Chewsday Review- Vaalia Kids yoghurt

Yoghurt reviews are always interesting. I cannot believe how many different yoghurts there are on the shelves, particularly those marketed to kids. Today's is one of the more expensive yoghurts- so how does it stack up nutritionally?

🔶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 $1.90 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 almost 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 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.

You can also email them.

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