The best yoghurt for kids? Chewsday reviews from Dr Kyla

Due to popular demand, I've reviewed kiddie specific yoghurts. See how they stack up against each other, especially the calcium and saturated fat contents!

 

 

So without further ado, I present Calciyum yoghurt

 

🔶Ingredients: milk, concentrated skim milk, cream, strawberry, and then sugar. 

🔹Great to see that sugar contributes less than 4% of the total product. 

🔹This is one of the only yoghurts that doesn't have sugar listed second or third on the ingredients list (which would mean it's the ingredient in the second or third highest concentration!)

🔹Contains live cultures, in the form of B. Lactic (common probiotic used in yoghurt)

 

🔶 The positives:

🔹25% less sugar than other kiddie yoghurts (other than Tamar Valley kids yoghurt)

🔹high calcium content (1 tub provides 40% of a toddlers calcium requirements)

🔹comes in a tub to be eaten with a spoon, which promotes good biting and chewing skills (which squeezie packs do not!) It does also come in a squeezie pack for times when mess is not an option, however, the squeezies have 25% more sugar...

🔹Much cheaper than other kiddie yoghurt (41c per tub)

🔹It's a smooth yoghurt, for all those texture-sensitive kiddies

 

🔶 The negatives:

🔹Slightly more saturated fat than some other yoghurts (0.4-0.9g more per serve)

🔹Only comes in a 12 pack, so if your child doesn't like a particular flavour, then you end up with 4 of those. 

 

🔶 The marketing:

🔹All the yoghurts advertise that they contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and this yoghurt is no exception

🔹The packaging refers to providing calcium and vitamin D for strong bones. Realistically, we get very little vitamin D from our diet, but it certainly doesn't hurt!

 

🔶 The alternatives:

🔹I think this is a pretty good option overall!

🔹Other yoghurts with less than 12g of sugar per 100g, and calcium content of more than 200mg per 100g. 

 

Rafferty's Garden yoghurt, pear, sweet potato + nothing else

I'm back on the yoghurts in this review, after a few requests about the new fruit and veg range from Rafferty's Garden. This product is Yoghurt- pear, sweet potato & carrot + nothing else. So, what does Dr Kyla think? Here are the facts for our Chewsday Review...

 

🔶Ingredients: yoghurt (83%) made up of milk, sugar, cream, milk solids and live cultures (probiotics). Then 8.5% pear, 5.1% sweet potato and 3.4% carrot. 

🔹This works out to be 7g of pear, 5g of sweet potato and 3g of carrot. To put this into perspective, an individual M&M weighs about 1g and one thin/medium circle of carrot weighs 3g. My point is it might be something, but it's not a lot. This amount of veg provides (at best) about 5% of a child's recommended daily intake. 

🔹Sugar is the ingredient in second highest concentration. 

 

🔶 The positives:

🔹One of the kiddie yoghurts with the least amount of sugar (15% less than the standard amount)

🔹Reasonable protein content (28% of daily requirements)- but remember that Australian children often consume a lot more protein than required!!

🔹Contains probiotics for gut health

 

🔶The negatives:

🔹Significantly less calcium than other kiddie yoghurts. This yoghurt has only a third of the calcium of Petit Miam, and only half the calcium of CalciYum. Even with the addition of fruit and veg, this is low. 

🔹Almost double the amount of saturated fat (the bad fat) compared to other kiddie yoghurts. 

🔹Rafferty's Garden yoghurt only comes in a squeezie pouch. Whilst this is good for keeping your child clean- your child learns to suck food rather than chew and mess actually helps kids to be more accepting of new foods. So I think the pouch is a negative for an everyday product. 

🔹$1.86 per pack, making it the 3rd most expensive kids yoghurt. 

 

🔶 The marketing:

🔹The 'real fruit and veg' tagline is somewhat misleading. As I explained earlier, the amounts are really little. If your child is really bothered by fruits and vegetables then perhaps you'd be better getting help from a qualified feeding specialist to help them trust with these foods, rather than consuming tiny amounts disguised in yoghurt. 

🔹All the yoghurts advertise that they contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and this yoghurt is no exception

🔹The packet reads "We know that grow ups want the best for their babies, so this pouch contains yummy, premium yoghurt made with whole milk and natural fruit and veg." This sentence really bugs me, because it insinuates that this is the best option for babies. I really dislike the emotional marketing to parents Stick with facts please food companies! 

