Children's snacks on the test

Children's snacks on the test bench

This week we are continuing 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 intended for 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 8g of sugar, 0g of fiber, 2.5g of fat and 105mg of sodium per 22g square. This product also contains palm oil, artificial colors and flavors.

Kellogg's Fabulous Strawberry Flavored Thin Pop-Tarts provide 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 Lucky Charms Marshmallow Delights provide 9g of sugar, 3g of fat and 0g of fiber for a 24g bar. This product contains palm oil and 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 s'mores provide 5g of sugar and 2g of fiber for a 26g 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 rank very well, but the presence of palm oil makes them lose their place in our recommendations.

Some alternatives

If you like sweet bars, the GO PURE : fruit and oat bars with strawberries from Leclerc provides 2 g of fiber and does not contain palm oil, coloring or artificial 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.

Fruit snacks

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,” a label found on the front of the package.

Five fruit snacks in individual pouches were the subject of 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

One 23g packet of MOTT’S Fruitstation – Tropical Fruit Jujubes offers 9g of sugar and is free from fat and fiber. We find the wording “+ Vegetable” on the packaging, but the product contains only sweet potato juice in sixth position and concentrated vegetable juice as a component of the coloring, towards the end of the list of ingredients. 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 vitamin C intake (ascorbic acid is among the listed ingredients). The product does not contain palm oil.

Super Safe Fruit Gushers from Betty Crocker have 10g of sugar and 0g of fiber for a 23g packet. 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 21g roll provides 9g of sugar and 0g 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 sulfites. 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 roll. Corn syrup is the first ingredient on the list, followed closely by sugar. The product contains palm oil, color and sulfites. 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. These are therefore choices to be avoided since they mainly provide sugar, without any other nutrients.

Some options

For nutritious fruit snacks, you are better off turning 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

A 90 g sachet of Compliments brand Super Squeeze compote 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.

Materne GOGO SqueeZ fruit compotes 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 more tips: visit isabellehuot.com

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