Sunday, February 14, 2010
Product Review: Fruit Snacks
I am very pleased to have found a wonderful organic fruit snack while traipsing by the diet and nutrition aisle at Sam's Club. Clif, who I always associate with organic energy bars, makes a fruit snack option that meets all my very picky standards and yet still tastes good and has a good price point. May I introduce you to Clif Kid Organic Twisted Fruit.
These resemble a licorice whip made from fruit leather. They come in a wide assortment of flavors and I'm loving this big box that I get at Sam's Club for around $12. Since they're organic, they have no artificial dyes (which is my primary concern), but I was also pleasantly surprised to discover they have no added sugar, corn syrup, and no gelatin. They're made mostly from apple sauce, and use pectin to make them firm (pectin is what makes jams and jellies firm up, and is naturally found in lots of fruit, primarily apples).
Here's the nutrition panel from the box in my pantry. Click to see it bigger, but the short version is the ingredients are apple sauce, apple juice, pectin, and natural color and flavor. They've fortified them so there's some additional nutrition benefits. They are one serving of fruit, and they're absolutely yummy. I can eat several in a sitting myself. Basically you're giving your child an apple, fortified and naturally flavored to taste like a special treat.
Just for comparison I'm going to post the nutrition panels from a couple other national brands of fruit snacks.
Fruit by the Foot, by Betty Crocker. Points for the pear base, but look at that: sugar, corn syrup, a variety of gums, and all the artificial dyes ADHD kids are supposed to avoid.
Then here's Fruit Roll-Ups by General Mills. Again with the pears (used because it's really easy to flavor), then we have corn syrup, dried corn syrup, and oil, with all the yukky colors. Dried corn syrup? Oil? Really?
Anyway, if you'd like to avoid giving your child all this garbage and sugar disguised as nutrition but still give them the fun fruit-leather type treat, look for the Clif Kid Organic Twisted Fruit. You're more likely to find it in the organic, health food, or nutrition section of your store than with the snacks, but they are worth seeking out.