I turn down 99% of offers to write sponsored posts (translation: someone paying me to write a post pretending to like something I've never actually experienced), because it seems awfully silly for me to, well, write a post pretending to like something I've never actually experienced. Did you realize that for most sponsored blog posts, they don't actually send you the thing you're supposed to be reviewing? Kind of weakens my trust in bloggers who claim to love certain products that they've probably never actually tried.
Anywho. I got an offer to write about Quaker Soft Baked Bars and almost turned it down, until I realized they were offering to actually send me samples before writing the post. Okey dokey! A few days ago, my sample boxes arrived in the mail--I was sent Cinnamon Pecan Bread and Banana Nut Bread bars to try out.
I decided the ultimate taste test judge would be my little sous chef, the increasingly picky and rarely-to-never satisfied Forrest. If he liked them--he, who is so deeply spoiled to the core by homemade bread, far too frequent homemade desserts, and only the rarest of storebought snacks (not because I'm healthy and a homemaking goddess, but because I'm cheap and poor and DANG that snack aisle is pricey)--then I figured we could all trust that they were actually pretty darn good. So I got out the camera and plopped a Banana Nut Bread bar on his tray for a snack.
(Couldn't decide whether to caption this with, "Don't tell me you cheapskates finally bought me storebought treats?!" or "Am I really getting to paid to sample granola bars?!" Please select your favorite caption and pretend that was the only option.)
Forrest started off bold and brave by sampling the teensiest of corner microcrumbs . . . can't be too careful. You just never know if one of these days, Mommy's going to get fed up with his antics and poison his snack.
At this point, I expected the little foodie to rebel and demand a homemade brownie instead, but lo and behold, he approved! And my dainty eater didn't waste any time getting that banana nut goodness in him.
That's half a bar in his mouth, all at once. I really don't know how he hasn't choked to death yet, because every meal and snack involves all the food on his plate going into his mouth all at the same time. There's often a lot of gagging involved, but didn't you know that little bites are for squares? (Also for squares: utensils and chewing and asking for more food with words or sign language instead of angry fist-pounding on the table.)
He was definitely very pleased, not only with his tasty treat, but also with his absurd ability to swallow abnormally large amounts of food whole and somehow live to see another snack.
Claps for Quaker Soft Baked Bars!
And a refreshing sip of milk to wash it all down.
(His car was generously offered bites of his bar, too, but turned it down in favor of a liquid diet.)
All right. Now that the excessive photos are out of the way, here's what I thought:
I liked them. I really liked them, actually, quite a bit. I wouldn't go so far as to say they tasted homemade, which I think is the idea behind the bars, but they were definitely good enough that I'd buy them myself, which is saying something, considering my excessively frugal tendencies and puritanical avoidance of the snack aisle, combined with my twitchy panic when the grocery bill climbs above $60 per week. The Cinnamon Pecan Bread was my favorite by far--it was soft and fragrant and tasty, and was even better heated up in the microwave--and Forrest seemed partial to the Banana Nut, possibly because his generous and selfless mother hoarded the Cinnamon Pecan bars for herself and only offered him the inferior Banana Nut bars. Either way, I think they would make a great breakfast snack on the go, and Forrest loved eating them for an afternoon snack. And although I'm certainly no nutrition guru and don't really give much thought or concern to the health of the food in my house, they seemed wholesome foodish (good gracious, they are MAKING me include the words 'wholesome food,' but I would like it to be known that I tried to say 'healthy enough' back there, thank you very much).
In conclusion: we approve, and would recommend them.
(One last thing. When the box containing my samples arrived, Jeff was practically giddy that we had gotten free food in the mail--he was seriously more awed by the fact that we were given free granola bars than the fact that I was getting paid to write about them. It went something like this:
Jeff: Where did these granola bars come from?
Me: I'm getting paid to write a blog post about them--they came in the mail.
Jeff: WHAT?! They sent us free bars?
Me: Well, yes, but wait until you hear what I'm getting paid to write about them . . .
Jeff: You mean they sent you FREE FOOD? Can you get more?
Me: I could just buy more with the money they're paying me to writ--
Jeff: PEOPLE WILL SEND YOU FREE FOOD?! GET US MORE FREE FOOD!!!
It was quite the conversation.)