Delicious? Yes. Nutritious for Breakfast? Hmmm….

As a proud Italian, I am of course a proponent of the wonderful chocolate spread Nutella.

They’ve unfortunately yet to come out with “bathtub sized” jars…

This stuff is just great. I’m a Facebook fan of it (along with 10.8 million other people.) It is one of the greatest tasting spreads for bread and Graham Crackers. Hazelnuts are one of my favorite flavors to combine with chocolate – right behind raspberries.

My love affair with Nutella goes way back to when my mom would take business trips to Europe, and she’d return with jars of this wonderful sauce that it was so hard to come by in the US. Needless to say, those jars would not last long once they were in my house. The day I realized I could buy Nutella at my local grocery store is a day that is still etched upon my memory as one of the happiest days of my life.

I have been a champion of this spread for as long as I can remember. But recently, I started seeing this commercial on TV:

OK, so you’re having trouble getting your kids to eat breakfast. No worries, I’m with you, Ms. Hard-Working Mom. Spreading chocolate all over everything certainly would help to get your kids to eat breakfast. I’m not arguing that point. Spreading Nutella on anything pretty much makes it better. But as the healthy option/solution to your children breakfast time woes?…

Let’s review. It’s made from “hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa,” according to the ad. So let’s go to the nutrition label and the ingredient list, as pulled from the Nutella Website:

Ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.

Number 1 ingredient: Sugar. I mean, we can be glad it’s not HF Corn Syrup I guess…. Number 2 ingredient, Palm oil. Again, probably good it’s not Crisco, but still. The top two ingredients in this spread are sugar and fat. Then we get to the ingredients listed in the ad, but (surprise surprise!) skim milk comes up after the “hint of cocoa.”

“Kids! Eat a few bowls of this, and you’ll be screaming at your kitchen table just like me!”

Nutritionally, Nutella is in the doghouse as well. In a mere 2 Tbsp of the spread (a good serving size to judge by) we have 11g of fat, and 21g of sugar. No vitamins or minerals to speak of, and a hint of protein from the hazelnuts and skim milk. By comparison, a small bowl of Cocoa Puffs has 1g of fat, 13g of sugar and half the calories. (And I don’t see General Mills running ads where Sonny is proclaiming it to be the healthy option for your kids.)

Nutella is trying to pass along the nutrition by saying you should spread it on whole wheat waffles, and drink a glass of milk with it as well, which indeed would up the nutrition value of the breakfast, but that’s like trying to say “Eat whatever you want, so long as you take a multivitamin as well…”

Nutella, I love you. I really do. You’re the best chocolate spread out there. You really are. But please, stop trying to convince moms that it’s a good idea to give their kids chocolate sauce for breakfast. This nation is fat enough as is. Say what you mean, and be what you are. You’re meant to make things sweet, chocolately and delicious.

You’re NOT part of this balanced breakfast.

Chef Matt

P.S. Nutella Crepes are about one of the best things known to mankind as well…

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One Response to “Delicious? Yes. Nutritious for Breakfast? Hmmm….”

  1. scottAD says:

    Yes, lets not kid ourselves… this stuff is candy, not a breakfast spread. It is also being sold in the UK to kids like this