Children’s snacks on the test bench

This week we continue the analysis of children’s snacks with other product categories. Only snacks targeting children were analyzed.

Rice Krispies & Cie Cheese Bars

Six chewy bars, sweet squares and Pop-Tarts aimed at children were the subject of this analysis.

In a portion of 22 to 28 g, we find:

  • Between 90 to 110 calories
  • Between 5 to 10 g of sugar
  • Between 2 to 3 g of fat

Deceptions

Kellogg’s Original Flavor Rice Krispies Squares provide 8 g of sugar, 0 g of fiber, 2.5 g of fat and 105 mg of sodium for a 22 g square. This product also contains palm oil, artificial colors and flavors.

Ice Cream Thin Pop-Tarts Kellogg’s Fabulous Strawberry Flavor provides 9g of sugar, 3g of fat and 1g of fiber for two 28g tarts. The product contains palm oil, and sugar is the first ingredient on the list. However, whole wheat flour comes second on the ingredient list.

General Mills Marshmallow Lucky Charms provide 9 g of sugar, 3 g of fat and 0 g of fiber for a 24 g bar. This product contains palm oil and the sugar is second on the ingredient list which is very comprehensive and includes many additives. However, the first ingredient listed is whole oats.

Quaker Chewy Lama-rama smores provide 5 g of sugar and 2 g of fiber for a 26 g bar. Available in three flavors, this bar has the lowest sugar content among the bars analyzed. Whole-grain oatmeal and whole wheat rolls are the first ingredients on the list, ahead of brown sugar. So far, they are ranking very well, but the presence of palm oil makes them lose their place in our recommendations.

Some alternatives

If we like sweet bars, the GO PURE : Leclerc fruit and oat bars with strawberries provides 2 g of fiber and does not contain palm oil, artificial colors or flavors. It still provides 10 g of sugar (including 6 g from fruit). It would be even more interesting if her sugar were reduced by a few grams.

Snacks Fruit

Jujubes and fruit rolls take up a large portion of the kid’s snack aisle. Their bright and eye-catching colors manage to capture attention. Most are described as a “fruit flavored snack,” which can be found on the front of the package.

Five individually packaged fruit snacks were included in this analysis.

In a portion of 14 to 23 g we find:

  • Between 50 to 80 calories
  • Between 7 to 10 g of sugar
  • 0 g of fiber

Deceptions

A 23 g sachet of jujubes Fruitstation – Tropical fruits from MOTT’S offers 9g of sugar and is free from fat and fiber. It says “+ Vegetable” on the packaging, but the product only contains sweet potato juice in sixth position and concentrated vegetable juice as a component of the color, towards the end of the ingredient list. As for corn syrup and sugar, these are the first two ingredients. One serving is a negligible source of vitamin A, but provides 100% of the amount of vitamin C (ascorbic acid is one of the listed ingredients). The product does not contain palm oil.

The Super Safe Fruit Gushers courtesy of Betty Crocker have 10g of sugar and 0g of fiber for a 23g sachet. The product contains palm oil, color, sulphites and sugar is the first ingredient listed. These jujubes provide 0% of vitamin A intake and 15% of vitamin C.

For Betty Crocker’s Fruit-O-Long, a 21 g roll provides 9 g of sugar and 0 g of fiber. Sugar is the first ingredient on the list, and the product also contains palm oil. A wrap represents 0% of vitamin A intake and 20% of vitamin C intake.

The Scooby-Doo fruit flavored snack! by Betty Crocker provides 9 g of sugar and 0 g of fiber for a 23 g sachet. This product is available in several editions for children: Frozen, Paw Patrol and SpongeBob. Again, corn syrup and sugar are the top two ingredients on the list. However, the product does not contain palm oil or sulphites. One sachet provides 0% of vitamin A requirements and 25% of vitamin C.

Betty Crocker’s Jolly Rancher Fruit Wraps offer 7g of sugar and 0g of fiber for a 14g wrap. Corn syrup is the first ingredient on the list, followed closely by sugar. The product contains palm oil, color and sulphites. One serving is a negligible source of vitamin A and provides 15% of vitamin C intake.

The ingredient lists of the fruit snacks analyzed show that sugar or an alternative form of sugar (eg, corn syrup) always comes out on top. Most of these products also contain palm oil, dyes and sulphites. They are therefore choices to be avoided since they mainly provide sugar, without any other nutrients.

Some options

For nutritious fruit snacks, you better turn to fruit compote sachets. Compotes made from real fruit, with no added sugar, artificial colors, and no food additives are better choices than wraps or gummies.

Here are two examples of individual bagged fruit snacks that were the subject of our analysis.

In a portion of 90 g, we find:

  • Between 50 to 60 calories
  • Between 9 to 13 g of sugar
  • Between 0 and 3 g of fiber

90 g sachet of compote Super Squeeze from the Compliments brand contains 9 g of sugar and 0 g of fiber. The sugar contained in the product comes only from the fruits. The ingredient list is clean, but includes natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and beta-carotene, a natural color.

GOGO SqueeZ fruit compotes de Materne offer 13 g of sugar and 3 g of fiber for a 90 g sachet. They are made 100% from fruit, there is no added sugar and only three ingredients are on the list.

For further advice: visit isabellehuot.com

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