It’s that time of year again – when the Girls Scouts hit the streets en masse hawking their sinfully delicious wares. Let’s face it, it’s hard to resist the neighbor girl, or even your friends daughter when they show up on your doorstep during cookie season. But how do you support the Girl Scouts without letting your healthy lifestyle go by the wayside?
Like everything else, you just have to read the label and find out what’s in those cookies.
First the good news.
Girl Scout Cookies do not contain any preservatives and they have zero trans fats. They are also low in sodium, but that’s true of most baked goods.
On the down side, some of the varieties contain high fructose corn syrup, and they don’t have any sugar-free offerings.
Since that’s a push, I did the math.
After calculating the number of calories in each variety, I divided the cookies into three groups – Doable, Proceed with Caution and Definitely Not. Unfortunately there are more varieties on the Definitely Not list than on the Doable list, but at least there are some lower calorie choices.
I consider these cookies doable because you can eat three of them and still consume less than 100 calories. So they are fine for that every now and then snack. A word of caution though, it’s best not to have more than one cookie snack a day.
Crisp, zesty lemon wedge cookies dusted with powdered sugar.
Sodium: 25 mg.
Traditional shortbread cookies.
Sodium: 28 mg.
Proceed with Caution
These cookies will put you over that 100 calorie snack limit if you have three. I say proceed with caution, because some (like Dulce de Leche) are bite sized, and it’s very easy to overdo it. Sure, if you can have two of these cookies for a snack, then go for it. If not, then it’s best to pass on them.
Dulce de Leche
Bite sized cookies with milk caramel chips.
Crispy chocolate wafers dipped in a mint chocolaty coating.
Crunchy oatmeal sandwich cookie with creamy peanut butter filling.
Three of these babies will put you well over that 100 calorie mark, and in many cases over the 200 calorie mark, so it’s best to just steer clear of them.
Vanilla and coconut cookies filled with a tangy mango-flavored creme enhanced with nutrients derived from fruits.
Sodium: 34 mg.
Thank U Berry Much
Hearty cookies with premium cranberries and white fudge chips.
Sodium: 38 mg.
Crispy cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolaty coating.
Sodium: 48 mg.
Crisp cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and striped with dark chocolaty coating.
Sodium: 30 mg.
Savory slices of shortbread with a refreshingly tangy lemon-flavored icing.
Sodium: 40 mg.
Shortbread cookies dipped in rich fudge and topped with an embossed thank you message in one of 5 languages.
Of course if you just don’t want the cookies in your house, but you still want to support the Girl Scouts, ask if they have a “gift of caring program”. Under this program you can buy some cookies and they are donated to military members serving overseas. It’s a great way to support the military and avoid temptation at the same time. It’s what I do, so give it a try. You’ll make some soldier very happy.