 

🔶The alternatives:

🔹Other yoghurts with less than 12g of sugar per 100g, and calcium content of more than 200mg per 100g. 

 

 

Today's review is another kiddie yoghurt, because I've had a couple of requests for this particular brand. So, welcome to the stage... Tamar Valley Kids No Added Sugar Yoghurt (strawberry)
 

🔶Ingredients: 
🔹whole milk, cream, milk solids, strawberry pulp (3.4%), rice starch, natural flavours, natural lactase (enzyme), lemon pulp, live yoghurt culture. 
🔹you'll notice that sugar is not listed as an ingredient, which means that no sugar was added to the yoghurt during production. However, there will still be some sugars present in the final product, due to those that occur naturally in milk and in strawberries. This is NOT a bad thing!

 

🔶The positives: 
🔹No added sugar. This yoghurt has the lowest sugar content of all the kiddie yoghurts on the market, at only 5.1g per 100g. This 2/3 less than the most sugary yoghurt, and about half the sugar of most of the kiddie yoghurts. It certainly doesn't have the overly sweet taste of some of the yoghurts on the market. 
🔹contains a small amount of strawberry pulp, but no lumps for texture sensitive kids
🔹no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives (as is the case for most yoghurts). Also no artificial sweeteners, which you'll find in some of the diet yoghurts designed for adults. 
🔹live cultures for healthy tummies
🔹a source of some calcium

 

🔶The negatives:
🔹although this yoghurt provides some calcium, it's less than half the calcium provided by some other kiddie yoghurts, and only 62% of the calcium provided by my previously reviewed CalciYum. The amount in one packet would provide about 1/3 of a young child's daily calcium requirements. 
🔹comes in a squeezie pouch, which doesn't help kids develop good biting and chewing skills. I must say, when I tasted it out of the squeezie, I found it to be an incredibly unpleasant sensory experience. The yoghurt was quite thick, and the feeling of it plopping onto my tongue was revolting. I really don't understand the appeal for kids! As always with squeezie packets, I'd encourage the use of a bowl and spoon for regular consumption. 
🔹one of the lower protein contents compared to the other yoghurts, but as I always say- Australian kids get PLENTY of protein, so this isn't a true negative. 
🔹this yoghurt also has the highest saturated fat (bad fat) content of all of the yoghurts I looked at. This comes from the two ingredients in the greatest amount- whole milk and cream. It also has the highest fat content overall. I certainly don't think that everything needs to be low fat, especially not for kids less than 2 years of age, but I am concerned about high saturated fat levels. 

 

🔶The marketing:
🔹obviously this product promotes the low sugar content, which is a pretty hot topic at the moment. Yes, the sugar is lower than other brands, but it does come at the expense of some other ingredients. 
🔹the 'all natural' marketing line is also a lure for parents worried about giving their kids artificial ingredients. Realistically, most yoghurts are made from natural ingredients, so this doesn't really set this product apart from the rest. 

 

🔶The alternatives: 
🔹Other yoghurts with less than 12g of sugar per 100g, and calcium content of more than 200mg per 100g.

 

Can you believe it, another kid's yoghurt on the shelves! There must be serious money to be made from squeezie pouch yoghurts, and Brownes have decided to get in on the action. As a born and bred WA dairy company, I was seriously hoping I could give their Brownes Mini's Strawberry yoghurt a good review.

 

🔶Ingredients: 

🔹Milk, cream, milk solids, strawberry base, sugar, water, rice starch, fruit and vegetable concentrate, natural flavours, lemon juice concentrate, milk minerals, live cultures. 

🔹It's unclear what the 'strawberry base' is, but the apparently it's made up of 3% strawberries, which means overall there is only a minuscule amount of actual strawberries in the yoghurt. 

 

🔶The positives: 

🔹Contains live cultures, which are living micro organisms that are good for gut health. They're sometimes also called probiotics.

🔹One of the lowest sugar contents per 100g for kids yoghurts (comparable with our gold star winner CalciYum)

🔹Fat and saturated fat is well within healthy guidelines, although sitting at the higher end of the kid's yogurts. 

