Teddy Grahams are a classic. Fortunately, many flavors are considered vegan by most standards. To boot, while they’re certainly no health food, they’re actually not nearly as unhealthy as other snacks.
For example, one 10 oz. bag contains 8 grams of whole grains which renders them not completely empty calories. Maybe that’s a stretch, haha. They also boast being free of high-fructose corn syrup which will be pleasing to folks who like to limit that additive—though, it’s hardly different from plain table sugar, but I digress.
Anyway, we’re not here to talk about health. Teddy Grahams are a satisfying snack that vegans can largely take part in with the exception of a few flavors. Some are vegan, some are not, and some are vegan with caveats depending on one’s personal level of restriction. We’ll cover each category.
To give you extra peace of mind, I’ll list each of the ingredients.
These are the default ingredients used in all flavors. All are considered vegan.
The first ingredient is “graham flour” which is a blend of whole grain flour and enriched unbleached flour. The enriched flour contains the usual micronutrient fortification of reduced iron, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), and folic acid (vitamin B9).
If you’re interested in learning about these nutrients in-depth, you can check out the following articles:
Teddy Grahams also seem to use a lot of calcium carbonate. This is just used to provide the consumer with added calcium in the diet—i.e. so they can claim calcium content on the food label.
- Sugar. Of course, they contain their fair share of sugar.
- Oils. Then there’s plant oil like soybean and canola. Fats like oil are important in the diet because they improve flavor, texture, mouthfeel, and color.1 Soybean oil is also used because it contains lecithin which is an emulsifier—these compounds help the dough maintain a homogenous mixture.2 Regular old soy lecithin can be used for this purpose. Note that palm oil can also be used, which is problematic for some vegans. But not all vegans restrict palm oil consumption, nor do all flavors contain palm oil.
- Dextrose. Then, there’s glucose aka dextrose (basically, another name for glucose). In foods, dextrose is used as a sweetener and as a “humectant” (helps maintain moisture). It’s also used to create a soft mouthfeel and to increase volume.3
- Maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is also used. It’s just a glucose polymer that’s commonly used as a food additive.4
- Baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate is used as a leavener because it produces CO2 when combined with an acid.
- Natural flavoring. God knows what all are in used here. But, they tend to be vegan when used in products like cookies, crackers, etc. Barley, for example, is very common.
Vegan-Friendly Teddy Bear Flavors
Teddy Chocolate Grahams Snacks
These are my all-time favorite, so I was most pleased to see that they are indeed vegan.
They use the above ingredients plus chocolate—both cocoa and artificial chocolate flavoring. Dutch chocolate is also used—that’s just cocoa processed with alkali. It’s less nutritious (has less of the polyphenols found in cocoa), but perfectly vegan-friendly.
Honey Maid Chocolate Chip Teddy Graham Snacks
These are in the “Honey Maid” line but don’t seem to contain honey in the ingredients.5
I’m not sure that Honey Maid is a line so much—it’s a common brand of graham crackers, owned by Nabisco. But not all flavors have that label, and apparently, the label doesn’t necessarily imply honey was used as an ingredient.
However, they do contain palm oil. As discussed in the article on hummus, palm oil is a fairly controversial topic in the vegan community due to the environmental impacts of its cultivation.6,7
The cultivation of palm oil is associated with greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation which threatens many endangered species.8-12
Again, not all vegans avoid the food product. But, palm oil production has long been criticized for environmental impacts.
Teddy Grahams Cinnamon Graham Snacks
These are also suitable for most vegans, but do contain palm oil.13
Non-Vegan Teddy Graham Flavors
Honey Maid Honey Teddy Graham Snacks
These are in the Honey Maid line and actually do honey, so they are not considered vegan.14
Teddy Soft Bakes Chocolate Filling Baked Snack
These come with a chocolate filling, which is a huge red flag for future reference. They actually contain milk products—skim milk, specifically. They also contain egg.15
This variety is probably the furthest from being vegan.
Anyway, that pretty much sums it up. When you’re dealing with foods like these, you often have to keep in mind that ingredients will change from time to time. However, with Teddy Grahams, these tasty treats have been around for quite a long time and wouldn’t be expected to change very often if at all.
Most snacks come out with more flavors than you can shake a stick at. For example, Oreo’s (another vegan classic), seem to have seasonal flavors from pumpkin spice to birthday cake. And the ingredients seem to shift around quite a bit for the existing flavors.
But with Teddy Grahams, they’ve pretty much had the same flavors since the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve had a few variations (apple, strawberry and even birthday cake), but these are few and far between. last I checked they weren’t even available anymore.
But, the above have been available for some time and have changed very little compared to other snacks. This is nice because you can count on being able to consume them in the long term.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed. Till next time.
- Lui X, et al. High hydrostatic pressure affects flavor-binding properties of whey protein concentrate. Journal of Food Science 70(9):C581–C585, 2005.
- “Soy Lecithin”. Food Allergy Research and Resource Program. University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
- P. J. Fellows: Food Processing Technology. Woodhead Publishing, 2016, ISBN 978-0-081-00523-1, p. 197.
- Denise L. Hofman, Vincent J. van Buul, Fred J. P. H. Brouns (2016). “Nutrition, Health, and Regulatory Aspects of Digestible Maltodextrins”. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 56 (12): 2091–2100.
- Nabisco Honey Maid Chocolate Chip Teddy Graham Snacks. https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&query=teddy+grahams
- Clay, Jason (2004). World Agriculture and the Environment. p. 219. ISBN 978-1-55963-370-3.
- “Palm oil: Cooking the Climate”. Greenpeace. 8 November 2007. Archived from the original on 10 April 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- “The bird communities of oil palm and rubber plantations in Thailand” (PDF). The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- “Camera catches bulldozer destroying Sumatra tiger forest”. World Wildlife Fund. 12 October 2010. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Foster, Joanna M. (1 May 2012). “A Grim Portrait of Palm Oil Emissions”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Yui, Sahoko; Yeh, Sonia (1 December 2013). “Land use change emissions from oil palm expansion in Pará, Brazil depend on proper policy enforcement on deforested lands”. Environmental Research Letters. 8 (4): 044031. ISSN 1748-9326.
- “Researchers warn against high emissions from oil palm expansion in Brazil”. phys.org. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
- Teddy Grahams- 0.5 Oz-cinnamon Cubs https://www.foodservice-snacks-desserts.com/productsandbrands/cookiesandbiscuits/productpage?p=6019&brand=TeddyGrahams
- Nabisco Honey Maid Honey Teddy Graham Snacks. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Nabisco-Honey-Maid-Honey-Teddy-Graham-Snacks-1-Oz-12-Count/43200061
- Teddy Soft Bakes Chocolate Filling Baked Snack. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Teddy-Soft-Bakes-Chocolate-Filling-Baked-Snack-1-1-oz/124282674