Today's Chewsday Review follows on from last week's jelly cup review. A few parents had asked whether these fruit cups might be a healthier option, whilst still being convenient. I've chosen SPC fruit salad in juice, and interestingly, they've already got 1/2 a star less than the jelly cups on the health star rating. Not what I was expecting. Let's see what they're made of...
🔹Tropical fruit salad (pineapple, red papaya, yellow papaya) (60%), refined fruit juice, passionfruit juice, antioxidant (ascorbic acid), natural flavour
🔹Refined fruit juice is one of those mystery ingredients that manufacturers can hide behind. Essentially, refined fruit juice is juice that has had something removed (most likely the pulp and thus the fibre). However, we don't know if there's been sugar added to this juice in the refining process. You can check out my detective work below 🕵🏼
🔹Ascorbic acid is another name for Vitamin C, and is well-tolerated.
🔹Common allergens include: nil
🔹Low fat, saturated fat and sodium (salt) content.
🔹The sugar content (12.8g/100g) fits under the healthy guidelines of 15g/100g but is slightly higher than the jelly cup (11.8g/100g). This is also about 35% lower sugar content than fruit canned in syrup.
🔹This product is about two thirds fruit, which is more than the jelly cup. One portion provides about 1/2 of a serve of fruit. This meets 1/2 of a toddler's daily fruit requirements and 1/4 of a school-aged child's daily requirements.
🔹Super convenient, and good for school days when you haven't picked up fresh groceries for a while!
🔹Essentially this product is a scoop of fruit (about 68g), with a bit of fruit juice (45g) to bulk it out. I'd like to know more about the content of the fruit juice, to make an informed decision about this product. My detective work 🕵🏼 suggests that if this was just fruit, the sugar content would be about 8g/100g. This means that to make a combined totally of 11.8g/100g for the fruit cup, the juice content is about 17.5g of sugar/100g. This makes the juice waaaaaaaay more sugary than 100% fruit juice, and even more sugary than Coca Cola. But, it's not as sugary as fruit canned in syrup. Remember, I'm NOT anti-sugar by any means, but I do like to know what's in my food.
🔹Not a lot of fibre, which you'd expect from a fruit product. Mainly this relates to the high proportion (40%) of fruit juice.
🔹About $10/kg, which is likely related to the convenience of individual serves. This is much more expensive than fresh fruit or bigger tins of fruit.
🔹Made in Thailand, unlike the Australian-made jelly cup.
🔹"3.5 health stars, using the health star rating." As I said above, this product does meet most nutritional cutoffs, but mostly because it's not got a lot of anything in it. There's not a lot of fat, saturated fat, salt or protein and not that much sugar- meaning it doesn't get red flagged. There's a bit of fruit in it, but as a whole product- I'd hardly call it a nutritious choice.
🔹"No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives." This is true.
🔹If you do buy this product, consider draining the juice off before eating the fruit. Alternatively, buy bigger tins of fruit in natural juice, and portion them out yourself. Fresh fruit is also an excellent option!
About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla and Lauren on their website and sign up for their newsletter, and the Facebook page or on the Instagram page.