When you see this package at the supermarket, what do you imagine your youngster will be eating?
If you guessed processed orange, peach, and strawberry pieces, try again. The first two ingredients listed in Gerber’s Juice Treats‘ nutrition label are Corn Syrup and Sugar!
A few parents found the product packaging was deceiving. They thought their tots were munching on a healthy snack, but essentially they got a candy (70% of the content by weight is sugar). So these parents decided to sue Gerber.
The case brought against Gerber by a private citizen was initially dismissed by a Federal District Court in California, but then reinstated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on December 22. Gerber argued that consumers could avoid being misled by turning the package around and reading the ingredient list. But the Court stated that consumers should not be “expected to look beyond misleading representations on the front of the box to discover the truth from the ingredient list in small print on the side of the box.”
Remember, healthy sounding product names and lovely photos are means to portray an image that may be far from the un-nutritional reality. Reviewing the ingredient list and nutrition label is the only way to know what you are really getting. As a general rule of thumb, the lower the number of ingredients, and the less processed a food, the better it is for you.
As for toddlers, fresh fruits and dried fruit (pitted) are about the best treat to be had.