Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Fruit snacks, a.k.a. gummies, are a favorite among the toddler+ crowd. They're sweet and have a fun texture, most kids want them, including mine. I didn't let Gav try gummies until he turned three (my anxiety about choking again) and, not surprisingly, he liked them.
I know that regardless of which brand, organic or not, gummies are not a nutritional snack. I consider them more of a candy. And although my goal is to opt for real foods and foods with a decent nutritional profile, a candy or another sugary processed treat every once in a while is simply unavoidable. Whether out and about or while at a friend's house, my kids are going to be exposed to and offered all sorts of junk food.
Medium food is about a little compromise. If the boys want gummies, I'll find the best ones and let them have some but it won't be a regular thing. My hope is that the real food and healthy snacks I prepare them 80% of the time is what they'll prefer and the occasional junk food indulgence will be enough not to feel deprived or different than everyone else. Funny how there's an element of peer pressure around food. Remember the kid with the sandwich on brown bread and a piece of fruit in his lunch box? He certainly never had to worry about anyone wanting to move in on his lunch.
In regards to the best gummies to buy, read the label. My finding is (once again), the organic versions are consistently made up of much better ingredients and don't contain things like Yellow #5 or Red #40. The least amount of fake stuff the better. Prices are a little higher for the organic ones but they do go on sale and become comparable. Price range: Organic $3.99 to $4.99; Non Organic $2.79 to $3.79.
Tasty Brand organic fruit snacks ingredients: Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Tapioca Syrup Solids, Organic White Grape Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Color Added (Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Turmeric, Annatto), Natural Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Carnauba Wax.
Kellogg's fruity snacks ingredients: Corn syrup, Sugar, Apple Puree Concentrate, Water, Modified Corn Starch, Gelatin, Contains 2% or less of Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Coconut Oil, Carnauba Wax, Yellow #5, Red #40, Sodium Citrate, Blue #1.