Product No Case: 100 calorie packs by Nabisco

 I periodically review products that I personally think are pretty crappy. Products that tout themselves as health food or diet food but don’t do much more than set you up for overeating while providing no nutritional value. Do not get me wrong. I am totally a proponent of incorporating food into your diet that is simply for fun. I am the last to turn down dessert. But I can’t stand all of the products that advertise as healthy options but leave you feeling unsatisfied and undernourished.

And this month’s product no-case has been around a long time. In fact, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about them yet! Yes, the dreaded 100 calorie pack by Nabisco. Here are a few reasons why I don’t like them.

#1: They taste gross. If you like them and find them satisfying then go for it. But if you find yourself reaching for one bag…and then another….and then another, it’s an indication that they aren’t satisfying. You may want to consider another snack option.

#2: The 100 calorie frenzy. There is nothing magical about the number 100. It is a marketing gimmick. If you are using the 100 calorie packages as a snack, 100 calories of refined flour will hold you over for approximately 10 seconds. If you are looking for a snack that actually keeps you full and satisfied (rather than hungry and irritated) you’ll need some protein and fat to add in the mix. For example: pretzels with PB, pita chips with hummus, you get the idea.

#3: For most people, it doesn’t really teach portion control even though that’s exactly what it’s marketed for. I explain this in #s 1 and 2. But the bottom line is, if you are truly hungry for a snack, you will likely need more than one of those packs to do the job. If you reach for a 100 cal pack to “be good” then find yourself wanting more it becomes demoralizing and frustrating. 

So what do you think about the 100 calorie snack packs? Like them? Hate them? I want to hear about it!


  1. YESSS, I was one of the people who suggested you write about these! Haven’t touched them in years- but sadly my college dining hall stopped selling my favorite chocolate chip cookies and sells these instead. A girl I went to high school with used to eat

    multiple 100 calorie packs at once… Prime example of how, as you say, “refined flour will hold you over for approximately 10 seconds”!

  2. Personally, I like SOME of the 100-calorie packs as desserts. The fudge stripe cookie ones are really good, as are some of the other ones that actually taste like the food they’re “supposed to be.” I like to eat dessert almost every night, sometimes with

    my lunch too, so I do things like 100-calorie packs (the BEST are the Blue Diamond 100-calorie packs of flavored almonds, like cinnamon sugar or chocolate) to make sure that I’m not going overboard with refined carbohydrates and fats. After years of an eating

    disorder actually managed to convince me that I didn’t like chocolate, I finally discovered that the truth is, I LOVE it. I’m learning to moderate it and 100-calorie packs (other favorite is having a square of dark chocolate…but sometimes the 100-calorie

    packs are MORE satisfying to me) are one of the ways that I can satisfy my chocolate craving.

  3. Thank you both for your thoughts! I’m actually thrilled to hear that someone has had a positive experience with them. But I think you hit the nail on the head Jess- it is crucial to find a balance of eating what actually tastes good in a way that feels

    supportive and healthy. I appreciate you both sharing!

  4. Marci, I completely agree with your analysis…but what REALLY bothers me is when my third grade students bring these in for snack. I mean, whatever happened to just throwing a couple of cookies or pretzels into a ziploc baggie? Do we really have to send

    little kids the “100-calorie” message?!

  5. Rachel, I didn’t even think about the kiddos! Thank you for mentioning that. Wouldn’t it be great if we remembered to encourage our young ones to listen to their body cues rather than thinking about a caloric number when eating.

  6. In addition to this 100-calorie pack marketing craze, Stonyfield has now caught on with the 100 calorie yogurts. It makes me SO angry. I refuse to buy them. It took so long for me to stop focusing so much on numbers, and even though I still eat non-fat

    yogurt, I don’t see the need for Stonyfield to change their ingredients in order for the yogurt to be 100 calories-ESPECIALLY when they were only 120 before for most yogurts! What is the big deal? I’m so angry about it, and even if my purchasing power (or

    lack thereof in this case) doesn’t do anything, it makes me feel satisfied knowing that I only buy the non-fat yogurts that are not part of the 100 calorie crew.

  7. Ooh, I didn’t know that about Stoneyfield! I just hate the idea for people to believe that there is something magical and right about “100.” Again, a total marketing ploy. Ugh.

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