Friday, 25 October 2013

Food Review: Children's Yoghurts

With all the sugars we are exposed to we should really try to find ways to reduce it, especially as it’s not good for our healthy and only adds to our calorie intake. One way to start getting rid of the unnecessary sugars in our diet is by finding any hidden sugars in the food we are having already.




THE STORY
My sister is very good about feeding her daughter the right foods. From when she started weaning my nieces, she has always been cautious about what she feeds her. She made her own weaning foods by processing butternut squash and making fruit purees. Like any mother she just wanted the best for her daughter, this meant doing all she could to ensure she did her part in making sure she ate healthily and had healthy habits from a very young age, so it wouldn’t be so difficult for her later in life, as some us do, because a healthy childhood (most likely) leads to a healthy adulthood.

My niece started school last year and she takes a packed lunch. My sister has always given Petit Filous as it had been promoted as a healthy snack in the post-natal bounty packs she had received. However, recently my sister read that it contains a lot of sugar, so she asked me to look into it. From what I had heard and seen, I always thought Petit Filous was a healthy choice of dairy for young children, but I was slightly startled when I looked at the pot and saw how much sugar was in the little 50g pot.

THE REASONS
Dental caries is still prevalent in children today, and one of the main dietary factors is sugar consumption. Children need to make sure they brush their teeth at least twice a day to keep dental caries at bay. Having foods that are high in sugar tend to be high in calories and therefore if had on a regular basis can lead to overweight.

Sugars naturally found in whole fruits are less likely to cause tooth decay, but once cut up or blended it can have more damage to the teeth than we realise. (NHS: Sugars, 2013). Therefore we should stick to having sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes only, as this will have less damage to our teeth.




 THE RESULTS
So, I started doing some research. I looked at the most popular children’s yoghurts and noted down the nutritional info, which I have organised for you in the table below. I’ve colour coded it for you so you can tell if the amounts are high, average or low/ok, so which ever has the most greens is better than the ones that have the most reds.  I have also added a column at the end to show where sugar comes up on the ingredients list; the highest content of any food product will appear first and so on.


PER 100g

NAME
Per pot
serving
ENERGY
FAT
SUGAR
CALCIUM
VITAMIN D
Sugar on ingredient list
Petit Filous Fromage Frais (Strawberry, Raspberry, Apricot)
50g
96kcals
2.3g
12.3g
150mg
1.25µg
2nd (8.6%)
ASDA Chosen By Kids Fromage Frais Assorted Real Fruits
50g
91kcals
2.3g
11.4g
120mg
1.5µg

3rd
Muller Little Stars Fromage Frais
45g
107kcals
3.9g
11.6g
161mg
-
3rd
ASDA Smartprice Fromage Frais
55g
103kcals
2.9g
9.7g
-
-
2nd
Ella’s Kitchen Fromage Frais
Mango
55g
98kcals
3.0g
7.6g
171mg
-
3rd
Banana
55g
102kcals
3.0g
8.6g
172mg
-
Munch Bunch Fromage Frais Fruit Variety
42g
104kcals
3.0g
12.5g
150mg
-
2nd
Frubes Fromage Frais (Strawberry, Red berries & Peach)
40g
105kcals
2.8g
14.5g
150mg
1.5µg
2nd (13.3%)
*GREEN = GOOD        * BLUE = AVERAGE    * RED = UNHEALTHY

So, which one passed the test? Well, as you can see Muller Little Stars, Munch Bunch and Frubes Fromage Frais has the most sugar and therefore high in calorie, whereas, Ella’s Kitchen shows no reds proving to be the healthiest. This can also be backed up because it uses organic fruits and a natural sweetener called agave nectar. Another, healthy yoghurt you could opt for is the ASDA Chosen by Kids Fromage Frais. This contains real fruit puree and has lower sugar levels than the all famous Petit Filous and slightly more vitamin D. Yes, sometimes own brand foods can be healthier than the famous brands, I have found this to be true with some cereals.



I’m sure there are more brands and choices out there that you can look at, but when you do have a look at the ingredients list, see where sugar comes up. And remember sugar has many other names like, fructose, glucose, sucrose, syrup.

THE CONCLUSION
If you still don’t like the look of these numbers and think it is too much for your child, you could make your own. It’s so simple and you would know exactly what is in there. All it takes is, get some fat-free or low-fat plain or Greek yoghurt and mix with some homemade pureed fruit. To puree fruit, wash, peel and cut any fruit* you like into pieces and simmer in a small pot with some water over the hob until it softens. Then blitz in a food processer to make it smooth. Let it cool before you add it to the yoghurt. You could batch make for the whole week and fill it into small pots. It will stay in the fridge for a week. You can even add some granola for an added crunch.

Although, some of the yoghurts are fine to have or can be used for convenience. I hope you enjoyed this blog, if you would like me to do more of these simply comment below. Thank you!



*Some fruits don’t need to be softened, like banana it can be blitz without being cooked.

DISCLAIMER: A H Nutritionist haven’t been asked to promote or endorse any of the products mentioned in this blog.

                                    By A H Nutritionist
25th October 2013