Monday, January 26, 2009

Quaker Instant Oatmeal Dinosaur Eggs: "It's Alive!"

Why does Quaker Instant Oatmeal Dinosaur Eggs exist? No joke; this is an actual product.

Like other flavors of Quaker Instant Oatmeal, this variety comes in single serving packages . . . with small, oval “dinosaur egg
s” . . . that melt away . . . and reveal crunchy, multi-colored stegosauruses and triceratopses.

Quaker unabashedly markets this pro
duct to children, a fact readily admitted when I called Quaker’s toll free number (1-800-555-OATS) and spoke with Don.

I asked Don who
came up with the Dinosaur Egg idea.

“I would say our product development team, which comes up with thes
e wonderful products,” Don said.

Uhhh . . . Beavis . . . he said “wonderful.”


“Oatmeal is healthy and kids will be more inclined to eat it if there are some colorful dinosaur eggs and dinosaur shapes in it as well,” Don said.


I wholeheartedly agree that the whole grain rolled oats are great, but many studies show that the artificial colors and various synthetic additives (used for flavoring, appearance, texture and extended shelf life) lead to a host of behavioral problems, allergies and illnesses.

Quaker believes otherwise
.

“We wouldn’t put anything in our products that isn’t healthy,” Don said. “It’s approved by the FDA and safe to consume.”

I aske
d Don why the dinosaurs—and not the oats—were enlarged on the box.

“The dinosaur eggs are the featured item,” he said. “They draw children and parents to purchase the product . . . and get kids to eat the oatmeal.”

“What’s wrong with plain oatmeal?” I asked.

“It’s not exciting.”

“Why do we have to turn eating into play time?” I said. “I didn’t need dinosaur eggs to eat oatmeal when I was a kid.”

“It’s the time we live in,” Don said.

Hopefully we can turn back the clock and start making real oatmeal with our own add-ins (cinnamon, raisins, maple syrup, etc.) and none of Quaker’s dangerous synthetic additives.

Click here to watch how.

53 comments:

Brian said...

You often make reference to studies that show the negative effects of artificial additives. Can you highlight a few in your blog?

Chef Rob said...

Brian,

Yes, I will next week. Thanks for reading.

Lydia said...

Dinosaur Egg Oatmeal is the essence of life.
It is the only kind of oatmeal I eat and I have been eating it since I was very little, and I'm 18 now.
Its fun for kids and makes Oatmeal entertaining instead of
excruciating. However, if you don't need the Dinosaur Eggs to eat Oatmeal, then good for you.

Amanda Rickman said...

awesome. I googled Dino-Egg Oatmeal & ended up here. I'm housesitting & grabbed a packet while running out the door. Super surprised to see DINOSAURS in my oatmeal. I'm pretty old-fashioned & like old-fashioned oats.
I felt like I'd dropped one of those pills into a glass of water to reveal some animal...now that's awesome.

aichou said...

Why so serious? I loved the dinosaurs in oatmeal when I was a kid. (I found this by googling it to see if they still made it.) I'm delighted to find out that they still do! So...at least your blog helped me. :D Dinosaur oatmeal, here I come! Bring on the artificial coloring!!

Kerry said...

anyone know where I can get these in England I have never been more excited about oatmeal!!!!!

gary_connor said...

Hey Chef Rob - Lighten Up. Dino Egg Oatmeal is NOT the same as serving your kids a bowl of sugar cubes with honey for breakfast. Have a little fun, let your sphincter loosen up a little.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE those dinosaur eggs, sir. And I am 19 years old.

Anonymous said...

I love dinosaur egg oatmeal and I'm 13. So shutup about ur " EEWW Additive! " crap. Ok I need some now.... MLIA!

Anonymous said...

you are the kind of person that sits there and critize everything...without really doing anything good....DIno oat meal was a great idea...if didn't eat dino oat meal when you were a kid, you have no idea what you are missing

Anonymous said...

Haha!! Score for the MLIA crowd!!

Also, I really want to try some...

