Lunchables Jr. Warning - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't know where to put this, so I hope here is Ok.

A friend of mine just shared a letter that she wrote to Kraft foods, and asked that we share ithe info with anyone that might want to know. Honestly I don't feed any of my family Lunchables, but I'm very concerned about what happened, because this happens to be something that people are feeding their children! Since I know the woman that experienced this I know it's not another internet rumor, so I wanted people to know about this:


Ladies and Gentlemen,
I admit it.
I am an angry mom.

Why, when I place the ham from Lunchables Jr in the microwave -- for FIVE seconds -- does it spark and catch fire?
Yes, you read that right.

My 16 month old son now prefers his food with the chill of the refrigerator taken off. So, recently I started putting the ham from his Lunchables Jr in the microwave for 5-8 seconds.
Each time I put it in. They spark and burn!

First I blamed it on the barcode. "It must have bits of metal in it," I thought.
Then I blamed it on the now-dreaded plastic.
Today, I took the ham completely out of the package and put it on a napkin.
At the 3 second mark -- the sparks, mini-fire, and burning began.

I grab it out of the now fire-smelling microwave to find burned spots on several pieces of ham, as the smoke it put off dissipates.

I am no expert in electronics or food -- but isn't a microwave only supposed to spark if METAL is put in it?
Indeed, after 20+ years of using microwaves, the only time I have seen sparks/fire resembling this is when I left a spoon in -- or did not realize there was aluminium of some kind in the packaging. The culprit in all those cases was obvious.
This is not.

This is not just food.
It is TODDLER/BABY food.

If you require further evidence of this, I will take out my video camera and videotape and entire "5 second microwave" session -- from package opening, to result -- for your review. However, I feel sure a quick test in your kitchens will prove my point, as this was not a one-time occurrence in my home.
For your information, I shall also provide you with purchase and package details below.

I thank you for your attention, and, given the circumstances, do request an immediate response.

Regards,
Maria XXXXXX
XXXXX@yahoo.com
XXXXXXXX
Glen Burnie, Maryland
XXXXXXXXXX


I shared this letter with family and my Aunt responded by telling me that the veggies in some frozen kids meals (I'm not sure if she meant the same brand) do the same thing! She said she was told it was the mineral content in the soil, but I find it hard to believe that meat would do the same thing!

I'm going to buy a few of them tonight and video it to see if this is a common occurance. I will post it on my blog if it occurs for me. (see siggy)

Thanks for letting me share!
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#2 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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Yikes! My son doesn't eat them, but I did as a kid. Keep us posted!

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#3 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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I don't know why, but I've even had fresh veggies (well washed) do this if I put them in without enough water.

-Angela
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#4 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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Ugh, I'm not surprised, those lunchable things are kinda scary. I can't imagine giving them to my kid in the first place though.

FYI, when I try to thaw frozen raspberries in the microwave they spark and burn too...very weird.

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#5 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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yeah umm..a lot of foods, even wholesome natural ones do this, if theres not enough moisture in them. maybe look into that.
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#6 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/...egmicroe.shtml

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#7 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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I've put a piece of ham lunchmeat in the microwave and it's done the same thing.

Mama to a 6 year old diva, and new little man July 2011.

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#8 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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I've never had vegies spark in my microwave - and I usually cook wholesome organic ones.
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#9 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zersha View Post
I've never had vegies spark in my microwave - and I usually cook wholesome organic ones.
I have had "wholesome organic" veggies spark... If I don't add enough water...

-Angela
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#10 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've cooked, lunch meat and veggies in the microwave and never had that happen, however the rasberries aren't as suprising because of the seeds. I bet they pop sortof like popcorn.
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#11 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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Often small quantities of food spark in the microwave.
I have reheated a few Tablespoons of organic carrots that I picked myself and they spark, likewise with some reheated corn from our local CSA (even completely covered in water in a small glass measuring cup), and with green beans in water from Trader Joe's. Maybe they all have a good mineral content? Who knows. But it only happens when I do small amounts.
I don't think it has anything to do with the quality (or total lack thereof ) of Lunchables.

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#12 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I don't know why, but I've even had fresh veggies (well washed) do this if I put them in without enough water.

-Angela
Me too! I was going to post that but then thought maybe it was isolated. But since you said it, yeah. I don't think it's the lunchables themselves. Although I've never bought them...so whatever.
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#13 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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I got rid of a microwave once because it did this to my carrots. Now I realize I got rid of a perfectly find microwave! Ugh!

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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#14 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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This happens quite a bit to me when I'm trying to heat up veggies for DD in small quantities! Also when I've nuked a piece or two of lunch meat.
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#15 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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Even if there is not a problem with the meat, I hope this story gets around and encourages lots of people to stop buying Lunchables.

FTR, small amounts of food spark in my microwave as well.

Judy mom to Dash (9), Corbin (7) and Will (3) :
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#16 of 50 Old 04-24-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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there is a huge number of even organic natural home grown vegetables that will spark and burn in a microwave because of moisture content.

