Friday, March 12, 2010

Girl Scouts Respond to Nutrition Questions

Mom was a girl scout leader and my sister Janet and I were girl scouts and brownies. I found this old home video from 1960. Mom and other leaders took a group of us girls on a field trip to an Animal Farm and Botanical Gardens (Nassau County, Long Island, New York).

It was a wonderful experience and extra special since mom was our leader. I learned about charity, commitment, friendship, family and a whole lot more. However, we did not learn about nutrition in the early 1960's.

To complement the video is a sample of the song called "Julliette" (Girls Scout Founder) by Melinda Carroll. To obtain the complete song - go to

"The Girl Scouts of the USA is an organization dedicated solely to girls—all girls—where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth."

Girl Scout Cookies:
Nutrition and Safety History
Girl Scouts Respond to Nutrition Questions
How Well Do You Know Your Girl Scout Cookies?
Each Cookie has a Mission

Nutrition and Safety History of Girl Scout Cookies.

In 1960, licensed bakers first began wrapping Girl Scout Cookie boxes in printed aluminum foil or cellophane to protect the cookies and preserve their freshness. In 1961, 14 licensed bakers were mixing batter for thousands of Girl Scout Cookies annually. By 1966, a number of varieties were available. Among the best sellers were Chocolate Mint, Shortbread, and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies. Nutrition information was not required on the labels during this time.

In the early 1990s, eight varieties were available, including low fat and sugar-free selections.

By 2007, Girl Scouts of the USA announced that all their cookies now had zero trans fat per serving; many required reformulation to accomplish this.

Girl Scout cookies are listed as having "0 trans fat per serving" and will have packaging saying Trans Fat Free. The cookies are not truly trans fat free, as various partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs, i.e., trans fats) are still listed in the ingredients. Nonetheless, they now have a sufficiently small amount per serving to comply with the government's official standards for the Trans Fat Free label. (The official rules allow the label to appear where there are fewer than 0.5 grams per serving.)

On February 23, 2010, Little Brownie Bakers announced a recall of some batches of the Girl Scout Cookie, "Lemon Chalet Crèmes". While the cookies were safe to eat, some of the packages had an off odor and taste.

Girl Scouts Respond to Nutrition Questions

Q: Don't Girl Scout Cookies contribute to the childhood obesity problem?
A: Starting with our youngest members, the Girl Scout organization promotes a healthy lifestyle for its girl members, which includes a well-balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Our health and fitness programs encourage girls to adopt healthy fitness and eating habits early in life and continue them into adulthood. Girls are also taught to consider ingredient contribution to their overall diet and portion size when choosing snacks.

In addition, the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) released a research review entitled Weighing In: Helping Girls Be Healthy Today, Healthy Tomorrow. Weighing In addresses various underlying causes leading to the epidemic of obesity and of being overweight among children and adolescents and the lifestyles, culture, and behavior that have contributed to this condition. Read more about this research review.

Q: Should people with diabetes buy or consume Girl Scout Cookies?
A: For consumer convenience, each of our two licensed bakers lists dietary exchanges on the cookie box and cookie order form so people with diabetes and adults with children with diabetes can make informed choices. The amount of sugar and carbohydrates is also listed. Dietary exchanges should always be consulted, even if a product is labeled "sugarless."

Q: Why don't you offer cookies that are whole-wheat, wheat-free, non-dairy, dairy-free, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, organic, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, low-fat, non-fat, fat-free, etc.?
A: The demand for specialty cookie formulations is simply not great enough to make it economically feasible to offer a variety of specialty types. Of all the different possible formulations, sugar-free seems to be the most popular, yet in the past, even the sugar-free Girl Scout cookies that have been offered have had to be discontinued due to lack of demand. Our bakers continue to experiment and develop formulations that balance the best tasting cookies using the healthiest ingredients.

For a complete listing of Girl Scout Cookie Nutrition Facts, go to:

How Well Do You Know Your Girl Scout Cookies?
Can you match the cookie to their name?
Answers and Calories are listed at the end of the article.)

Each Cookie has a Mission
Girl Scout Promise, Law, Motto, and Slogan

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Promise is often recited at Girl Scout troop meetings while holding up the three middle fingers of the right hand, which forms the Girl Scout sign. Girl Scout policy states that the word "God" may be interpreted depending on individual spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, "God" may be substituted with the word dictated by those beliefs.

I will do my best to be Honest and fair,
Friendly and helpful, Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
And to respect myself and others,
respect authority, use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

"Be Prepared."

"Do a Good Turn Daily"

Answers to: "How Well Do You Know Your Girl Scout Cookies?"

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