Kid in a Candy Story- Snacks for Kids and Adults
Today, I was like a kid in a candy store and was able to enjoy all the snacks for kids and adults that I wanted to sample.
The National Confectioners Association held the “Sweets and Snacks Expo” here in Chicago at McCormick Place. I was able to attend and am very grateful.
The best way to describe the Sweets & Snacks Expo is this: Close your eyes. Hold your breath and spin around until you’re woozy. Then think Willy Wonka in a polychromatic Alice In Wonderland landscape, where free samples of candy, chocolate and savory snacks are spread out over four acres of McCormick Place. This place is a mind boggle of calories and carbohydrates. Chicago Tribune
As a nurse and parenting blogger, I don’t get to attend too many expos so this was really a sweet treat for me. The expo has hundreds of booths with representatives of many companies sharing their latest creations in the sweet and snack industry.
This nurse, blogger had so much fun getting to experience first hand the Sweets and Snacks Expo. It was especially interesting to me because processed snacks, sweet or otherwise are extremely problematic in our home ever since my granddaughter was discovered to have allergies to both peanuts and tree nuts.
Anyone who experiences food allergies knows that food labels are exceedingly important. From personal observation of moms during the past 7 years, it is evident that there is great concern over transparency in labeling of what is in the foods that they are putting on their tables at home and in their kids lunch boxes. This is my life now as well. I never want my granddaughter to be concerned in her own grandmother’s house that she will inadvertently be exposed to nuts. I also want to choose, whenever I can, healthy snacks interspersed at times with some sweet treats.
To my surprise, there are many products that although they do not contain nuts, they are processed in a factory that is not nut-free and are labeled as such. Their labels usually say that they may contain traces of nuts or peanuts because they are processed on shared equipment. When I spoke with some of the vendors they did explain that every effort is made to prevent cross contamination in the processing of their products.
I was happy to find that there were indeed several snacks and sweets that do not contain nuts and are not exposed to nuts in the processing. Some were large companies whose products can be found in major chain stores and others were “mom and pop” businesses whose products can be ordered on Amazon.
There was so much to take in…I was overwhelmed! The selection, the varieties of similar products like gummy fruit snacks, chips and snack bars, popcorn, marshmallows even cotton candy and of course my favorite chocolate.
I tasted and sampled and my palate was treated to all kinds of sweet and savory flavors.
It was a great day for the kid in me…for that I am grateful.