Surprisingly, no- not really! A good look at the nutrition labels will prove this. These statistics come right from the packages at the market. Let’s begin with the “grab and go” varieties. Those squeezable packages offer no muss/no fuss feeding, but do they actually nourish your child?
The pouches of fruit sauce have about 50 calories each. They have absolutely no fiber, and between 13 and 14 grams of carbohydrates. Ten of those carbohydrates are sugars. Pouches of yogurt don’t do much better. They have a little fiber, but 12 grams of sugars. So they may reduce your child’s hunger, but only for a brief time until the sugar wears off.
And those squeezable packages don’t offer a “chew”. One of the most satisfying aspects of a snack is the crunch. You just can’t get that from a packet of mashed up fruit and sugar, or sweetened yogurt. If you replace the applesauce with an actual apple, your child gets a much more satisfying snacking experience. In addition, the fiber will help the child feel less hungry.
In addition to the pouches of yogurt, don’t get fooled by those offering extremely sweet additions or toppings. The added sugars and fats nearly overshadow the nutritional benefits of yogurt, and they rarely provide a substantial amount of probiotics. You can make a better snack by adding fresh fruit or all-fruit preserves to plain or vanilla yogurt.
A snack that provides a good chew, fiber and at least a few nutrients can easily, and more healthfully, replace pouches of sugar-filled yogurt and fruit sauces. And they’ll cost less, too.