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.