Sold as a breakfast pastry, it's hard to imagine Pop-Tarts as a healthy food. Slathered with frosting and some kind of sugary jam or brown sugar sandwiched between, this seems more like a desert than a breakfast dish. Apparently, the company feels the same way because they added a long list of vitamins and minerals to enrich the flour from which these pastries are made.
Calories and Fat
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a single brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart, contains 219 calories and 9.2 g of fat. This serving size is somewhat deceptive, however, as each pouch contains two Pop-Tarts. Given that most kids eat both pastries in the pouch, they are getting in 438 calories, 18.4 g fat and a whopping 25.4 g of sugar. Even though the flour is enriched with vitamins, these numbers describe a fattening product.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports there is 2.7 g of protein per Pop-Tart pastry. If this fact were considered alone, you might think that Pop-Tarts were a good way to start the day. However, there are many other foods that offer this kind of protein without packing in the calories, sugar and fat.
One Kellogg's brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart contains 16 mg of calcium, 1.8 mg iron, 8 mg magnesium, 0.61 mg zinc and 0.04 mg copper. Of all these figures, only the iron is a truly significant amount.
The lack of minerals works in this product's favor for kidney patients and others who must restrict their potassium and phosphorus intake. With only 32 mg of phosphorus and 68 mg of potassium, Pop-Tarts can be eaten by kidney patients with impunity.
The enriched flour from which Pop-Tarts are made means that this food is chock-a-block with B vitamins. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that there is 0.15 mg thiamin, 0.17 mg riboflavin, 2 mg niacin and 80 micrograms of folate. In addition to these B vitamins, there is 1,000 international units of vitamin A.
Pop-Tarts can be served to your kids as a special food, on holidays and other festive occasions. Regardless how enriched the flour is, you do not want your kids making a habit of starting the day with sugary pastries.