Sensible Smoothies & Purees
There have been more reports in the news today regarding the sugar content of lunch box friendly juices and
smoothies. Many of these store bought cartons and pouches reported to contain more sugar than coca-cola! It’s really good to be reminded of how much natural sugar fruit actually holds but it shouldn’t scare parents off allowing their kids to have liquid fruit in their diet. I think deciding that these kinds of products are actually foods or snacks rather than drinks help us to think more sensibly about them especially when the little ones in question really are little.
Smoothies or fruit purees are a great way to ensure that your child gets the vitamins and nutrients that they need from fruit particularly if your child is a bit picky about eating a variety of fruits. There are some very important points to consider though when thinking about sugar:
Many of the pre-packaged juices and smoothies are sold in 180–200ml portion sizes for children. This is a lot of natural fruit sugar hitting a tiny tummy. Using a pouch or a carton with a straw does make it easy to consume large portion sizes easily and quickly so it’s important to restrict the portion size to something more sensible. The current UK guidelines recommend that children have just 1 x 150ml glass of unsweetened fruit juice a day.
When developing our pouches we limited their size to 120ml to suit the tiny tummies of the consumer. Generally the food that you would add to our pouches will be a slightly thicker consistency than a store bought product with less squeezed juice and more blended pulp so more filling and also containing more fibre which juiced or squeezed fruits are lacking. Whether you serve yours in a pouch or in a glass give them in small portions.
Smoothies and fruit purees to me are a treat whether it’s with lunch or as a snack. Seeing them as food rather than as a drink makes them so much easier to limit. We recommend just one fruit smoothie / puree per day although the pouch can obviously be used for other food such as yogurts or 2 x 100ml smoothies could be given if lower sugar fruits or vegetables are used such as avocado, and spinach or even Strawberries which are surprisingly low in sugar in comparison to others (see below table).
Sensible Fruit choices
Not all fruit is high in sugar so mixing fruits sensibly can create lower sugar smoothies and purees. Berries are surprisingly low in sugar whilst grapes and bananas have a high sugar content. Mixing high and low sugar fruits can regulate the overal sugar content of your child's snack. use the table below to make sensible choices and reduce the volume of the high sugar fruits.
If you are new to weaning all of this talk about sugar may seem worrying....it’s another thing to think about as you wander through the weaning jungle. It is good to consider the sugar content of the fruits that you give to your baby but don’t completely shy away from the high sugar fruits as they also contain so many valuable vitamins and nutrients. It’s great to allow them to explore a wide variety of tastes and textures but do consider how much sugar you are giving over the course of a day.
Our handy table below can help guide you when making your baby, toddler or child their purees, smoothies and puddings.
The below table lists the total sugar content in grams per 100g of fruit and popular yogurts.
4g = 1 teaspoon
Read the full news report in the Telegraph here