

as her mother also claims. I thought she looked like the

famous Gerber baby! I loved her little plaid dress and her

plaid beret, tilted just right on her little, sweet head!

Darryl went up to Jennifer yesterday, doing his male and

not to be inappropriate, but he is a typical, proud father!

When he gets excited, Darryl’s voice raises about two volume

notches (and pitches higher) than what is considered normal!

“Robin, what do you call vanilla ice cream with the ribbon

of chocolate?” I looked around his bulky and tall figure to

see Jennifer peeking out. She was a little bit curious about

my answer.

“Do you mean chocolate swirl ice cream?” I inquired.

He nodded his head profusely, looked behind him and said,

“Uh-huh! I told you so!”

Jennifer asked me this next question, this is again while

we were all trying to work!

“What do you call the chocolate and vanilla ice cream on

a cone?”

I could tell this was their ‘bone of contention.’

“I have got to know what this is about first! What did you

do now?”

Darryl proceeded to explain that after hearing Jennifer call

her little baby, “Chunky Monkey,” he thought his clever retort

would be,

“Well, my baby girl is called my little swirl!”

Then, he added, for explanation,

“Well, you take Samantha- she’s white and you take me, I’m

black or otherwise, ‘chocolate colored,’ and you get a swirl!

She thought I said, ‘squirrel,’ at first! I mean, you get it,

right, Robin?”

I bent over laughing, this struck me as so silly! I could not

stop, must have been sort of the way it all came out. Partly,

big ol’ Darryl making his own special name for the baby, then

Jennifer not getting first the word, the way he slurred it.

Then, when he said, “swirl” she thought,

“What in the world is a swirl?” Jennifer said, she explained

her side of it.

“I thought he said, ‘squirrel’ like his baby was a cute little

squirrel. Then, when he got me to understand he meant ‘swirl,’

I thought of football players putting weaklings’ heads into

toilet bowls! Seriously, who ever heard of a swirl?”

I explained the context was ice cream and she also, had heard

Darryl’s explanation.

Jennifer finished the debate with these puzzled words:

“But we always call vanilla and chocolate a ‘twist!'”

Candy Facts


My focus is a non-controversial post to counteract all the negative

repercussions to my last rant about taking Halloween away from the

kids! This is a fun and short post where all can enjoy the “treats” in

the subject matter.

When the major candy company founders created some of those

famous candy bars, they had famous names. Their names led to the

given names of some of our favorite chocolate candy bars.

H. B. Reese gave his name to both Reese’s Peanut Butter cups (1928)

and Reese’s Pieces (1978 in  U.S., Ireland and UK and introduced in

Canada in 1980).

L. S. Heath contributed his name to Heath bars with that delicious

English toffee covered with milk chocolate. This originated in 1914,

introduced by Leaf, Inc.. and later, 1996, bought by Hershey’s.

Milton Hershey, of course, invented the milk chocolate Hershey bar,

that now comes in semi-dark chocolate, cookies and cream and milk

chocolate with almonds. “The Great American Chocolate Bar” was

first created in 1900 and the milk chocolate with almonds in 1908.

There is a “legend” about when the man named George Williamson

started marketing in his local store, a candy bar with peanuts and

caramel covered with chocolate. It is the store clerks would exclaim

at their frequent customer’s request for the bar, “Oh, Henry!” The

Williamson Candy Co., Chicago, Illinois, began distributing this in mass

production after 1920.

The 3 Musketeers Bar, originally was produced with a TRIO of flavors,

chocolate, vanilla and strawberry (1932). I always wondered about this

one! Once WWII came around, the cost of producing all three flavors was

just “too pricey” and they just continued making the bars with the most

favorite flavor of chocolate inside.

Last fact about candy that I will let you in on, in 1929, Sean Le Noble of

Hoffman and Co. wanted to make a perfectly round ball of caramel

coated with a milk chocolate covering. When the production came up

with less than perfect, flattened mis-shapened candies, someone

declared them “Duds!” Of course, Milk Duds came into existence!

Hope these yummy candies and memories attached will sweeten your

mood, hope you won’t hold my opinions on my Halloween “evil rant”

against me!

My favorites are listed above, that is what drew me into the research


Please share your favorite “treats” with all of us, don’t have to write

much but your candy of choice in the comments!