🔹Calcium content is in the top 6 of yoghurts in the kids section, at 181mg/100g. This is a bit lower than Petit Miam and CalciYum, but given the bigger packet- actually provides more total calcium (217mg per serve). 

 

🔶The negatives:

🔹The old squeezie pouch is growing in popularity. Remember that regularly sucking from a pouch does not help kids to develop good biting and chewing skills. This might impact on their ability to manage harder and chewier foods like meat. 

🔹At $1.65 it's not the cheapest per pouch, but somewhere in the middle of the range. 

🔹There's hardly any strawberry in the yoghurt, so don't buy it for the fruit component!

 

🔶The marketing:

🔹'Less than 1 teaspoon of added sugar per pouch' and actually this is much lower than many other kids yoghurts 🏼

🔹'Real fruit pieces' except that there's hardly any fruit in this yoghurt. 

🔹'Gluten and gelatine free' Yep. 

🔹'Made from fresh WA milk' I think this is a really great thing!

 

🔶The alternatives:

🔹This is a pretty good choice overall! If you give this to your kids regularly, consider using a bowl and spoon where possible, rather than getting gem to suck it straight from the pouch. 

🔹The Brownes Mini's Traditional Yoghurt (the plain vanilla version of this yoghurt) also looks like an even better option at first glance- but that's a review for another day!

🔹If you prefer other brands, aim for less than 12g of sugar per 100g and more than 200mg of calcium per serve. 

It seems that making yoghurt for kids is BIG BUSINESS. Seriously, there's a new yoghurt on the supermarket shelves (usually in a sucky pouch) every week. I've had a few requests about these yoghurts so I'll head back into the dairy aisle for the next Chewsday Reviews. Today's feature yoghurt is Vaalia Kids Tropical Yoghurt. 

 

🔶Ingredients: 

🔹Whole milk, skim milk, water, sugar, milk solids, tropical fruit, rice starch, gelatin, flavours, acidity regulators, live cultures. 

🔹The tropical 'fruit', which is mainly pineapple juice and orange juice, makes up 3% of this product. A serve of this yoghurt provides about 3% of a serve of fruit. 

🔹Gelatin and rice starch give this yoghurt its thick texture and glossy appearance. 

 

🔶The positives: 

🔹the sugar content of Vaalia Kids yoghurt meets healthy guidelines. Compared to similar products, this is in the middle of the kid yoghurt range, sitting at 11.9%. However, this product is twice the size of some kid yoghurts, so a serve contains 17g of sugar, whilst a serve of CalciYum contains only 8g of sugar. Some of this is naturally occurring sugar (such as lactose from the milk and sugar from the fruit), but sugar is also an added ingredient (which is something we want to minimise).

🔹the fat and saturated fat content is also within the healthy range. Compared to similar products, Vaalia is again sitting in the middle of the range. 

🔹This yoghurt does provide calcium, but only about half the amount of other kiddie yoghurts. However, because the packet is almost twice the size of most other child yoghurts, the total amount of calcium provided is the same. This amount meets 40% of the Recommended Dietary Intake of 1-3 year olds. 

🔹Sodium content is low (as it is for all yoghurts) 

 

🔶The negatives:

🔹At $2.09 per sachet, this yoghurt is by far the most expensive of the kiddie yoghurts (although remember it is bigger than most). Having said that, it's 1.5 times the size of the CalciYum and 5 times the price. 

🔹The squeezie pack does not promote good biting and chewing skills, rather promotes a reliance on sucking. 

 

🔶The marketing:

🔹All the yoghurts advertise that they contain no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, and this yoghurt is no exception. 

🔹Vaalia partners with the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, which is great, but no other details are provided. 

🔹Calcium for strong bones and teeth. Yep ✔️

🔹B12 for energy and concentration. This does provide 30% of B12 requirements for a young child, but B12 is usually only low in children following a vegan diet. 

 

🔶The alternatives:

🔹I think this is a pretty reasonable kiddie yoghurt (although I'm not super keen on the squeezie pack). Having said that, I'm not sure I'd justify spending 5x more on this product when there are many comparable yoghurts for much less money. 

🔹Otherwise, any yoghurts with less than 12g of sugar per 100g and more than 200g of calcium per serve. 

About the author of this blog post:

Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. She has a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla on her website and her Facebook page or on her Instagram page.

You can also email her.

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