For better or worse, fruit snacks have become part of the lunchtime landscape. The name encourages consumers to consider them a healthy choice for the lunch box. Those of us who grew up when anything fat-free was automatically considered good for you are easily swayed by the fat-free label. The good news is that, as a dessert, these little pouches are lower in sugar and fat than a cookie. The bad news: they are filled with artificial ingredients including corn syrup and artificial colors.
We recently tried Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks and found them to be delicious and filled with none of the usual suspects. Ingredients include all natural things that you can pronounce, and the coloring is from carrot juice! They were chewy (without being too hard to bite into) and didn’t have the aftertaste of the other brands. In a blind taste test, our kids chose Annie’s over the other brands. Our kids thought it was cool to do this kind of research!
That said, even with the healthier fruit snacks, these treats should be just that: occasional treats in a lunchbox. Expense aside, their only real claim to fame is that they (a) don’t contain bad things and (b) won’t melt in a lunch container. They can’t claim that they are filled with fiber, count as a serving of fruit or that they will fill you up. (more…)