Unpacking Kraft Lunchables

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Product: Kraft Oscar Mayer-brand Turkey + Cheddar Sub Sandwich Lunchables

Online product description: Turkey made with 100% turkey breast, Kraft 2% Cheddar and bread made with whole grain, these tasty subs come with Tree Top® Applesauce, Mini Nilla Wafers, spring water and Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Singles.

Pieces of packaging: ~9 (judging from photo)

Better Solutions logo on package: “Watch for this logo to find our better for you products.”

Marketing buzz: Try our new, wholesome Lunchables—now with spring water and applesauce—packaged in a cool new look that lets you see all the good stuff inside!

Selected contents of “good stuff inside”
Sub bun: dough conditioners (mono & diglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate, enzyme modified soy lecithin, datem), salt, guar gum, modified cellulose, calcium propionate (preservative), xanthan gum, artificial flavors.
Oven roasted turkey breast: potassium lactate, modified corn starch, salt, dextrose, carrageenan, sodium phosphates, sodium diacetate, sodium ascorbate, sodium nitrite, natural and artificial flavor, smoke flavor, caramel color.
Reduced fat cheddar pasteurized prepared cheese product: milkfat, sodium citrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, lactic acid, sorbic acid, salt, starch (for slice separation)
Nilla wafers: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, natural and artificial flavor, salt, mono- and diglycerides (emulsifier).
Nonfat mayonnaise dressing: modified cornstarch, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, cellulose gel, artificial color, xanthan gum, phosphoric acid, cellulose gum, yellow 6, blue 1.
Tropical punch artificial flavored soft drink mix: sugar, fructose, natural and artificial flavor, calcium phosphate (prevents caking), acesulfame potassium and sucralose (sweeteners), artificial color, red 40, blue 1.
Calories: 370 (roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the American Heart Association’s recommended intake for kids under 9)
Sodium: 590 mg (roughly 1/2 the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily limit for kids under 9)
Sugars: 32 g (For kids, the AHA recommends a 12 g daily limit.)

Good stuff in my daughter’s lunch box this morning: half a peanut butter, jelly, and banana sandwich in an unbleached wax-paper sandwich bag (on whole grain bread, 100% ground peanuts without additives, minimally processed raspberry preserves, 1/4 banana); one container of Wallaby lemon yogurt (lower sugar than most brands) with reusable spoon; roasted, lightly salted whole almonds in a reusable container; sliced apple in a reusable container; stainless steel water bottle.

Kraft’s marketing advice: “Try wholesome & nutritious lunches for kids.”

My parenting advice: Try making “wholesome & nutritious lunches for kids.” Just as these youngsters made their very own 30-second Lunchables spot. Oh, and then there’s this enterprising young man.

Follow Michael Mechanic on Twitter.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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