Not long ago, 25-year-old Riley Leach of Cloverdale, Indiana, was scrolling through the “For You” page on TikTok when she found the answer to a question she never asked – it turns out that the Zillennial and her siblings are all grown up. Users of the social media site refer to it as #ingredienthousehold.
Unlike those raised by a #snackhouse or an #AlmondMom, ingredient kids learn from a young age to feed their passions from a pantry where the right foods—eggs, butter, cheese, apples—are prepared, as opposed to packaged foods. Like Cheetos, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, or Pop Tarts.
And now the two sides are embroiled in a heated debate over who had the better childhood — thanks in part to Leach, who posted a video on TikTok detailing his experience of making the simplest nachos or satisfying his hunger by eating peanuts. spoon of butter.
“We’d come home from school and be kind of creative,” Leach told The Post.
The aspiring blogger was shocked when her post went viral, garnering 10.1 million views and thousands of comments from people who not only wanted to share their own childhood after-school snack memories, but also championed one style over the other. With 86.9 million views, the #ingredienthousehold camp is rocking the debate — #snackhousehold has yet to rise from thousands, according to TikTok.
Just because they’re fewer doesn’t mean the snacks are any less indulgent—the most popular #snackhousehold video ever was uploaded by user Bethan Hannah, who shared how she grew up with Peperami sticks, frozen chicken nuggets, Yoplait yogurt cups, and string cheese.
Another video posted by @jojomcnizzle shows her family’s fridge and pantry stocked with branded bites like frozen Hungry Jack pancakes, Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie and Fruit Loops.
Whichever camp they fall into, the debate points to how childhood snacking can follow us into adulthood. To this day, Leach said, he and his wife — who also grew up in the #ingredienthouse — still gravitate toward old-school favorites, including butterscotch, but the couple is becoming more conscious of their choices.
According to the International Food Information Council’s 2022 food and health survey, snacks are generally very popular among Gen Zers — 77% said they snack at least once a day between meals. However, the New Hope Network reported that 66% of Gen Zers and 69% of millennials think about their health every day, compared to 55% of Boomers, which could mean healthier snacks are on the rise.
Chef Jennifer Welper, executive chef for health at the New Mayo Clinic Diet, is a staunch ingredient advocate—she explained to The Post that today’s younger generations are having a “great reflection” on the link between junk food and increased food sensitivities and related illnesses. A possible reason why the #ingredienthousehold camp is so vocal.
Younger generations “can see trends in what makes people sick, more people are aware of the root causes as they develop sensitivity,” he said.
“It’s really important to understand that we have food in its most complete form at all times. It will always be the better option,” he said.
So, while melting peanut butter on popcorn or slathering a slice of bread with butter and cinnamon may not sound like a healthy option, experts say a homemade snack with natural ingredients is a better option than any prepackaged candy.
No food should be blacklisted or over-criticized – research has shown that limiting access to certain ‘bad’ foods focuses children’s attention and increases their cravings for those foods. While it may seem unhealthy to have a cupboard full of prepackaged processed snacks, some argue that having such foods freely available actually helps people develop a healthy relationship with food and avoid overeating.
Food for Your Health blog’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Adi Benito told The Post that while living in an ingredient household is probably a healthier option, he understands that many kids may want to have a kitchen stocked with Lays chips and fruit. Roll-Ups.
“You really want to make your snacks with real ingredients,” she says, but admits that “if someone wants to eat something like a cookie or something cheesy” — as long as they listen to their bodies and identify with who they are, that’s fine. it is considered as a snack rather than a meal.
“The more you can fill your plate and your day with real food, the healthier you’ll be without overdoing it,” she said. “If you feel like your body can handle a cookie, you can still eat a cookie.”