Sugar Free Yogurt: The Children’s Yogurt Challenge
Who really makes sugar free yogurts for kids?
I get a lot of newsletters into my inbox everyday; research, recipes, all sorts. Anyway this came in this morning; Yogurt - from Harvard School of Public Health. So I thought I’d have a read and it opened my eyes to lots of things I didn’t know such as:
Some calcium is removed from Greek yogurt during the straining process. Commercial Greek yogurts may add back calcium in, but some do not. If you are including Greek yogurt in your diet as a calcium source, be sure to check the Nutrition Facts label.
Some yogurts can contain up to 20-25 grams of sugar per 5 oz. container. This may come from naturally occurring lactose, but most will be from added sweeteners. If you see sugar or other forms of sugar among the top four ingredients in the Ingredients list, consider choosing a low sugar yogurt or use plain yogurt with your own addition of fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey.
1 teaspoon of sugar is 4g, but remember there will be a bit of sugar from the fruit, how much we don’t know!
This got me wondering about sugar in children's yogurt. I’ve been babysitting this weekend and feeding my young nieces Peppa Pig yogurts. I decided to compare 7 random yogurts to see which came out best.
Here's a quick reminder of the recommended daily amount of sugar:
5.4g per 45g pot, Wow over a teaspoon!
So to be fair I checked out some more yogurts
Ingredients: Fromage Frais (Skimmed Milk, Cream, Lactic Cultures),Sugar 5.7%, Water, Strawberry Puree from Concentrate 5%, Carrot Juice, Fructose 1.5%, Corn Flour, Juice, Natural Flavouring, Milk Mineral Concentrate, Vitamin D
4.65g per 47g pot. So it came out a bit better, but still has sugar as the second ingredient. Hardly a low sugar yogurt!
What’s quite sneaky, is that they both say no Artificial Sweeteners, leading you to think it's healthy!
Ingredients: Skimmed Milk, Sugar 7.8%, Cream, Skimmed Milk Powder, Modified Manioc and Maize Starch, Calcium Citrate, Stabiliser: Guar Gum, Natural Flavourings, Acid: Citric Acid, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate, Lactic Cultures (Milk), Vitamin D
That’s 4.35g per 40g tube
Next I tried:
Ingredients: Organic Fromage Frais (MILK), Organic Concentrated Grape Juice, MILK Protein, Organic Strawberry Purée (2.7%), Organic Maize Starch, Natural Flavourings, Organic Concentrated Lemon Juice,
Contains the following live cultures: Streptococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus
4.2g per 45g pot, but NO 'added sugars'. Finally a true sugar free yogurt! The sugar comes from the Organic Strawberry Purée.
Ingredients: Fromage Frais (from Milk), Sugar, Cream (from Milk), Fruit Purees and Concentrated Purees 2.7% Strawberry, Rice Starch, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Milk Mineral Concentrate, Concentrated Beetroot Red Juice, Natural Flavourings
5.3g sugar per 42g pot - This is second only to the Peppa Pig yogurts in the amount of 'added sugar'.
Ingredients: Skimmed Milk, Water, Sugar 7%, Cream, Skimmed Milk Powder, Fructose 2.8%, Modified Manioc and Maize Starch, Calcium Phosphate, Acid: Citric Acid, Stabiliser: Guar Gum, Natural Flavourings, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate, Lactic Cultures, Acidity Regulator: Sodium Citrates, Vitamin D
5.12g per 40g pot
Ingredients: Live Yoghurt* (Milk) (77%), Strawberry Puree (11.5%), Concentrated Apple Juice, Concentrated Grape Juice, Cornflour, Natural Flavourings, Gelling Agent (Fruit Pectin), *Contains Cultures: L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus
8.6g sugars per 100g but No 'added sugar'!
So, what’s the best yogurt for kids? We have two winners: Little Yeos organic yogurts and The Collective sassy strawberry suckies.
What’s different about these two? Well if you look at the ingredients they both have concentrated grape juice. So, they‘re getting natural fructose from the grape juice, NOT 'added sugars'. That's what you need to check for when choosing a yogurt.
I don’t want to feed my nieces 'added sugar' in something like yogurt. There’s enough temptation to eat sweets as it is without the need for it in yogurt.
While the FDA classes things like honey and fruit juices as added sugar we think that natural is better!
So, as they said at Harvard: “If you see sugar or other forms of sugar among the top four ingredients in the Ingredients list, consider choosing a lower sugar yogurt or use plain yogurt with your own addition of fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey.”
If I'm out and need a quick snack for the girls I'll grab some Little Yeos. At home I’ll be sticking to plain yogurt and adding my own fruit in the future!
How about you? Tell us in the comments if you find another sugar free yogurt for kids.
Sept 2018 - The latest science on sugar in yogurt: Evaluation of the nutrient content of yogurts: a comprehensive survey of yogurt products in the major UK supermarkets
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