Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Land of the Rising Sun

People often ask me, both here in New York, and when I'm out of town, if I feel that raising kids in the city is a good idea and if it's the choice I'll make. I've developed a kind of rote answer to both questions. I usually point out that by raising your kids in the city, you (to a large extent) limit your children's exposure to the top two killers: cars and privately owned swimming pools. (The statistics are fuzzy, some sites say airway obstruction is the number two and drowning is third--but either way, both are high on the list.) But ultimately, kids are happiest when their parents are happiest, so live where you want to live.

That being said, it's better here.

Why? Today's reason is International Exposure, or more specifically, Asian markets.

Now, I know, kids all over the country (ok, kids all over certain parts of the country--I guess I can't comment on those reddest of states) are snacking on sushi and edamame at that's being sold in their local grocery stores and ballparks, and that's a great thing. But suburbia doesn't come close to the kind of Japanese snack nirvana that the Asian markets of Manhattan, in and out of Chinatown, offer.

Pocky sticks are a staple snack item in the G. household. They're a crowd pleaser, travel well, come in tons of flavors, and aren't overwhelming (meaning, I can hand some out at 5pm when the whining frequently starts and not worry too much about spoiling dinner appetites). They can, on occasion, be used as a kind of weapon, but you could say that about a lot of different snack items. Also, the Asian markets are the place to go for innovative gummy candies. You name it, they've made it into a gummy candy. Admittedly, some of the flavors aren't suited to your average American kid, but it's easy to avoid all of the "black sesame", "bean paste" and "green tea" flavored goodies.

Today's find, however, was the greatest Japanese snack food find yet, at least according to those with me when we discovered it. Yan Yan is like a deconstructed Pocky Stick--but so much better than the original because of the element of control. Basically, you get the sticks (oddly enough, they are made with cheddar cheese) and then the "cream" to dip them in. We chose the chocolate/strawberry combo. They made me think of Fun Dip (one thing I dare not ever introduce to the G. children, unless I decided I don't want this job any longer). Basically, I'm all for any snack that will also occupy the kids for a couple of minutes. We're always in need of "something to do". (Although, is it that kind of thinking that's gotten the country into an obesity epidemic? Uh-oh.)

Anyway, on the bright side, the Yan Yan ingredients list read much better than your average store bought cookie. There is no partially hydrogenated whattsit or monosodium glutate. The most suspicious ingredient on the list was "vegetable fat" which, in my mind, is avocado. The Yan Yan didn't taste like avocado, though, so I'm guessing that I'm just not up on cookie ingredient lingo. I'm not going to lose much sleep over that, though.


Blogger Geoff G. said...

Elongated Cheez-Its + Coagulated Strawberry Nestle Qwik? Kudos! That sounds gross! Thank goodness the Japanese and 4 year olds are on the same page about this.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Nanny in New York said...

Well, for the record, the cookies don't taste like cheese, they just happen to have cheese in them.

But otherwise, you are correct, sir.

6:08 AM  

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