Baking For A Healthier You

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

The second you walk into a grocery store, with your kids, you'll most likely end up in the junk food aisle where they will bombard you with a whole lot of "I love you's" so they can get their favorite junk food fix. But if you're one of the many health-crazed moms or dads out there you'll veer your child away from all that high calorie food and tell them you'll bake them their favorite home-made chocolate truffles.

One of the many beautiful things about baking in your own home is that you get to add that extra love into each truffle, cookie or cupcakes, but is it really worth the time and energy you put into baking two dozen cupcakes for your daughters school birthday bash? We'll provide you with the facts, and so in the end it's all up to you.

Firstly, let's take a look at Jennifer Steinhauer's, of The New York Times' stint in recreating her favorite childhood snacks. When she was 5, Hostess, Twinkies and Fritos were like the ultimate treat, oozing with a whole lot of sugary goodness. But now knowing full well those tasty treats were jam packed with calories and preservatives she took to her kitchen to recreate these treats. She first found that with all the preservatives in each snack they had an extremely unnaturally long shelf life.

One of the benefits of home baking is that you can substitute wheat or buckwheat flour for white flour, minimize the butter intake, and heck, even go vegan. It's not every day you have to surrender to baking your own goods, but it certainly is a healthy way to go every once in a while.

If for instance you don't always have the time to bake your own treats, Fitness Magazine created a list of 'The Best Grocery Store Desserts' , the very best in low-cal store bought desserts.

So in the end if you're a calorie counter, or worried about preservatives you may want to rethink buying your favorite treat and take to the baking dish to create a somewhat healthier, preservative-free dessert.

What types of store-bought treats have you tried to recreate?  

Melaina is from a small town in Ontario, Canada and as an avid environmentalist with a passion for focusing on healthy living. Having traveled the world and written about it every step of the way, she one day hopes to develop unique environmental educational programs for kids. 

Photo: Selma90

For more tips and recipes from Melaina, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)