Hardly an American makes it through childhood without at least one nibble of Rice Krispies Treats. First introduced in the 1930s by Mildred Day, a home economist for cereal maker Kellogg, these crispy, chewy squares are probably among the easiest sweet treats to make, and they're guaranteed to be gobbled up quickly at any gathering. But do Rice Krispies Treats have any nutritional value?
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3 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine
According to MyFoodAdvisor, there are almost 22 g of saturated fat in 3 tbsp. of butter. That serving size also comes with 243 mg of sodium and 306 calories. The good news is the 18 percent recommended daily value of vitamin A. If you use tub margarine instead, you cut your calories to 216, your saturated fat plummets to 5.4 grams, but sodium climbs to 261. Vitamin A is boosted with margarine, too, at 27 percent daily value.
1 Package (about 40) Regular Marshmallows
Puffy white marshmallows taste light as air, and nutritionally, that's how they stack up: with no vitamins and no minerals. They are not completely without value, however, if you consider 234 g of carbohydrates a good thing. That's more than 100 percent of the recommended daily value. Granted, that's for an entire bag of 40 marshmallows.
6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal
This ingredient brings most of the nutrients to Rice Krispies Treats -- the cereal. Like most boxed cereals, Rice Krispies are fortified, that is, have additional nutrients added in the manufacturing process. Six cups of this cereal has 912 mg of sodium, 139 g of carbohydrate and 144 mg of potassium. The amount of vitamins and some minerals is considerable for a single 1.2-oz. serving: 25 percent of vitamins A, C, E, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and B12, 15 percent vitamin D and 50 percent recommended daily value for iron.
The boxed, individually-wrapped version of Rice Krispies Treats are available in most grocery stores. In addition to the ingredients listed for homemade treats, the following can be found in the ready-made products: fructose, butter flavor, corn syrup, dextrose, glycerin and salt. A two-square serving gives you 10 percent daily value of both vitamins A and C, plus 20 percent of the recommended amount of iron. You'll also get 1 g of protein, 28 g of carbs, 2 g of saturated fats, 105 mg of sodium and 10 mg of cholesterol.
Change It Up To Add Nutrition
If you're hoping to get a little more than good taste out of your Rice Krispies Treats, you can try additional ingredients. Adding peanut butter to the recipe can boost the nutrition content in terms of calcium, iron and protein. Other ideas for sneaking nutrients in with those treats include topping with real fruit spreads or with thinly sliced apples, pears or bananas.
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