Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Great Snack Food/Cereal/Soda Smackdown of 2010

Next week will mark the completion of our sixth month on the rationing program. Can you believe it? The half-way mark!

Next week will also mark the start of the Great Snack Food/Cereal/Soda Smackdown of 2010. What? You don't know about this? Well, lemme 'splain.

For nearly six months we've been toodling along with the rationing program fairly comfortably (except for the lack of green vegetables in the winter and that liver incident I don't want to talk about). And an important part of why we've been fairly comfortable is because cereals, crackers and chips were not rationed, so we have not put any restrictions on those items. But in reality, this isn't fair.

You see, in the 1940s there was not the enormous variety of snack crackers, chips and cereals as there are now. There were no Cool Ranch Doritos, Ritz Chips Sweet Chili and Sour Cream nor Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal to appease the masses. Hence, while we've missed things like lettuce, pork chops and ketchup at times we've been able to stuff ourselves on these modern (and questionably nutritious) items.

And that's just not fair.

So, to renew our commitment in the second half of the rationing year we are imposing a limitation on snack foods, cereals and sodas: they must be period appropriate. What does this mean for us? Here's a list of what will be available (and the year it was first commercially produced)...

Ritz Crackers (1934)
Saltines (19th century)
Graham Crackers (1829)
Cheez-Its (1921)
Triscuits (1902)

Frito's (1932)
Tortilla Chips (early 1940s)
Plain (salted) Potato Chips (1853)
Pretzels (1889)

Grape Nuts (1898)
Shredded Wheat (1893)
Cheerios (1941)
Corn Flakes (1894)
Raisin Bran (1926)
Kix (1937)
Chex (1937)
Rice Crispies (1928)

What won't be allowed are those newer, fancy-flavored, highly processed varieties. For crackers this means no Goldfish or specially flavored versions of the approved list. Doritos, Pringles, cheese puffs and the likes won't be available in the chip category. When it comes to cereals we will be avoiding most children's cereals (we already do - way too much sugar and artificial colors) and the specialty cereals which include sweetened or frosted pieces.

TMOTH is a Grape Nuts man, and my cereal of choice is shredded wheat, so our breakfasts will remain compliant. We will, for the first time in their lives, allow the girls to sprinkle a tiny amount of sugar on their cereal if that will help the plain shredded wheat go down better.

I imagine we'll get a bit creative and learn how to make our own version of Doritos and such using the resources we have (I have quite the spice collection).

And as far as soda's go...the biggest change is that no artificial sweeteners will be allowed. Mostly, this will affect me, since my maximum three sodas I drink per week are of the diet kind. We won't be too stringent about whether or not the soda actually existed in the 1940s, since we rarely drink soda and when we do it's along classic soda lines (Pepsi, 7Up) rather than newer varieties (Mountain Dew).

What would be the most difficult snack/cereal/soda item for you to go without?

--Rational Mama

P.S. This is our 100th post! My, how time flies!


  1. While i should probably wean myself off of Diet Dr Pepper, I have zero interest in doing this :) I dont' drink coffee and need a caffeine fix somehow. Our family are not big cereal eaters at all. We'll munch on dry cereal on occasion as a snack (oatmeal squares are the current item), but I rarely buy cereal because I think it's expensive. I eat a granola bar and a glass of milk every morning or have a yogurt. The girls usually have an Eggo or toast with honey. Brooke is a horrible breakfast eater, and she seems to think that Grilled Cheese or PBJ are breakfast items so she has that on occasion. Turkey bacon is a morning staple around here too.

    But back to the original question, aside from DDP, we could probably survive said rations. It might be hard to not have cheetos as a back up side dish for lunch, or give up gold fish crackers, but other than that...!

  2. Jules LOVES Feista Nacho Cheese glop by Cambells. It is disgusting, but he eats it with a bag of tortilla chips as nachos. Our son would mutiny if he wasn't allowed 1 Totinos pizza a month, and I have a bit of a disproportional obsession with Creme de Menthe lattes.

  3. Angie - store-bought oatmeal squares, granola bars and Eggos are not available during rationing, as they (or similar items) were not produced until well after WWII and *plain* yogurt is available in only very limited quantities (that is, of course, unless we make our own from scratch). Could you survive 6 months without those?

    Granola Girl - Totinos! Oh, how I love Totinos! We haven't had them in well over 6 months!

  4. I've got a lot better in excluding snack items/fizzy drinks etc over the past few years, but I'd probably get very depressed if I was forced to give up chocolate. I'm not particularly attached to a brand, however, so I could probably fit in with whatever was available in the UK in WW2...

  5. Tanya - I agree...nearly any brand of chocolate will do (except chocolate Tootsie Rolls, that's just chocolate flavored wax - blah).