What yogurts to buy for my five year-old daughter?

Paleo 2.0I have been thinking quite a lot about how to make my daughter eat healthy – or rather, reasonably healthy. She attends probably 2-3 birthday parties per month, where there is invariably loads of cake and ice-cream, and of course there is the school lunch. Anyway, I was going through the dairy aisle at the local supermarket, and I looked at the various desserts on offer.

Now clearly neither of those desserts would qualify for Paleo, Primal, or even Paleo 2.0.  Having said this – I do believe that active children are different in the respect that they are able to tolerate more sugar than adults are, especially if the fructose content is kept in check. Also, it must be kept in mind that an apple for example also contains 20g of sugar, about 75% of which is fructose. Yes, it also contains other important stuff, but so does yogurt. So, interpreting Paleo 2.0 as “reasonable eating” I would say some of the below desserts do indeed qualify.

Before I go into my favorites a brief intro to my criteria:

  • The lower the sugar the better – under the constraint that (a) no artificial sweeteners are used, and (b) there is no fructose added to allow for reducing the overall amount of sugar (fructose is sweeter, but IMO also much unhealthier than glucose; see here, here, and here)
  • No artificial anything really
  • The higher the protein the better (within the natural limits of this class of products of course)
  • Rather more fat than less, but of lesser importance. Dont like no-fat though

In the following a review of the one’s I have been looking at so far (because they looked good in the shop – not all turned out so well after all), in no particular order.

Nestle “Munch Bunch Squashums” (Yogurt)

  • Nutritional facts
  • + good sugars (10.2g)
  • + reasonable proteins (4.1g)
  • + reasonable fat (2.1g)
  • – added fructose; also a few other things

SO/SO – generally pretty good values – sugars are low, proteins are OK, and fat is almost high enough. I do not like the added fructose though. Of course, this allows to reduce overall sugar content at the same level of sweetness. I am also in two minds about the format – I generally dont like food to be drunk – even though when being out this actually sometimes makes sense

Yoplait “Thomas & Friends” (Fromage Frais)

>

  • Nutritional facts
  • + reasonable sugars (12.2g)
  • + high proteins (6.8g)
  • – low fat (1.4g)

GOOD – I like the sugars (and the fact that no fructose has been added) and in particular the proteins. Fats could be a bit higher though.

Nestle “Munch Bunch” (Fromage Frais)

  • Nutritional facts
  • + moderate sugars (12.7g)
  • + high proteins (6.0g)
  • + reasonable fats (3.1g)

GOOD – Pretty good values all around – and I like the fact that there is no added fructose (there is added sugar though…)

Yoplait “Petits Filous” (Fromage Frais)

  • Nutritional facts
  • + moderate sugars (12.4g)
  • + high proteins (6.7g)
  • + reasonable fat (2.9g)
  • – added fructose

SO/SO – generally pretty good values – sugars are low, proteins are high, and fat is high enough. I do not like the added fructose though. Of course, this allows to reduce overall sugar content at the same level of sweetness

Rachel Organic Low-Fat Yogurt (Yogurt)

  • Nutritional facts
  • + moderate sugars (13.1g)
  • + reasonable proteins (4.7g)
  • – low fat content (1.7g)
  • + all ingredients natural / organic; no added fructose

GOOD – I like this one. Sugar content is OK, no fructose added, and all ingredients organic or at least natural. Dont like the low fat content, but it is a low-fat yogurt after all (did not find the normal fat version at my supermarket unfortunately…)

Danone Shape Zero (Yogurt)

  • Nutritional facts
  • + low sugars (7.8g)
  • + good protein (6.0g)
  • – zero fat (0.1g)
  • – contains sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame K, phenylanaline)

OUT – This is a no-go because of the sweeteners, and also the  low fat content – looks a bit like a highly engineered fad-product (well, no surprise given the name and the design)

Danone “Activia Fruit Layer” (Yogurt)

  • Nutritional facts
  • + low sugars (11.8g)
  • + reasonable proteins (3.5g)
  • + reasonable fat (2.8g)
  • – sweetened with glucose-fructose sirup with undisclosed proportions

REASONABLE – If it wasn’t for the sirup this would be a great product. I am not really one for giving the big FMCG’s the benefit of the doubt – the low sugars suggest that there is a bit more fructose…

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