Anonymous said...

This stuff was the bomb when i was a tot. I loved it, and i still do! Im 14 years old. So hush up, it's the perfect snack for the munchies. (:

Dave Kurz said...

I agree w/ Don.. Get over the synthetic additives yo, no biggie

Karla said...

I'm almost 20 now and this dinosaur oatmeal was my favorite as a kid. Don't bash the oatmeal.Once you try it and see the dinosaurs emerging from the eggs you will change your mind. It's awesome and delicious!

Anonymous said...

I am in love with the dinosaur oatmeal, i've been trying to find it for a long time. When I was little I remember just finding it in any grocery store I went to, now it's impossible to find.
Not only does the dinosaur eggs show creativity, it adds great taste to the oatmeal. As for the dinosaurs, they give you something to look forward to in your oatmeal (you don't come across stuff like that easily). Also, when the dinosaurs melt they create the colors in the oatmeal and that's when the oatmeal turns into a party... Colorful oatmeal, who doesn't want that?

Anonymous said...

I'm 19 now and I never really needed the dinosaur eggs to eat my oatmeal, but it still holds a special place in my childhood. It was fun! Whats so wrong with that?

Ellie said...

I'm 18 now and when I was a young kid, I used to get Mom to buy this for us every so often. I liked oatmeal with brown sugar and milk, but I also loved the taste of the dino eggs. I don't see the big deal about it. Kids are getting pickier but at least this way they still get the oats, even if a little sugar is added in a different way.

Anonymous said...

Get real, Chef Rob. No one wants to 'turn back the clock' and make 'real oatmeal' when there are delicious options that involve colorful dinosaurs. I'm right there with Don--plain oatmeal is boring. I can promise you that if dinosaur egg oatmeal was an option when you were kid, you'd be agreeing with us teenagers right now.

Anonymous said...

You can shove your cinnamon, raisins, maple syrup up your rectal tissue. Dinosaurs are awesome.

Rich Fletcher said...

Im with you Chef Rob!! If this was simply Oats and brown sugar it would be great, but who needs 30 or so additives in their oatmeal?? Not me thank you .

Nisreen said...

Keep on spreading the good food word chef!!! I featured this product on my Facebook page for GreenCuisineList.com in a segment called guess that "food"...horrifying what they've done to oatmeal!

Hanah said...

Hmmm, seems like all those marketing tactics really work. Look how attached to these chemicals today's teenagers are! And how blissfully unaware they and their parents are of what this is doing to their long term health. It is important that people continue to point out the hidden health costs of these "exciting" products. I'm horrified by the angry comments. Keep up the good work!

ThePiper said...

Hurr durr additives are bad.

How much exactly are you ingesting here, and what do you gaining by not eating it? How much do these additives affect the body? What are the consequences? How much do you need to eat before they appear? Captain Obvious, there's nothing concrete in your arguments other than 'additives are bad'.

Think about Don's explanation for a minute, what he says makes perfect sense: kids don't like oatmeal. If you want kids to eat oatmeal, you're going to have to do some marketing, fiddle with the product, make it appeal to the audience. If they don't do that, their audience will be eating sugar coated tumors instead of dinosaur shaped oatmeal (which, to be fair, isn't all that good for you either, but certainly better than most 'cereals').

But most importantly, shit's awesome.

You are going to die, I am going to die. I'm certainly not against having a little fun before I do.

Anonymous said...

Just came across this article while searching for this product. Really? are you really questioning this simple market strategy? What kind of kid is going to see a enlarged grain of oat and say "Gee golly! I would love to have me that oatmeal". Dinosaurs are cool. Having them hatch from eggs in your oatmeal is cool. Did your parents raise you in a plastic bubble? Children want to connect the things they need and are required to do with the things they love. Which is why companies market such products. Simple. As for them being bad for children..you do realize that we cook food with invisible light, also known as radiation. Everything we eat has preservatives in it and artificial colorings. Even food you buy from the store are flown in from other countries that do no have FDA regulations and spray their crops with pesticides that are illegal in the US. Don't you have something better to spend your time complaining about? If you feel these sort of articles are your contribution to society, I would consider taking a hard look at yourself.

