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The Problem With Flamin' Hot Cheetos

After a few years of allowing this junk food phenomenon to razzle-dazzle my son, I’m putting my foot down once and for all—NO MORE FLAMIN’ HOT CHEETOS! That’s right, it’s time to put an end to my son’s love of snacking on this edible, hot mess.

There is red powder on my computer, red fingerprints on the couch and red smudges on the refrigerator door. But when I saw my son’s flamin’ red-tinged lips leaving his glass of water tinted pink, it just put me over the edge. Get outta' here, you weird, fake Cheetos! You’re gross.

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I frankly can’t believe how much kids, especially middle school age kids, love this peculiar version of an OG snack. Every single one of my son’s friends is crazy about Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. And it seems to be the trend among kids everywhere. I’ve noticed that as much as we all loved Cheetos “back in the day” (still love them), the snack wasn’t seen as an accessory or the “cool” snack to eat as its Flamin’ cousin is today.

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have become a figure in pop culture. In fact, some of you may be familiar with the video that went viral last year titled, “Hot Cheetos and Takis” by Y.N. Rich Kids, in which a group of kids rap about their favorite snacks. The talented little rappers and the fresh beat had me bouncin’ with the hook:

Hot Cheetos and Takis

Hot Cheetos and Takis

My fingers stained red

And I cannot get it off me

What I can’t accept is the ambiguous flavor of “hot” and its accompanying red “hot” color.

The snack has risen to song subject status. There is no denying it. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos has some serious snack cred.

I’ve let my son’s obsession with Hot Cheetos go on for long enough. Just looking at them, you know they are bad. The color alone is frightening. Not that the bright orange regular Cheetos have any nutritional value, it’s just that we’re used to seeing “cheesy” snacks being orange. I can accept the concept of cheese. What I can’t accept is the ambiguous flavor of “hot” and its accompanying red “hot” color. What the hell flavor is the “hot”? Is it chilis? Is it Tabasco? Is it cocktail sauce?

Last fall, Hot Cheetos came under fire, as several schools in Illinois, New Mexico and California banned the snack from being sold on campuses because of its lack of nutritional value and because it was considered extremely addictive. One snack size bag contains 26 grams of fat and 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of sodium per ounce.

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The truth is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos just annoy me. Because let’s be real, it’s not that this type of junk food is any worse for us than any other type of junk food. All junk food lacks nutritional value and is addictive, and my son really shouldn’t be eating it. I do, however, allow my son to indulge in not-so-healthy food from time to time. The problem is that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and its pop icon status have made eating it way too desirable for him. He wants it in lieu of popcorn at the movies, instead of ice cream at the beach. Anytime there is a special snack/junk food opportunity, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is right there, smirking at me. Well, your time is over. Pick up your unidentifiable, hot, weird powder and get outta my face! And our couch, and counters and drawer pulls...

Kiss my ass, you filthy, Cheetos poseur.

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