Talking about hazard… My kid choked on a defrosted mango piece… The scariest moment of my life! But besides actual safety hazards, there’s more.
In this article, we’ll first define what is considered a fruit snack, whether they are healthy to eat, when kids can eat them, hazards and benefits and consuming frequency.
So, let’s start!
Let’s Start With the Basics: What Are Fruit Snacks?
Fruit snacks are dried fruit that has been sliced, diced, and sometimes flavored. They were first introduced in the 1970s by the confectioner Louis Shalhoub. Some are even oven-baked, making them that much more delicious. However, many are not made out of natural fruit and are instead high in sugar and chewy. Still yet, parents are often in favor of fruit snacks because they find them a healthy alternative to candy since they are low in fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. Children can eat them as a snack or dessert after a meal or as a pre-bed snack. And besides all this, they are cheap as well.
However, there are some downsides to eating fruit snacks more about which we’ll read in the next section.
Are Fruit Snacks Healthy for Kids?
Some fruit snacks are a healthy snack option for kids. They offer some nutritional benefits, but can be unhealthy if not eaten in moderation. As with any food, it’s essential to consider your child’s age, health, and food allergies when deciding what they eat. Therefore, it is important to read the nutrition facts label before giving fruit snacks to your kids.
When Can Kids Have Fruit Snacks?
We often come across the question “Can 1-year-olds eat gummies?”
Since fruit snacks are not fresh fruit which is usually soft when ripe, it’s advisable not to give them to kids under the age of 2. Even at this fruit snack age, parents should only give their toddlers softer fruit goodies such as Annie’s. Once the child is older then 4 and can eat hard food such as popcorn independently, even gummy bears can be added to their diet.
Are Fruit Snacks Safe for Kids and What Are the Nutrition Hazards and Benefits of Fruit Snacks?
Let’s start by learning about the potential hazards.
1. Too Much Sugar
Too much sugar in fruit snacks can have negative effects on health. Fruit snacks can have a lot of sugar, depending on the type. For example, the General Mills Betty Crocker Fruit Roll Ups have 39 grams of sugar in a package of 100 grams. Gummy fruit snacks may have even more calories because they are made with sugar and fat. However, fruit snacks made with real fruits and veggies are a healthier option and have zero sugar. Other snacks may be lower in sugar, but they also tend to have more calories, fat, and sodium.
2. Not Enough Protein
According to Nutrient Optimiser, fruit snacks are often lacking in protein. This can be a nutrition hazard for toddlers, young children, and middle school students since not enough protein can lead to deficiencies in important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. As a result, it’s important to offer a variety of healthy snacks to children that include protein and other nutrients.
Fruit snacks may contain allergens that can cause reactions in some people such as milk and soy. In addition, some people may be allergic to certain fruits such as strawberries and other red fruit. If you or your children have a food allergy, you should check the ingredient list on the package of fruit snacks before eating them.
Even though fruit snacks are the middle-ground between candy and fresh fruit, they are still processed food. And just like every processed food they need additives to last longer and look nicer. The additives you’ll often come across are corn syrup, modified corn starch, citric acid, lactic acid, sodium citrate, gelatin, confectioner’s glaze and more.
5. Not Enough Fiber
Fruit snacks are popular among children and adolescents, but they lack fiber. This can have negative effects on a child’s nutrition because fiber helps with bowel movements and can prevent constipation. Without enough fiber, kids may not get the full benefits of the nutrients in fruit snacks.
But in spite of the hazards, there are also numerous benefits to fruit snacks.
1. Healthy Alternative
Fruit snacks are a healthier alternative to candy and other sugary snacks for a few reasons.
First, fruit snacks generally have lower levels of sugar, fat, and carbohydrates than their candy counterparts. Second, fruit snacks are often more portable and can be eaten at any time of the day. Finally, many fruit snacks are made from whole, natural ingredients such as real fruit chunks or fruit purees – making them a healthier choice overall.
2. Contain Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients
Fruit snacks are a good source of vitamins and minerals. In a 100 grams of fruit goodies there are 0.01 mg vitamin A, 120 mg vitamin C, 32 mg Calcium, 1.01 mg Iron. These healthy refreshments can be eaten as a snack or dessert after a meal or as a pre-bed snack. However, parents should try to balance healthy snacks with kid-approved treats to find a reasonable compromise for many families.
