It’s getting kids to eat what parents serve that causes so many problems.

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DINA ROSE, PhD is a sociologist, parent educator and feeding expert empowering parents to raise kids who eat right.

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Dinner Together Building Healthy Families One Meal at a Time.

Food Politics Marion Nestle's intelligent take on the politics of food and nutrition.

Fooducate Like Having a Dietician on Speed dial.

Hoboken Family Alliance A terrific resource for people living in the great city of Hoboken, NJ.

The Lunch Tray Everything you need to know about improving school lunches.

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Raise Healthy Eaters One of the best blogs (other than my own) for learning to raise healthy eaters.

Real Mom Nutrition Tales from the Trenches. Advice for the Real World. From a mom-nutritionist who knows!

Stay and Play The best indoor playspace on the East Coast. Oh yeah, and it happens to be owned by my brother.

weelicious Great Recipes for Kids 

« Thank you for another fabulous year. | Main | Crackers & Juice, Chips & Soda »
Wednesday
Dec192012

Buddy Fruits: The Case of the Missing Fruit

From the files of It Is Sold as Fruit, But It Will Teach Your Kids to Crave Candy...

I came across these in the grocery store, and I couldn't stop myself from buying them. They're little soft, fruity chews sold in the babyfood aisle.  

To me, they seem just like...

Buddy Fruits Pure Fruit Bites don't look like fruit. They don't taste like fruit. They don't smell like fruit. They don't feel like fruit. And they certainly don't chew like fruit.

But they do look, taste, smell, feel and chew like candy.

"I'm tasty and healthy" the package says.

Of course, one pouch has as much sugar as 2 Oreo cookies. Bad example, I know: Oreos have nothing else going for them. 

  • One pouch of Orange Buddy Fruits Pure Fruit Bites has about the same amount of sugar as an orange. That makes sense: the package says each pouch is made from 8 orange slices and 7 apple slices.   
  • One orange has about 3 grams of fiber. How many in the Buddy Fruits Pure Fruit Bites? 0.5g.
  • One orange has vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium... The Buddy Fruits? You guessed it: None. (I'm not really sure how this qualifies as one serving of fruit.)

I'm not a sugar freak. I just believe in truth in eating.

Want your kids to eat candy? I'm fine with that. Give them candy.  (Read Candy with Breakfast?)

  • Don't give you kids candy and tell them that it's healthy. Or that it's fruit.
  • Don't give your kids "healthy" candy more often than you would give them, well, candy candy.

These fruit bites are made from fruit concentrate, a euphemism for added sugar.  According to the USDA:

You may also see other names used for added sugars, but these are not recognized by the FDA as an ingredient name. These include cane juice, evaporated corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate...

I also believe in truth in advertising. The pouch says, Only fruit and nothing else*

The asterix is a dead giveaway.  *All our ingredients come from fruits. That includes the coconut oil you weren't expecting and carnauba wax.

Ironically, it's easier to teach your kids to eat right when you let them eat indulgent treats. 

If you want to convince your kids to eat actual fruit, they have to be able to distinguish between the real deal and an impostor. Read Cookies and the Cycle of Guilty Eating to find out why.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~

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Reader Comments (3)

I hate these misleading texts on the packages. These should be regulated in some way.

December 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBest Lasik Surgeon

Dina! This Christmas was so much easier for us as a family. Rather than trying to find a lot of healthy alternatives to candy. We allowed some treats and made sure that the meal plan was packed with attractive, festive foods from the "Always food list."

(It took a little planning to get out of the steamed vegetable rut)

We just didn't let the candy freak us out. Our tradition is to have a candy "pot' for any candy someone doesn't want from their stocking - if you put 2+ in, you can pull out 1 of something you prefer. Then the day after we mapped out a calendar and worked out a 12 day candy plan. Any candy that was "extra" went into the candy pot and quietly faded away later that day. (An extra wrapped present softened the blow)

So much less drama - and we actually had a conversation about what foods to choose and how to plan for treats. Thank you Dina. Much better than fretting over what was being eaten.

Whew! Now I just need to get my snack plan in order, and figure out a way to get my preschooler to each lunch at school...

January 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinn

Linn,

Fabulous. Keep up the good work. And thanks for sharing your inspiring story. Happy New Year.

Dina

January 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterDina Rose

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