Anonymous said...

My kids love this stuff. Why? because it makes eating oatmeal FUN. Please tell me what's so wrong with that. I add frozen blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to it to help cool it down and to make it an even more healthy breakfast. Also, sometimes I throw a small handful of Quick Oats in with to make it stretch. I feel this is a much better option than pancakes covered in sugary syrup.

Anonymous said...

Why do you have to be such an Oatmeal nazi!

Anonymous said...

What a hater! Jeez.

Anonymous said...

I am 46 years old, I hate since I was small oatmeal, now I would eat it if I was able to find this Dino oatmmeal in Spain! I belive that is a good idea to make fun things so children eat oat meal thas is wery healty. If you buy candy in the store and marsmallows they will have all this things of aditive that you think is so bad!

Anonymous said...

I grew up with this stuff, and I think I grew up okay! Seriously dude, lay off IT'S OATMEAL not vegetables. It's supposed to be fun and it amazed me as a kid how the eggs could turn into dinosaurs. So back off the oatmeal chum.

Shen-Li said...

My kid hates oatmeal. He's mad about dinosaurs and went nuts when he saw this in the supermarket. Unfortunately, oatmeal is still oatmeal not matter how you disguise it and my son is mad enough to eat oatmeal even with dinosaurs in them. He gagged when he took his first mouthful of this. I had to eat the rest of the box... So I say damn Quaker and their dinosaur eggs because I could have told him he wouldn't like it...

Ms. Tessa Klaren said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Rob. And let me say, I love dinosaurs as much as any kid... but WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Why don't children eat oatmeal with just a little bit of maple syrup, cinnamon, maybe some dried fruit? Because the media bombards us with images as sugary foods that are often marked as healthy! If a parent is successful in keeping their children eating healthy at home, they develop a taste for these junk foods at school! Sugar is incredibly addictive, and there should be much more outrage about companies targeting children this way.

Just because the FDA deems something safe does NOT mean it is. What is DOES mean is that whatever profit-driven company is selling these dangerous products has PAID THE FDA OFF. These governmental agencies that are supposedly there to protect us are prostitutes to large corporations! Products like these are responsible for the childhood epidemics of our time - CHILDHOOD OBESITY and DIABETES! What child should have diabetes? How does this even HAPPEN? Tragic.

Mothers please educate yourself and do not be fooled into thinking these huge corporations care about the health of your children. Go ahead and look into artificial colors, etc. that are being linked to childhood Autism and ADD/ADHD.

Truly despicable...

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Tessa Klaren
Diabetes has nothing to do with eating too much sugar... especially when it has to do with children

Also... I personally think this is awesome, the oatmeal that is. Sure its not healthy, but its fun

Signed, Teenage diabetic who never ate sugared cereal

Anonymous said...

It must be terrible living with that stick up your ass guy. Calm down, it's just oatmeal with a fun twist for kids.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry man, i understand the concern for the health factor of the oatmeal but it is just too tasty for me to care. represents my childhood. who doesn't love dinosaurs in their oatmeal?

Anonymous said...

fuck you, dinosaur egg oatmeal is the shit, dont be baggin cuz you didnt think of it, put that in ur pipe and smoke it

Anonymous said...

The first time I had plain oatmeal as a kid, I hated it because of the texture. Instead, I had pancakes, turkey bacon, and eggs with syrup on everything every morning before school. Then my mom bought dinosaur eggs, and I had to have that every morning instead. Now I'm 18 (19 at the end of this month), and I have to have plain oatmeal with granola every morning. The granola is now my dinosaur eggs. I believe these dinosaur eggs are what made me love oatmeal.

Anonymous said...

Fuck you they were a delicious part of my morning.

Anonymous said...

