What is it about those little cheesy goldfish snack crackers that kids love so much? You know….. the crackers in the little white bag with the famous smiling gold fish wearing sunglasses on the front. The crackers that you find underneath car seats in the car or stuck between couch cushions, at the bottom of toy boxes or hidden in little pockets. The bag just big enough for a 2 year old to run around the house with as they spill out on the floor giving the dogs a treat while following behind. These crackers are one of my granddaughters favorite treats as most toddlers. She points to the bag that sits high up on the counter and clearly says “fishy mommy fishy”. She even try’s to offer me one when I visit as she holds up her little hand with one fishy and says, “fishy nana”? But, very sweetly I say, no thank you my little peanut nana doesn’t want any. That got me thinking, are these really good for kids? What’s in them that they love so much?
First thing I did was look at the ingredients list and then hit the internet to do a little research. Here are a few things that I discovered:
On the front of the package they claim things like:
Sounds good right? Well let’s take a look at the back of the package:
Other stuff added:
That cool little Finn the smiling goldfish with sunglasses on don’t look so cool anymore does he? Not really something I want to give my granddaughter or anyone for that matter. These crackers that are marketed to mostly kids who beg their parents to buy them, with its fun, colorful and clever wording and packaging is full of ingredients that I would not give to anyone. This list is huge with a bunch of garbage processed junk that simply is not good for a growing child who needs nutrients to build their delicate growing bodies. I was on a mission to come up with a healthy fun alternative to eating Mr. Finn the chemical cracker.
I decided to find a healthy vegan recipe that my granddaughter and I can make together. Although she is only 2, she loves to help cook. So I wanted her to share and learn this experience of making food, to have fun and be able to watch it cook and get to eat them after. After looking at different recipes and getting ideas of how make them simple, healthy and with lots of flavor this is what I came up with. They are made with no preservatives, no artificial coloring, GMO ingredients, no sugar, or dairy cheese. They are simply made with healthy ingredients and lots of love. She had a blast making them as you can see some are different animals and some are I'm not quite sure, loved eating them and got to take the rest home. My daughter is no longer buying the store bought Pepperidge Farms Goldfish and will be making this recipe with my granddaughter.
Golden Fishy Crackers
Yields: I didn’t count them but came to about 4 ½ cups
Time: 1 hour
Thing you need: food processor, small mini animal cut outs I found mine on Amazon rolling pin, baking sheet and 2yr old granddaughter or any other child will do.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup vegan parmesan cheese (I used Go Veggie brand – the whole thing equals 1 cup, you can use other brands or Daiya cheese cheddar)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
4-5 tbsp. vegan butter or ½ cup (earth balance)
6-7 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. olive oil