When I was little I strutted down my elementary school hallways in a green, badge-covered vest. I was a Girl Scout. And with that title came the very important duty of selling cookies. While my childhood favorites (Samoas and Thin Mints) still rank amongst the most popular flavors, the Girl Scouts have a new cookie to add to the mix this season — Mango Cremes. But these new cookies supposedly have an all-new healthy spin and come infused with the vitamin additive NutriFusion.
What It Is
Mango Cremes are crunchy vanilla and coconut cookies with a mango-flavored filling. According to the cookie manufacturers, ABC Bakers, the creme filling has “all the nutrient benefits of eating cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes, and strawberries.”
How can a processed creme boast such lofty claims? Sandwiched between the outside cookie layers lies a filling infused with the product NutriFusion, which provides 15 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B1, and five percent of vitamins A, C, D, E, and B6 per 3-cookie serving. And NutriFusion says it uses only fruit and vegetable ingredients, unlike synthetic vitamins (made from chemical compounds not found in nature) which are more difficult for our bodies to absorb.
While these cookies tout zero grams of trans fat, no hydrogenated oils, and no preservatives, they’re still cookies. And though they have small percentages of vitamins that other Girl Scout cookies do not, the Mango Cremes still have more sugar than the Peanut Butter Patties, more sodium than the Caramel Delights, and more fat than the seven other types of cookies offered this year. A three-cookie serving will set you back 180 calories, more than every other variety (serving sizes ranging from two to four cookies) the organization sells.
Is It Legit?
Not really. Let’s face it, tossing some fruit-derived nutrients into a sugary cookie doesn’t turn the treat into a healthful meal. It’s also probably not the best idea for kids to think cookies are a nutritious choice or potential replacement for fruits and vegetables.
The Mango Cremes are a far cry from the simple butter, sugar, flour, and eggs prototype of Scouts past. In the near century that Girl Scout cookies have appeared at front doors across the nation, new cookie flavors have come and gone. It’s unclear if the Mango Cremes will survive after this cookie season, but their existence may ultimately have more to do with their taste than what’s on the nutritional label.
Will you try out the Mango Cremes? What do you think of the “healthy cookie” message being sent to kids? Let us know in the comment section below, or tweet the author @nicmcdermott.
Flickr: Brian Legate