I get that they have additives, but really, if you look at almost ANY product marketed towards kids, it will have fun characters on the box, a little health symbol for the parents, and LOADS of additives/sugars.

I still eat this lovely stuff. Because frankly, I had regular oats and then sprinkled brown sugar, and the sugar was overpowering and not spread out (This could be because I suck at spreading out sugar, but I digress). Anyway, I understand your point, but I've been eating this stuff for YEARS (literally), and nothing's wrong with me.

As for the lady who was talking about childhood obesity rates, yes they're going up. It's not because of Quaker's Dino Oatmeal. It's because kids aren't getting up and playing like they used to, and instead are playing their video games & eating chips. Frankly, this is NOT the worst children's food out there and should not be targeted. It's a classic. Try going after fruit gushers or HELL why not go after SODAS. They are loaded with so many sugars, additives and caffeine! If you're alright with giving your kid Pepsi but refuse to give them Dino Oats, you're "healthy" choices are REALLY misguided...

LONG LIVE THE DINO OATMEAL!

J said...

You do realize you are talking about oatmeal....right. They're small little sugar pieces, no more than a spoonful in each serving.

BTW Its the child's PARENTS that need to get them to exercise/play outside and eat right. It is not Quaker's job to make sure every child is eating a balanced breakfast even if an unhealthy breakfast was in question, which it surely is not.

My mother let me have fast food/unhealthy products as a child but always within reason. In other words, Happy Meal nights did happen but it was a rarity. Parents these days do not understand. They want to be parents but not have the responsibility of being a parent. It's pathetic.

As for the dinosaur eggs, it is no more harmful than a rice cake. I am actually a big fan of oatmeal and have a box on hand. Since "Dino Egg" oatmeal is Brown Sugar flavor, I decided to put it against a box of regular Maple & Brown Sugar.

Calories in 1 serving of Dino Egg = 190
Calories in 1 serving of M and BS = 160

Calories from Fat in Dino Egg = 30
Calories from Fat in M and BS = 20

Exactly my point. Such a small amount of difference. 30 calories is nothing to get upset about. Next time do your homework.

Anonymous said...

Im in love with Quakers dinosaur oatmeal eggs! I ate them when I was a baby, and still eat them now and I'm 18. There is nothing wrong with the candy in the oatmeal! It makes it fun for little kids and adults like me lol and they taste amazing! Im not a big fan of plan oatmeal and I'm glad I like dino eggs cuz I still get all the calicum and fiber I need that I don't like in a lot of foods. It's not fast food, and its clearly not unhealthy because its oatmeal and I think if some people and parents don't like the idea of this Amazing product then just don't buy it! I and many others enjoy this outstanding oatmeal!!!! And will continue too eat it!

Anonymous said...

I can honestly say your blog made me laugh. I'm 28 and I have occasionally bought this for my child. It's a treat not an every day variety of oat meal.

It is NOT any company's job to do your job as a parent. In every store in my area this is a bottom or top shelf item, it hardly sells. Parents need to realize that they need to stop blaming companies for their lack of parenting. Our society has stopped telling children NO.

I find it odd that you would get so huffy about this product, it is no different from the millions of other products that are marketed towards children.

If your kid asks for it just say no.

Anonymous said...

After reading your post, I wondered if you have ever had a child that has food and/or sensory issues, ADHD or is spirited/strong willed. Apparantly not. My 5 year old son is so particular about what he eats, we need to supplement with Pediasure and vitamins. For the first few years of his life, he wanted nothing to do with protein whatsoever. Finally when he was about 3.5 he started to incorporate protein in. I'm not the type of parent to make separate meals for him and whatever I make goes on his plate even if he requests it not to be included. However, you can't force a child to eat, that is an unhealthy discipline to start. So, when we found the dinosaur egg oatmeal and he started to eat oatmeal, I was thrilled. We have a variety of cereals available for him (including organic), but he just doesn't eat much of them. As I said earlier, proteins still are not accepted by him and he's limited on certain fruits due to sensory issues. The oatmeal is a welcome change to his morning diet along with his Pediasure drink because he actually eats the entire bowl! So, I can feel good that he is going to school with a full stomach and hopefully setting him up for success. Especially because due to his medications he does not eat again until shortly before dinner. I guess if you ever had a child with these issues though, you would understand. Try to look at things from the other viewpoint sometimes and walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

chris.r said...

