Do you know what’s really in your ‘healthy’ fruit pouch?
What I’ve discovered may surprise you.
The kids eat them for breakfast, lunch or pudding as well as for snacks, Misery Guts uses them pre and post workout for his ultra-marathon training and I use them because they’re handy when you’re trying to eat and breastfeed at the same time.
When I first became a mum there were just a handful of fruit pouch brands out there, but the market is growing and there are now lots of different products to choose from.
So how do you know which ones are the best?
If you’re a parent going shopping with the kids in tow the chances are your main aim is to get in and out of a shop in the fastest possible time with the least possible drama.
As a result it’s easy to be swayed by claims on packaging because who has the time to actually read labels when you’ve got one child asking for this and that and another one (or two) trying to swipe at shelves from the pushchair (which fellow shoppers assume you’ve parked in the middle of an aisle to be annoying, but in fact is the only place where the kids can’t reach anything)?
But if you do take the time to read the labels what you’ll find is in many cases surprising and in some cases quite frankly shocking.
I’ve undertaken a little experiment and picked fruit based pouches from some of the leading brands to see how healthy they really are, and how much sugar and how many calories they actually contain.
Here’s what I found.
What’s REALLY in your ‘healthy’ fruit pouch?
FruityPot Apple & Blackcurrant Jelly Squeeze
There are four big ticks on the front of this pouch telling me that FruityPot’s apple and blackcurrant Jelly Squeeze contains no artificial colours, no preservatives, no added sugar or artificial sweeteners and that it’s made with real fruit juice, but what it doesn’t tell me on the front of the packaging is that each pouch contains 18.9g of sugar per 100g – that’s 4.5 cubes of sugar, or almost the entire daily recommended amount of sugar for a four to six-year-old. Yikes.
Del Monte Apple, Strawberry & Banana Squeezie
Once again the makers of this fruit pouch – Del Monte – are happy to say what’s not in the product on the front of the packet but they’re not so forthcoming when it comes to what is in it. Namely 61 calories and 14g or 3 cubes of sugar per 100g. Which is a lot of sugar, especially for the kids at whom it is aimed – more than half their recommended daily allowance in fact.
Heinz Peach & Apricot Fruitz
There’s no added sugar in Heinz’s peach and apricot Fruitz and each pouch contains 100% fruit and vitamin C – but there’s still 48 calories and 9.5g of sugar per 100g. While this isn’t the worst offender on the market, it’s by no means the best either.
Fuel 10K Strawberry & Banana Quark with Fruit
Designed for breakfast Fuel 10K’s strawberry and banana quark with fruit contains 71 calories and 7.9g of sugar per 100g, making it one of the lowest sugar fruit based pouches on the market. It’s also high protein and low fat, which is good news if you’re watching what you eat.
The Collective Pro-Yo Berries
With just 7.4g of sugar and 92 calories per 100g The Collective’s Pro-Yo berries yoghurt is also one of the lowest sugar pouches on the market. At the same time it’s got 11.2g of protein per 100g – or 14g per pouch – so one of the highest protein contents on the market. The berries are a mix of boysenberry, blueberry and acai so tick the superfood box too.
Quaker Red Fruits Fruit & Oat Squeeze
A blend of oats, yoghurt, fruit puree and fruit juice Quaker’s Fruit & Oat Squeeze contains 85 calories and 7.3g of sugar per 100g, which is actually a lot less than I expected! The only claim on the front of the packaging is that it has no added sugar – I’m just surprised by how little it actually contains as it’s the sort of product I’d imagine containing a lot more.
Naturelly Summer Fruits Juicy Jelly
Aimed at kids aged two to 8 – and used by vegetarian and vegan grown-ups and as a sports snack – Naturelly jelly juice is the healthiest fruit pouch I came across with just 7.2g of sugar – that’s 1.5 cubes – per 100g and 36 calories. Interestingly, instead of telling shoppers what it doesn’t contain on the front of the packaging like many of its rivals, the only claim on the front of Naturelly’s packaging is that’s it’s ‘sweet by nature with nothing naughty’. Which I have to say is rather refreshing.
So what’s the moral of my little experiment?
Always read the label – even if the kids are asking for this and that and swiping at shelves while you do it!
Do you buy fruit pouches for your family? Do you take the time to read the labels to make sure you know what’s in them, or has the calorie and sugar content of some of these come as a surprise? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
This post was written in collaboration with Healthier Brands Limited.