Tuesday Trade Up: Fruit Snacks

Last week we Traded Up a classic kid's snack - graham crackers. Today, we focus on fruit snacks. Are fruit snacks better than real fruit - no! Do fruit snacks fit in a specific place on MyPlate - no! Do kids care - no, they just think they taste good and it's hard to beat their portability. Today we take a very popular item sold in our stores and share a simple way to Trade Up. If you choose to buy Fruit Snacks you can see that by selecting a Reduced Sugar (at least 25% less sugar) version you can make a serious Trade Up.

Please note that we, the dietitians, are not trying to say that this a recommended kid's snack. The whole purpose in our Trade Ups is to find simple ways to take you from where you currently are and move one step towards something slightly better. We have some readers who are making their own fruit snacks at home from organic fruit. We wouldn't suggest they make a switch to packaged fruit snacks. But others don't have the time to make their own fruit snacks and just need advice on how to choose better fruit snacks than the ones they currently have in their cart. Each of you are at a different place on your journey to health and many of you have different definitions of health. Our goal is to facilitate conversation and provide options.

We'd love to hear what your favorite fruit snacks are or your favorite fruit snack alternative.

Here's a closer look at today's Trade Up:

Welch's Reduced Sugar Fruit Snacks (NuVal score 13)
Serving Size (23g)

Ingredients: Juice from concentrates (grape, pear, peach & pineapple), corn syrup, sugar, maltodextrin, modified corn starch, gelatin, fruit purees (strawberry, raspberry, orange & grape), citric acid, lactic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), aspartame, natural and artificial flavors, coconut oil, camauba wax, vitamin A palmitate, alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1.
Calories 70, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Sodium 5mg, Total Carbs 18g, Sugars 8g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A 25%, Vitamin C 100%, Vitamin E 25%.

Sunkist Fruit Snacks (NuVal score 1)Ingredients: Fruit Juice from Concentrates (Apple, Pear), Corn Syrup, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch. Contains 2% or Less of: Pectin, Citric Acid, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Dextrose, Sodium Citrate, Malic Acid, Mineral Oil (adds a Trivial Amount of Fat). Potassium Citrate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Carnauba Wax, Sulfiting Agents, Color (Red 40, Yellows 5 & 6, Blue 1), Beeswax.
Serving Size 1.0 pouch (25 g)
Calories 80, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 40mg, Total Carbohydrate 21g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 13g, Protein 0g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 100%,
Calcium 0%, Iron 0%.

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