I live in North Texas.. does anybody know where i can get this? ive been looking lately and have yet to find them.

Anonymous said...

Hey screw you man haha I remember this oatmeal from my childhood and I still look for it every time I go to the grocery store. Even though it hasn't been there since I was about 8 years old. And even then my parents raised me well and it was nearly a once a year treat. I'm now a healthy adult.

Chalk said...

Just because oatmeal is healthy, does not make it alright to add in sugary artificial crap. There are plenty of other ways to make the oatmeal taste good and still look appealing. People are just too lazy to come up with ideas on their own and so they rely on companies that they trust only because they are being advertised the most. You can easily make a quick oatmeal meal by chopping up some fruit and, say, make a picture with them. Even a simple smiley face is appealing. You can also play around with what you put in to find a taste that you enjoy. I whole heartily agree with the chef, but it does not apply just to this oatmeal, it's with other foods too. You might not see the effects of the artificial additives now, but it will add up later on in your life. You might not even know that the problem was caused from these foods. That's how ignorant and closed minded people are now. They need to wake up and realize that even if the FDA approves it, does not mean it's healthy. I'm astonished at how the people who are arguing against the chef are using vulgar language and horrible reasoning as to why it's alright to continue selling and eating this. If you don't want to believe in the studies that have been done to prove that these types of foods are not good for you, then you do some relevant research of your own and let us know if the benefits outweigh the costs, because right now the costs are sure as hell outweighing the benefits. Be logical people!

Kristen Broadus said...

I'd rather have dinosaur eggs in my oatmeal than the shit you just served in my cheerios.

Anonymous said...

I'll be honest ,with or without the dinosaurs I didn't like oatmeal as a kid. But, the dinosaurs made me WANT to like it. So I would try it every month hoping to like it. How many foods can you think of make kids wanted to try them even if they don't like them ? Not to mention, the additives, while bad, are nothing compared to those fruit flavored rainbow cereals that would be the alternative for many kids. Not to mention, if you've ever put anything less than things like pure maple syrup, all natural sugar, or fresh honey in your oatmeal as a sweetener, you've added artificial additives to your oatmeal. Dino oatmeal does the same thing but in a way that encourages kids to enjoy a relatively healthy breakfast.
So, while I respect your opinion, unless you're prepared to buy only the most pristine toppings for your oatmeal I'm not prepared to stop giving this to my nieces and nephews

Anonymous said...

If you don't like it don't buy it, don't buy it for your children or don't eat it. Don't the call the company just to antagonize employees.

Anonymous said...

Both Autism and ADD/ADHD are genetic disorders passed down through heredity. Attention defecit hyperactive disorder is believed by some to be instincts of early hunter gatherers that have not completely changed for farming.

Anonymous said...

I am 24 years old- grew up on this oatmeal and eat it TO THIS VERY DAY. I am fine. So is the oatmeal. Only way I will ever eat it- is with my dinos.

SkyeMeansSkye said...

Calm the hell down. Maybe people like it because of the TASTE and TEXTURE of the dino eggs. Did ya ever think about that? And, lol "synthetic additives", just quit eating food from the store. If you actually care about it that much, and you're not just trying to be a righteous hipster, quit going to the store, and grow all your own fuckin food. Cause probably 98% of food from the grocery store is processed and has additives. Attacking dino oatmeal, alot of 90's and 80's kids favorite oatmeal, just to stir up a fuss, and complain about something that is in every commercial product.

SkyeMeansSkye said...

Really though? How dumb can someone sound/be? ADHD and Autism are genetic disorders, no way in hell related to your diet.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. The whole time I was reading this I was wondering what was wrong with this guy.