Food

Seems as if spring brings out new products and new versions of old favorites — and of course anything that screams “junk food made into something totally healthy and environmentally conscious” gets my attention. Such as the new Chocolate Cheerios. Did you get a sample this past weekend with your Sunday newspaper? We did, and along with most of America as soon as I started munching on my handful of chocolately goodness, I was hooked. What’s not to like? You can feel good about your Cheerios warm-and-fuzzy nutrition plus you get the thrill of feeling as if you’re sneaking in more than your alloted one small square of chocolate a day. I love cereal that doubles as a snack — maybe I love it too much. (Reese’s Puffs, I’m talking to you). And if you add milk to your morning bowl, you get the added bonus of chocolate milk. Score! Chocolate Cheerios for the win. I wasn’t as impressed with Multi-Grain Pringles, but maybe that’s because I’m not a fan of Pringles in general. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for fake and processed anything as long as it tastes good — I’m willing to down a few empty calories in return for satisfying deliciousness — but Pringles doesn’t deliver in the yum category enough to offset the fat and zero nutritionals. I thought the new Multi-Grain version might improve my opinion, but, no. The nutrition stats aren’t any better and the taste is cross somewhere between rice crackers and Wheat Thins — and not in a good way — with that heavy greasy Pringles after-flavor thrown in. I’ll pass, thank you very much. And speaking of good-for-you-and-the-earth junk food, we also gave Sun Chips’ new compostable bag a try. The verdict? Well, I can only take FritoLay’s word for the breaks-down-in-14-weeks claim, but if it’s true, that’s a good thing and I say we need more of that, please. I’m always sort of skeptical about Sun Chips since the nutritional stats aren’t any better — and in some cases, worse — than regular potato chips but the ads sort of make them appear all healthy and natural. And I’m glad that one plant in which Sun Chips are made is solar-powered but there’s still all the energy used in distribution and transportation so what about all that, huh, FritoLay??? On the other hand, the new bag does make a fun crinkly sound and as long as Steps Are Being Made in the Right Direction, who am I to argue?

Speaking about new stuff, I had to get a new cell phone recently. And if your cell phone is an extension of your personality and a reflection of who you are, then I am in deep trouble. Read more about it in my weekly newspaper column, http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100312/ARTICLES/3125006

Babies and Cell Phones

Motorola MOTO™ W755 in purpleI’m apparently one of those grandmothers who will give their grandchildren anything they Danielle McCann Photographywant. I was not this way with my two daughters — as they’ll happily tell you — but something’s happened in the intervening 20 years or so and I’ve been reduced to a “Whatever you want, sweetiepie” maternal spoiling-machine. But my grandson’s so cute! He’s adorable! How could I resist those sparkling blue eyes, that precious little curl of soft wispy hair at the back of his head and those darling pudgy little fingers? So when it turned out that one of his favorite things was my cell phone, I turned it over to him without a thought. He loved the beeps and chirps. He was delighted with the lights and the colors. It was our thing: He wanted it, so I gave it to him. Other, wiser people were cautious, however. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” my daughter — his mommy — asked me. “Are you sure you want to do that?” Of course, I assured her. I’m a cool grandma. It’s fine. Until, that is, it wasn’t. Turns out baby slobber has supersonic powers to short out cell-phone speakers. Who knew? Now you do. Read more about it in my column, http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20090306/ARTICLES/903065003.