I for one wont stop buying lunchables or lunchables jr because of this story, because if anyone thought about it logicly, you would understand the reason it did it.
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#17 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by wonderwahine View Post
I for one wont stop buying lunchables or lunchables jr because of this story, because if anyone thought about it logicly, you would understand the reason it did it.
Yes Tuvok, it may make perfect sense to you, but obviously there are those of us who don't understand why lunchmeat would spark and light on fire. Don't assume every single person understands everything about lunchmeat and veggies or is Vulcan. If I KNEW what caused it.... then I wouldn't have posted this.
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#18 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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then why not make a thread asking why it could happen, instead of making a thread on a product being tainted if you truely only wanted to know why it would happen instead of create paranoia over a product?
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#19 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by veganf View Post
Often small quantities of food spark in the microwave.
I have only had one thing spark in the microwave - ever - and that was a cup that had a sticker on it that I didn't realize had metal on it! I have never seen anything spark - ever. Weird.
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#20 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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You can generally prevent sparking in the microwave when heating small quantities of food by putting a cup of water in there with the food to be heated.

Basically the microwave has to put some of its wattage toward that cup of water instead of all toward that tiny amount of food, and you avoid the sparking/burning. It has nothing to do with metal in the food or mineral content, although water content in the food may play a small role.

You will see more sparks like this in higher-wattage microwaves, i.e. the ones that always seem to cook food faster than the recommended times.

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#21 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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There are some really cool youtube videos of green grapes in the microwave. They do the same thing. Something about the sugar in it.
My DH and son tried it and it was really neat!!! You put a coffee mug upside down in a microwave, cut a grape in half and hit start. I think I'm leaving out some details so look it up before you attempt. Lots of sparks and flames. If you google "grapes in the microwave" you can find an explanation.

Not to say that lunchables aren't bad, but I think grapes are considered pretty healthy and they ignite as well Your friend may not have to be so worried after all
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#22 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 02:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DashsMama View Post
Even if there is not a problem with the meat, I hope this story gets around and encourages lots of people to stop buying Lunchables.
I'm curious as to why you feel this way? Who's to say they wouldn't replace lunchables with an equivalent product on the market from a different manufacturer? The effect wouldn't be educating anyone about the potential health hazards of feeding children salt laden foods or whatever particular heath related reason people don't give their kids lunchables.

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#23 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 03:42 AM
 
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This is a nutrition and good eating forum- how can anyone feed a krafted food product and think they are being healthy???? That mega corporation is disgusting. I don't touch anything that processed with my bare hands, let alone let my DS EAT it!!!! Puke. I have been near the hog confinements that Kraft buys from, they are so horrid smelling they make your eyes water- from as far as a mile or more away. My pork is pastured only and organically fed, they also know what sunshine is and are able to roam, root, and just be pigs.

Microwaves should be banned! IMO! Bleh, irradiated "food".

I'm ranting and on my soapbox, sorry if I offended anyone!

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#24 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 03:48 AM
 
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: to me, anything ds actually eats is nutrition and good eating for him, who cares if its kraft who makes it or some organic ultra natural brand.
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#25 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 04:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by althara View Post
I'm curious as to why you feel this way? Who's to say they wouldn't replace lunchables with an equivalent product on the market from a different manufacturer? The effect wouldn't be educating anyone about the potential health hazards of feeding children salt laden foods or whatever particular heath related reason people don't give their kids lunchables.
Oh, I'm just particularly cynical and grumpy today. Sorry about the snark. But some part of me does think people would be more likely to stop eating them because of some sensational rumour, like the sparks are ground up rats, than the facts that they contain food with poor nutritional content, and are extremely overpackaged and putting additional stress on the environment and our resources.

I remember when Lunchables first came out. I was amazed that Kraft thought people would be so gullible to spend so much money on that little bit of food in that great big package. I mean, if you want to feed your kid lunch meat and crackers, why not buy lunch meat and crackers in big containers and save some money, and put less packaging into the landfill? I'm still shocked that Lunchables caught on, and other companies have copied them. I really don't get it.

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#26 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 04:58 AM
 
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because the smaller portions and kid sized shaped foods are non threatening and kids are more likey to eat them.
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#27 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chimpmandee View Post
You will see more sparks like this in higher-wattage microwaves, i.e. the ones that always seem to cook food faster than the recommended times.
Makes sense. And ours definitely cooks faster than the recommended cooking times. If something says "cook 5 minutes" I cook it 3 minutes and check it.

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#28 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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because the smaller portions and kid sized shaped foods are non threatening and kids are more likey to eat them.
Why can't you just cut up food into non-threatening kid-sized portions at home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DashsMama View Post
I remember when Lunchables first came out. I was amazed that Kraft thought people would be so gullible to spend so much money on that little bit of food in that great big package. I mean, if you want to feed your kid lunch meat and crackers, why not buy lunch meat and crackers in big containers and save some money, and put less packaging into the landfill? I'm still shocked that Lunchables caught on, and other companies have copied them. I really don't get it.
I felt (and feel) the same way -- and when Lunchables came out, I was years away from even considering being a mother myself. I was disgusted by the whole concept. Let's see-- an expensive little individual package of cut up nasty processed food? what's not to love? I don't get it either. It's not hard to cut up lunch meat and cheese and put it in little containers yourself. Not hard to add some crackers. That is disgusting and frankly I am not surprised nor concerned that it sparks in the microwave. I hope this rumor gets out and discourages folks from validating that crap with their money.
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#29 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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Maybe they should simply warn parents that lunchables aren't microwave safe. If you want to feed this type of "food" to your children, don't microwave it first.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#30 of 50 Old 04-25-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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Why can't you just cut up food into non-threatening kid-sized portions at home?
some kids wont eat food you have touched or broken up from its original shape. lunchables are consumed mostly by picky kids, who have food issues for various reasons.
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