(Springfield) – What could be more fun than eating clean, white, soft snow gathered in our own yard? Not much, unless you still buy into some of the negative information and urban legends about the serious dangers of letting children eat snow.
The fact is, there are plenty of warnings to be found — but very little research to prove — that letting your children eat snow ice cream will stunt their growth. Unless, of course, you are scooping up yellow or dirty snow.
According to snow research done at Brigham Young University, there is no need to tell children not to eat snow as long as it is fresh. The pristine snow that has just fallen through the air and landed on the ground is not going to be dangerous or unhealthy according to the BYU study.
Problems with “bad” snow arise only when it is contaminated by other creatures.
There is little research available on the nutritional safety of eating snow ice cream.
“I’m surprised there isn’t more information,” said Tammy Roberts, a nutrition and health specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “Frankly, a lot of it is conflicting. Basically, I’d say treat it like other desserts – eat it in moderation.”
There are several simple ways to make snow ice cream. Every recipe begins with placing a clean container outside to collect clean, fresh snow as it falls.
Then, in a smaller bowl combine one cup of milk or Half & Half, one-half cup of granulated sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, a dash of salt and then blend it until the sugar is melted and mixture is smooth.
“For anyone counting calories, another recipe calls for stirring in sugar and vanilla to taste, along with just enough milk for the desired consistency,” said Roberts.
Whatever you do, nutrition specialists agree it is best to stay away from some of the old-time snow ice cream recipes that included raw eggs.
“We’ve learned a lot about egg safety, and eating raw eggs is out of style. They are out of style whether in homemade ice cream, cookie dough, Caesar salad or other favorite dishes. The concern is over salmonella from raw eggs,” said Roberts.