3. Low in Fat, Sugar, and Carbohydrates
4. Help Children Meet Their Daily Recommended Intake of Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetable is highly beneficial to children’s health. However, many children dislike the taste so the inclusion of fruit snacks in a child’s diet can help them meet their daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. In addition, you should always consider other healthy snacks such as nuts and seeds, hummus and veggies, or string cheese to round out the kids’ diet.
5. Lightweight and Portable
The last but not the least benefit is that the fruit goodies are light and portable so children can carry them on camping or to school.
How Often Should I Let My Kid Eat Fruit Snacks?
Most pediatricians recommend that children have fruit snacks at least twice a week. This is because fruits are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that children need for healthy growth and development. However, some children may need more or less frequent snacks depending on their age. For example, younger children may need more frequent snacks because they have smaller stomachs. Older children may need less frequent snacks because they can go longer between meals without feeling hungry.
Fruit snacks are snacks that are made from real fruit pieces or fruit purees and as such they are considered a healthier alternative to candy for kids from the ages of two and onwards. Since they are made from real fruit, they are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and they can help kids get their daily recommended fruits. However, since they also contain additives they are not the complete substitution for organic fruit and veggies. In addition, they aren’t a good snack for children under the age of two because of the potential choking hazard.
1. What are the dental hazards of fruit snacks?
Just like with every product that contains sugar, the sugar in fruit snacks can cause cavities. Proper dental care and moderation is key when it comes to fruit snacks for dental health. Teaching your child proper dental habits maintains your child’s dental health but can also prevent costly medical bills in the future.
2. When can kids have fruit snacks?
According to some sources, kids as young as two years old can have fruit snacks. When choosing fruit snacks for toddlers, it is important to select options that are soft and easy to chew. For older kids, fruit snacks with fresh and natural ingredients are a great option.
3. What are the low sugar fruit snacks for kids?
The following fruit snacks are low in sugar and calories, making them a great choice for kids of all ages:
4. What are the Kosher fruit snacks for kids?
Kosher fruit snacks are a healthy snack option for kids made with organic fruit and are sized perfectly for little mouths to chew. They come in two flavors, peach and berry, and are packaged in 5 packs.
5. What are the worst fruit snacks for kids?
Fruit snacks with high sugar content are not good for kids. Therefore, it is important that you read the nutritional label on the fruit snack’s package to find out just how much of what your kid will consume.
6. What are the most popular fruit snacks for kids?
Fruit snacks are a popular snack choice for kids, and there are many healthy options available. Popsicles, smoothies, fruit cups, and pumpkin pie bites are all popular choices that can be easily made at home. If you’re looking for something a little quicker to make, Clean Snax® are a gluten-free and high-protein option made from nuts. Additionally, fruit & yogurt such as Milky Mist combines fresh fruit with low-fat yogurt for a balanced snack.
7. What fruit snacks are dairy-free?
There are many types of fruit snacks available that are dairy-free. These snacks are good for people who are trying to avoid dairy products. They are made with real fruits and vegetables, which help to boost the fiber content of the snack. Some examples are That’s It Apple + Blueberry, Live Savers’
8. What fruit snacks are nut-free?
Welch’s Nut Free Fruit Snacks are made in a nut-free environment and are a healthy option for kids. Welch’s Nut Free Juicefuls are also made in a nut-free environment but they do contain allergens milk and soy.
9. What fruit snacks are gluten-free?
There are many fruit snack brands that are nut-free but some of the best are Yum Earth, Tasty, and Annie’s. These snacks are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and they are also fat-free and have no preservatives.
10. What are the GMO-free fruit snacks for kids?
The Plum OrganicsTEENSY SNACKS® are GMO-free and organic fruit snacks for toddlers. The snacks are made with organic fruit, no high fructose corn syrup, and only non-GMO ingredients. The snacks come in two flavors – peach and berry – and are available in a multi-pack. These GMO-free fruit snacks are ideal for kids because they are void of synthetic colors and flavors. They are also gluten-free and vegan, making them options for a wider variety of kids. These snacks are low in calories, making them a suitable snack for parents who want to treat their children without ruining their diet.
P.S. They are also a healthy stocking stuffer for kids!
11. What are the vegan fruit snacks for kids?
There are a few options for vegan fruit snacks for kids. The Plum OrganicsTEENSY SNACKS are vegan and organic fruit snacks for kids. Another option is Nature’s All Foods Organic Fruit Snacks. These fruit snacks are gluten-free and vegan, making them a good option for kids with allergies or food sensitivities. They are low in calories and made with organic ingredients.