5 snacks targeted at toddlers have been named and shamed by consumer group CHOICE as "sugar shonks."
The consumer group is encouraging Australian parents to beware of the following toddler-marketed snacks that position themselves as healthy options but contain 60% sugar or more:
- Rafferty's Garden Strawberry Yoghurt Buttons (62.3% sugar)
- Rafferty's Garden Mixed Berry Yoghurt Buttons (62.9% sugar)
- Kiddylicious Crispy Tiddlers Raspberry (63% sugar)
- Kiddylicious Smoothie Melts Strawberry & Banana (67% sugar)
- Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles (68.8% sugar)
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For more: Sugars in packaged toddler foods - choice.com.au/toddlersnacks (We'd love a linkback to the original article if possible)
CHOICE Food Editor Rachel Clemons says the products use marketing tricks to appear healthier.
"Many of these products use pictures of healthy fruits or make statements like "made with real fruit" to give a false sense of security to parents," says Clemons.
"But in reality many of these products are packed with concentrated fruit sugars. These and other added sugars can be hidden in the ingredients list under more than 60 different names. Food companies need to be honest with parents about the real nutritional value of these snacks and make it easier for parents to make informed choices."
The "sugar shonks" have been named as part of a fresh analysis of 78 toddler snacks.
For parents concerned about avoiding "sugar shonks," Clemons says there's a few things to look for.
"Aim for products with a small ingredients list and consisting of whole foods wherever possible," says Clemons.
"Be on the lookout for fruit concentrates, pastes, purees and powders as these aren't the same as whole fruit ingredients - and consider avoiding the baby and toddler aisle completely. You can often find better - and usually cheaper - alternatives in the regular aisles."
CHOICE has recommended 5 simple snack swaps parents can make for their shopping list.
Read the full list at: www.choice.com.au/toddlersnacks
Media contact: 0430 172 669, email@example.com
CHOICE followed the methodology used by the Obesity Policy Coalition in its 2019 analysis of infant and toddler snacks and meals to compile and analyse a dataset of 78 packaged toddler snacks and meals sold at major supermarkets Aldi, Coles and Woolworths in 2021.