Here’s a snack kids love, and moms feel good about buying – A fruit rollup. Let’s take a look at the product pictured above (it’s a Betty Crocker brand). Look at the nutritional benefits we get listed on the front of the package:
“More than 95% fruit juice and real fruit”. (Is there such a thing as fake fruit?)
1 serving of fruit
Made with natural flavors (what does that mean?)
Good source of vitamin C (added to the product, not from the actual fruit)
Gluten free (of course, it’s got nothing to do with wheat for goodness sake. There’s also no Lego in it either.
50 calories per roll (OK – that’s a good one.)
Looks fishy. Let’s take a closer look…
What you need to know:
Here is the ingredient list:
Apple juice Concentrate, dried apples, blackberry puree, strawberry puree, canola oil, Contains 2% or Less of: fruit pectin, lemon juice concentrate, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), black carrot juice concentrate, blueberry juice concentrate added for color, Natural Flavor, Citric acid, sodium sulfite added to protect flavor.
Ingredient number one is sugar. They call it apple juice concentrate but it’s basically sugar. You don’t get the beneficial fiber of an apple, and many of the nutrients present in a fresh apple have long ago disappeared in the process of turning to a juice and then a concentrated form. Same with the puree.
There is nothing to brag about here nutritionally. Yes it’s 50 calories, but 40 of them are sugar! That’2 2.5 teaspoons. Meanwhile the fiber count is less than 1 gram (less than 3% of the daily value). The vitamin C clocks in at 10% of the daily value, but only because it is added in the ingredient list.
The added natural flavor is a sign that the team could not get the original ingredients to taste great on their own.
The added sodium sulfite is used to prevent discoloration. Some people are sensitive to to sulfites and must stay away.
So, in summary – the nutritional value of this snack is in INVERSE PROPORTION to the lengthy nutrition checklist above.
One last thing – dentists absolutely abhor these snacks. Impossible to get a child’s teeth cleaned after eating one of these.
What to do at the supermarket:
For a serving of real fruit, how about buying real fruit?