Chewsday Review- Yoplait Forme

This week's request comes from a Mum who swapped her twins from 'kid's yoghurt' to 'adult yoghurt' from a tub, in an attempt to reduce the sugar content. It certainly wasn't easy, and she had to convince them that this new product was 'cream' because her kids loved CalciYum Pepper Pig yoghurts so much that they wouldn't accept any other 'yoghurt'. So this yoghurt, Yoplait Formé, is no fat and no added sugar. Is it a better option overall? Let's see...

🔶Ingredients:

🔹Skim milk, milk solids, water, polydextrose, thickeners, gelatine, natural flavours, sweeteners 950 & 955, acidity regulators, preservative 202 (potassium sorbate), yoghurt cultures.

🔹Common allergens include: milk/dairy

🔹Sweetener 950 is artificial sweetener Acesulphame-K and 955 is artificial sweetener sucralose. They're basically a man-made form of sugar, but without the kilojoules/calories. These two sweeteners are 200 and 600 times sweeter than regular sugar, and used in reasonably small amounts. I've commented further on these below!

🔹Polydextrose is a man made form of fibre, that is mostly not absorbed by the body and traditionally used to reduce sugar content of foods and as a bulking agent. This can causes excessive flatulence or have a laxative effect for more sensitive guts.

🔹Potassium sorbate is used to prevent the early spoiling of yoghurt, and is generally regarded as safe. Consumption levels in Australia are generally well below upper recommended levels, but potassium sorbate can be problematic for those with food sensitivities- mainly dermatitis.

🔹Yoghurt cultures are good for the health of little tummies.

🔶The positives:

🔹Fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt content all meet healthy guidelines. BUT, this is mainly because of the addition of artificial ingredients to 'bulk out' the yoghurt.

🔹43% less 'sugar' than CalciYum yoghurt, which works out to about half a teaspoon less per serve. But, the Formé likely tastes sweeter thanks to the artificial sweetener. So technically, this is not a positive.

🔹Similar protein content to kids yoghurt.

🔹Comes in a large tub, meaning it needs to be doled out and eaten with a spoon. This is great for developing kids biting and chewing skills (as opposed to squeezie pouches).

🔹40-48c per 100g serve, which is quite reasonable. This is similar to the cheapest kids yoghurt- CalciYum at 41c per 95g tub.

🔶The negatives:

🔹Contains 34% less calcium than CalciYum. This is a big negative in my eyes.

🔹I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners in yoghurt, especially for kids. There is a lot of fear and misinformation around sweeteners, and just to be clear, there is no evidence to suggest that artificial sweeteners are dangerous or cancer-causing, especially in the amounts commonly consumed. However, they're still overly sweet, which contributes to a sweeter taste preference in kids.

🔹Can be quite runny, overly sweet and has a mild artificial aftertaste.

🔶The marketing:

🔹"No fat" I'd suggest that this marketing strategy is aimed at women who are counting calories. Fat as a component of yoghurt is normal, and not something I'm particularly worried about.

🔹"No added sugar" Technically no added sucrose (table sugar) but plenty of added artificial sweeteners. I think this is misleading.

🔹"Real fruit" This is very confusing considering this is a French Vanilla flavour and doesn't have any fruit in it Labelling fail!

🔶The alternatives:

🔹I'd recommend a number of other yoghurts before this one. I don't think artificial sweeteners are necessary for kids, although I don't think they're dangerous. I'd also prefer a higher calcium content. As before, I'd recommend CalciYum yoghurt, or any other yoghurt with less than 12g of sugar per 100g, and calcium content of more than 200mg per 100g.

🔹If sugar content is a real concern for you, then I'd recommend the Tamar Valley No Added Sugar Yoghurt. Similar calcium content to Formé (so slightly lower than I'd like), but without all of the other unnecessary fillers.

About Mealtime Building Blocks

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 sign up for her newsletter, and her Facebook page or on her Instagram page. You can also email her.

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