All Natural Fruit Snack?

Take a look at Mott’s Medley’s Fruit Snack. The package looks promising:

  • All natural fruit snack
  • Good source of vitamin C
  • Gluten Free & Fat Free
  • No Artificial Flavors, Colors, Sweeteners, or Preservatives
  • made with real fruit and vegetable juice.

But what’s really inside?

What you need to know:

As much as Mott’s would like to think this is a great snack for your kids, we beg to differ. Each serving has 3.5 tsp of sugar, which for fruit is to be expected. But unfortunately, there is ZERO fiber in this product, unlike real fruit. The reason, of course, is that this snack is made from fruit juice, not fruit. And that is an important distinction. Fruit is healthy. Fruit juice is basically sugar.

The vitamin C, naturally abundant in many fruits has long gone, and is added here as a supplementary ingredient.

Here is the ingredient list:

fruit and vegetable juice from concentrate (apple, grape, carrot, sweet potato), corn syrup, sugar, modified food starch (corn), gelatin, citric acid, natural flavor, acerola extract (vitamin c), sodium citrate, white mineral oil, carnauba wax.

As for the rest of the natural ingredients: Yes, technically Mott’s is correct. But come on – corn syrup, sugar? modified corn starch? White mineral oil? These ingredients don’t exactly conjure visions of nature…That’s the problem with “natural” as a description for foods. There is no really good definition for it.

What about the gluten free claim? that’s just riding on the gluten free marketing wave sweeping America today.

And Fat Free ? That’s harnessing our embedded fear of fats. (Although science has shown that fats are not the problem , it’s trans-fats and saturated fats).

On the positive side, there are no artificial colors in this snack. There are no trans-fats and no questionable chemicals.

Bottom line – If you want to give your kids a treat, consider these instead of some candy. But in your mind, don’t equate these “fruit snacks” to fruit for even one second.

What to do at the supermarket:

It’s summer, fruit is plentiful and relatively cheap. Great opportunity to discover new flavors and recipes with fresh and sweet fruit.

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  • jen in MN

    actually please DON’T consider these instead of other types of candy. If your kid HAS TO have a piece of junk as a special treat for whatever reason you’re better off with a sucker, cotton candy, or even a chocolate bar.  There is also an epidemic of childhood dental catastrophe’s in the USA, it just isn’t talked about in big towns with Whole Foods for parents who’d go out of their way for buy “natural” fruit snacks. It takes 5 solid minutes of brushing non-stop to truly rid your mouth of gummies…. and there’s what 15+ in a package? Get ‘em a dang cookie. Something brush-able from impressionable little teeth.

  • Kris

    Here’s my question (totally unrelated to this post):

    Is the caramel color in roast beef lunch meat the same dangerous caramel color in coke products?

    Thanks.

  • Leslie

    I would ALWAYS go for a piece of actual fruit over a container of liquid fruit, BUT, I will say that in Canada, at least, Motts produces a number of unsweetened applesauce products, and I don’t mind having those as an occasional treat.  I don’t think they should be a daily staple, by any means, but I think it’s a bit disingenuous to pick on a company that manufactures a good amount of actual, real-food-ish products.  Much worse are the fruit leathers and fruit chews that bear nothing in common with real fruit beyond their artificial flavour names.  Here’s some of the Motts products – I only get the unsweetened ones: http://www.mottsfruitsations.ca/healthy_snacks.php

  • http://www.weightloss-team.com Ramona

    I totally HATE these misleading labels. Fruit snack? What’s so difficult about it? Just get some nice fresh fruits, cut them into pieces, mince them, whatever you like to do. And serve your kid. Not this junk filled with all kinds of useless ingredients. I can understand buying stuff that really hard to make, but ‘natural’ juice and fruit salads or similar stuff are so easy to make in the kitchen and always taste wonderfully.

  • Dr. Quirk

    Buyer Beware:  Mott’s sources their apple juice from China, where it is still legal to use ARSENIC as a pesticide on fruits and vegetables.  An independent lab recently tested Mott’s apple juice for sale in the USA and found it had FIVE TIMES the amount of ARSENIC considered safe by the NIH and the EPA’s drinking water standards.  (You can google this fact.)  The amount of sugar in this product pales in comparison to the reality that if your kids eat this “snack” they are really eating poison.  If they eat it regularly, the arsenic will build up and cause serious health problems.  BUY ORGANIC and don’t poison your kids.

  • Dr. Quirk

    Buyer Beware:  Mott’s sources their apple juice from China, where it is still legal to use ARSENIC as a pesticide on fruits and vegetables.  An independent lab recently tested Mott’s apple juice for sale in the USA and found it had FIVE TIMES the amount of ARSENIC considered safe by the NIH and the EPA’s drinking water standards.  (You can google this fact.)  The amount of sugar in this product pales in comparison to the reality that if your kids eat this “snack” they are really eating poison.  If they eat it regularly, the arsenic will build up and cause serious health problems.  BUY ORGANIC and don’t poison your kids.

  • Chef Mike Benninger

    These things are as bad as candy and should be labelled as such!! but if you must have them, make your own, all you need is fruit, a bit of lemon juice, a blender, an oven, a baking sheet, some Saran wrap and a few hours on a rainy afternoon. Purée the fruit with the lemon, strain, pour onto a Saran covered baking sheet and dry in very low oven until set. Cover with parchment, flip over, peel away the wrap and slice into small portions…hard huh??

  • Lauren

    Anything that comes in a package and says “fruit” is not to be trusted. Fruit doesn’t come in a package. Dried fruit is what it is. Fruit-ish stuff isn’t fruit. I almost think shouldn’t be able to be called fruit. Mineral oil? Isn’t that a laxative? 

  • Stephanie Miller

    I love your blog and wish more people would read and understand these things!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cactuswren Susan Cactuswren

    I always note such things as “made WITH real fruit and vegetable juices” (as distinct from “made FROM fruit and vegetables”).

  • Lisa

    Applesauce is so gross. Why eat a mushed up apple when you can bite into a nice crunch whole one?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B5T35VRJBUM4LVLUGLLQ2MQMDA Jon

      Lisa, BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE HAS TEETH, Dumb ass!  Not to mention there are a large variety of apple sauces and wtf does that have anything to do with this article?

      • Lisa

        No need to bite, Jon.

        Only my opinion, dude. I brought apple sauce into it because that’s what Motts is known for. I saw the name and assumed it was a pureed fruit snack, which they also make. I realize now it isn’t but I don’t think that makes me a complete dumbass.

  • Soffijosheph Soffijosheph

    Fruits are very good for health. Everybody have to eat the fruits everyday for good health and for good beauty. I think fruit snacks is good for the children.
    early childhood college

  • Liisa Wennervirta

    Regarding the ‘gluten free’ written on every piece of irrelevant crap… I’m gluten intolerant and I’m perpetually amazed why the manufacturers announce that vinegar, chocolate (which should be made from cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, dried milk and, say, nuts, raisins and other definable stuff), yoghurt, ice cream… are gluten-free. What’s next, announcing that apples are made of apples? Or people do not know how vinegar or ice cream is made?
    If there were legible ingredients’ lists, anyone on GF diet would discover that if the thing contains wheat, they’re to back off. But maybe gluten free is the new health or diet fad, no idea.

  • Xscottearthx

     gelatin is NOT all natural!