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low sugar yogurt for kids homemade strawberry

Sugar Levels in Kids Strawberry Yogurt and Homemade Yogurt Recipe

We like a good rant, and after a chat in the office about what food products annoy us the most, we decided that fruity yogurt in plastic pots and pouches marketed to kids deserved a Country Trading Co. look.

We bought 'everyday' yogurts sold in 6-pk plastic pottles or individual pouches. We chose strawberry flavour because it is popular and all the main brands make a version of it. For comparison, we whipped up a batch of our probiotic yogurt from Meadowfresh Farmhouse milk and whizzed in a couple of fresh strawberries. 

We took a look at a few different angles, sugar content, marketing angles and plastic packaging. We also give you some quick and easy ideas of what you can do to provide a healthier daily yogurt for your kids. 

Sugar:

We all know that too much sugar is a bad thing. That's why we have recommended daily intake guidelines (RDI). The products we bought show sugar as a % of adult RDI's. We haven't seen many 30 year olds eating strawberry suckies for lunch.

This image and the table below shows the true RDI percentages of these products if you're feeding them to kids.

 

Yogurt type

Sugar per container (teaspoons)

% RDI 7-10 year olds

% RDI 4-6 year olds

Homemade Country Trading Co. Strawberry (150g)

1.65

31.3%

39.6%

Anchor Protein+ Layered Strawberry (180g)

3.5

61.3%

77.4%

Meadowfresh Goodies Smooth Yogurt Super Strawberry (125g)

2.65

46.4%

58.6%

Fresh n Fruity Strawberry (150g)

2.95

51.2%

65.3%

Yoplait Strawberry (125g)

3.25

57.0%

71.9%

Anchor Symbio Mixed Berry (150g)

3.3

57.8%

73.0%

  • RDI Children 7-10 years is 24g (5.71 teaspoons)
  • RDI Children 4-6 years is 19g (4.52 teaspoons)

That is a pretty worrying thing! If you include a pottle of Yoplait Strawberry into your preschooler's lunch box, they are consuming almost 72% of their daily sugar. 

We took a look at Suckies/Pouches too as these are marketed at our preschoolers. Some suckies are advertised as having no added cane sugar and instead contain pineapple juice concentrate and honey. Suckies are less than ideal as kids sip and suck on them for longer periods of time which is bad for their teeth. 

high sugar plastic suckie pouch yogurts

Yogurt type

Sugar per serving (teaspoons)

RDI Children

7-10 years

RDI Children

4-6 years

Homemade Country Trading Strawberry (100g)

1.06

         18.6%

         23.5%

Anchor Uno Mixed Berry Squeezie (100g)

1.75

30.6%

38.7%

The Collective Strawberry Suckie (100g)

2.68

46.9%

59.3%

Moogurt Suckies Strawberry (70g)

1.85

32.4%

40.9% 

  • RDI Children 7-10 years is 24g (5.71 teaspoons)
  • RDI Children 4-6 years is 19g (4.52 teaspoons)

Marketing claims:

Many people feel good about adding a fruity yogurt to their kids lunches as the yogurt contains live cultures. Don't forget to take a look at the other ingredients listed on the label. Gums, colours, flavours, stabilisers and of course sugar. 

Look out for the claim 'no added cane sugar'. This means they have added some other type of sweetener, often juice concentrates, which are also sugar!

Anchor Protein+ contains extra protein....but it also contains a high level of sugar. Don't be swayed by the bigger, bolder words on the label. Always read the back!

Fresh n Fruity claim their yogurt contains 40% less added sugar.  The old you would read 'less sugar' and assume you are getting a low sugar yogurt. The new you is going to ask 'less than what?'.  Take a look at Fresh n Fruity's website and this is what they say: *on average across the Fresh'n FruityTM range when compared with the average added sugar content in g per 100 g for the previous Fresh'n FruityTM fruited yoghurt formulation. It still contains almost 3 teaspoons of sugar per pot.

Plastic Waste

Not only are these yogurts bad for our children's teeth, and their overall health and well-being, they also generate a ton of plastic packaging. Some regions do recycle pottles, but not all. The Collective pouch can be sent back via Terracycle raising money for Forest and Bird. Make your own and you can reuse the containers all year. 

zero free life plastic waste

 

It can be very hard, as a parent, to know what is best for your family, but try to look at the bigger picture. We are not suggesting you immediately ditch all sweet and fruity yogurts, rather that you are making an informed choice.

Some quick and easy ideas:

1. Make a litre (or buy it) of unsweetened yogurt and try blending in fresh or frozen fruit at the beginning of the week. Add a dash of sweetener if necessary, but keep this at a minimum if you are reducing sugar. Portion it out into reusable containers. 

2. Keep sweet and fruity yogurts as treat food. And if they do have it, remember that the biscuit you packed and the juice they drank have sugar that counts towards their RDI too.

3. If you want to 'wean' your kid off the sweetness of these yogurts, try blending them with plain unsweetened yogurt over a couple of weeks. Get them involved with choosing flavours, try plain Greek yogurt for extra creaminess. Kids need fat, they don't need sugar.

4. If its the suckie pouch your kid is after, there are reusable ones available. Kai carriers is a brand which comes to mind.

homemade low sugar fruit strawberry yoghurt recipe

 

 

 

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2 comments

  • I just ran into your website…VERY informative! Thank you.
    I am in the USA in Warner Robins, Georgia and I am looking forward to purchasing the yogurt starters from you. I recently purchased from someone else, so as soon as those packs are used, I will be reaching out with my order.
    How long will shipping take from New Zealand to Warner Robins, Georgia USA?

    Melanie Moultrie
  • I just ran into your website…VERY informative! Thank you.
    I am in the USA in Warner Robins, Georgia and I am looking forward to purchasing the yogurt starters from you. I recently purchased from someone else, so as soon as those packs are used, I will be reaching out with my order.
    How long will shipping take from New Zealand to Warner Robins, Georgia USA?
    ———
    Country Trading Co. replied:
    Thanks so much for your lovely feedback Melanie. At the moment we are working on a project to make our cultures available on our US website. I will let you know as soon as they are there. It will be much cheaper and faster for you to order them locally. :) – Heather

    Melanie Moultrie

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