DEAR EVERYONE: STOP GIVING KIDS FRUIT SNACKS AS IF THEY AREN’T GLORIFIED CANDY. The ingredients are so similar, the cost so much more, and these gummy globs of sugar are keeping kids from eating actual fruits. Think I’m overreacting? Read on.
The packaging of fruit snacks gives us with the impression that they are in some way healthy. It’s not true. Sure, some fruit snacks have fruit juice, some don’t but the amount of fruit juice isn’t enough to add justifiable nutritional value. Sure, some fruit snacks are fortified with vitamin C or calcium, some aren’t but eating fortified gelatinous sugar globs shouldn’t be the way our kids get vitamins or minerals.
In case you are thinking “My kids don’t eat a lot of fruit, so this is a way to get vitamin C into their diets”, take a step back and think about this: How will you ever get your kids to eat more fruit if you give them super-sweet, chewy, no-texture fruit snacks instead?
EATING FRUIT SNACKS BLURS THE LINE BETWEEN FRUIT AND CANDY FOR KIDS – something we definitely don’t want to do. Treat is treat, fruit is fruit. Just because something has fruit juice or fruit on the package doesn’t make it a substitute for fruit or a good snack option. And we need to pass that knowledge on to our kids.
Plus, those gummy things stick to kids teeth. Can you say cavities?
Check out this comparison between popular fruit snacks and similar candy:
|Haribo Gummi Candy
Corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, dextrose, citric acid, starch, artificial and natural flavors, fractionated coconut oil, carnuba wax, beeswax coating,, artificial colors: FD & C yellow no. 5, red no. 40,blue no.1
All three contain artificial colors, and all three have corn syrup and sugar in the top three ingredients. If you think by going organic your doing better, think again:
|YummyEarth Organic Gummy Bears
Organic Rice syrup, organic cane sugar, gelatin, organic carrot juice, organic aronia juice, organic black currant, organic curcuma, natural flavor, citric acid, ascorbic acid, organic sunflower oil.
Again, the ingredients are very similar. The candy costs quite a bit less, too — about $.40 less an ounce in the in the Annie’s vs. YummyEarth gummy bears case. Wow.
The bottom line:
No matter what the package says, let’s not be fooled. Fruit snacks are a treat food. They aren’t healthy, they aren’t fruit, and they won’t make our kids clever (ahem Kellogg’s) If you want to give your kids fruit snacks, go for it, but as candy, not as a between meal snack. Or, hey, save yourself some money and just buy some gummy bears.