A Popular Snack
Animal crackers have been a popular snack for kids, of both the little and adult variety, for decades.
Originally a Victorian-ear British import, the animal-shaped cookies were produced by a number of independent American bakers until 1902, when the first Barnum's Animals Crackers were sold by the National Biscuit Company in the trademark red circus-wagon boxes. To commemorate their centennial, a new animal, the koala bear, joined the menagerie of lions, giraffes and elephants.
It's only fair to mention that while they may not be as nutritious as a piece of fruit, they are not loaded with saturated fat and sugar, like many cookies.
Too Much Saturated Fat
However, the 15 cute little frosted Animal Crackers that make up one serving, are full of more saturated fat than a McDonald's Quarter Pounder and more sugar than an entire Hershey's Chocolate Bar!
Check the back of the bag. The second ingredient (sugar is first) is "paritally hydrongenated soybean and/or cotton seed and/or palm oils". That's not good, either.
A single-serve, two-ounce bag of Animal Crackers delivers 290 calories, nine grams of saturated fat and 28 grams (seven teaspoonfuls) of sugar.
Allergens: Wheat, milk and soy. May contain tree nuts.
That is twice the sugar and six times the saturated fat you would get in the same-size box of Ernie's Animal Crackers, which is Keebler's frost-free version.
If you - or you and your kids - really enjoy Animal Crackers, you may wish to go with the frost-free version.
Really Love Animal Crackers?
Belly Buster Suggestion: Buy Stauffer's Original Animal Crackers instead. They are low in fat and have zero trans fats, zero cholesterol.
Thirteen cookies are only 100 calories.
Buy in bulk, get some small baggies and make your own 100 calorie snack packs!
Another Alternative: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers
Pepperidge Farm eliminated trans fatty acids from its Goldfish cracker line back in 2004, with 90-percent having zero trans fats by May of 2004, and all Goldfish crackers being trans fat free by September, 2004. The company also introduced Goldfish Crisps; they are baked and have no trans fat. Goldfish Crisps come in Cheddar jack, frou cheese, cheesy sour cream and onion flavors. The crackers are tasty, and a good handful - or 37 crackers - have 7 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of saturated fat.
Did you know?
A box of Barnum Animal Crackers provides 10 percent of the United States Recommended Daily Allowance of calcium.
Bytes of Animal Cracker History
In the late 19th century, Americans imported "Animals" or "Circus Crackers" from England. As demand for the animal crackers grew, local American bakeries began making versions of the treats.
The box of Branum's Animals was the first product designed with a string handle. To produce boxes of Barnum's Animals, Nabisco uses eight thousand miles of string every year.
Disclosure: We have no affiliation with the manufacturer mentioned above.
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