Guacamole with only a smidgen of avocado, seasoned beef allegedly light on the meat — these are the strange, food-related lawsuits that have become all too common of late. And this month, a similar complaint has been filed over Nutella. A California mom is suing Nutella, a product she fed her child after seeing the hazelnut spread advertised as nutritious and healthy.

Whether or not you believe such lawsuits have merit, I think most people would agree that Nutella’s advertising does seem to overreach. The website for the spread has a whole page titled “Nutella Tips for Moms,” featuring a Q&A with Connie Evers, a registered dietitian who claims over and over that Nutella can help your child get a “balanced and nutritious breakfast.” Here’s a sample of the dietician’s advice:

What is the best breakfast to serve my child in the morning?

Connie: The “best” breakfast is the one that will be eaten! With the unique taste of Nutella, kids may think they are eating a treat for breakfast, while moms are helping nourish their children with whole grains. A slice of whole wheat toast spread with Nutella, a serving of fresh fruit and a cup of yogurt or 1 percent milk provides perfect balanced nutrition to start the day.

To be fair, Connie does point out that Nutella should be enjoyed in moderation: “just 1 tablespoon is a good amount for moms to serve to their children on a slice of whole grain toast.” A single tablespoon of Nutella, however, still means 100 calories and 5.5 grams of fat, a lot of it from controversial palm oil — as well as 10.5 grams of sugar.

Love the hazelnut spread — but want a more organic breakfast option? Try making your own version of Nutella by blending together real organic hazelnuts and fair trade cocoa — plus powdered sugar and oil to taste. Suite 101 provides a simple recipe, and Renee Ross at Blogher has step-by-step photos showing the process. You’ll still want to eat this cleaner, healthier homemade Nutella-like spread in moderation — but you can opt for organic, fair trade ingredients and cut back on the sugar and oil for a healthier but still-sweet treat.

Nutella maker sued by Calif. mom
Palm oil and sugar are the first two items on Nutella's ingredient list, yet the hazelnut spread is marketed as part of a healthy breakfast for kids.