Not having kids myself, I’ve somehow managed to remain blissfully unaware of the proliferation of horrendous packaged foods available in the baby food section. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as it provided me with blogspiration) the other day I took a closer look at some of the items being sold to parents for their young children. There were the usual jars of visually unappealing pureed foods. Alongside those, there were also a number of snack items and microwavable meals for toddlers. One snack in particular caught my eye: Graduates for Toddlers Juice Treats.
These Juice Treats are being marketed as “real fruit” snacks for toddlers. Call me crazy, but real fruit does not generally come in a box in the form of gummy candy. Why do we need to teach children that treats are candy? Why can’t we teach them that fresh apples, for example, are treats? And don’t for one second think that these gummies have anything in common with actual fruit. Nope, one 28 gram packet has 100 calories, 25 mg of sodium, no fibre, 17 g sugar, 0.1 g protein, and 4% DV of vitamin C. “But they have vitamin C” you might argue. Yep, that’s not from fruit, it’s from the added ascorbic acid. It’s also not very much vitamin C. A small orange has 85% DV of vitamin C. It, as well as other fruits, also contains other vitamins and minerals, Juice Treats do not. The first ingredient in these snacks is corn syrup. The second is sugar. The “fruit” is a bit of pureed fruit and a bit of fruit juice (read: more sugar). Let’s also not forget the oral health nightmare that feeding your toddler gummy treats can create.
What more is there to say? These Juice Treats are no substitute for actual fruit.