Let’s talk yogurt! A great snack for kids as well as a base for adding healthy superfoods. I personally recommend limiting or eliminating dairy and substituting the many non-dairy options now available. Otherwise, choose a natural organic dairy yogurt without too many added ingredients. A naturally fermented food, yogurt is a fantastic source of probiotics promoting gut health and supporting the immune system. Unless of course, it is full of sugar and additives.
Unfortunately, not all yogurt is created equally. Many brands add sugar or ‘natural sugar’ and contain up to 17 grams of sugar per serving! This is huge, kids should have between 15-25 grams of sugar daily depending on their age. If they are getting 17 grams for a snack they are maxing out their sugar for the day. Definitely no room for anything packaged as processed foods have the most added sugar.
Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with natural sugars from fruits. I am talking added sugars and unfortunately, yogurt although a natural low processed food, often has many added sugars and additives to prolong shelf life.
Kids love yogurt, and nowadays with yogurt pouches, there is a convenient way to give your kids something healthy on the go! But how healthy is all this yogurt really?
In Australia and the US, we have a huge childhood diabetes and obesity epidemic! Sugar added to fats along with processed foods loaded with additives and chemicals are part of the problem!
Companies are misleading consumers with their claims of ‘no added sugar’ & ‘no artificial ingredients’ that doesn’t mean its healthy! No added sugar means they can still add concentrated fruit syrups which can have an even higher sugar content than processed sugar and our bodies definitely don’t know the difference.
Remember what I said above, kids should have between 15-25 grams of sugar daily. Excess sugar weakens our immune system and our gut biome gets all out of balance. No wonder we see kids getting sick more often then they should. The sugary yogurt is essentially doing the opposite of what it claims, supporting the gut and keeping kids healthy.
It’s not all bad, but when we know what to look for we can take our health and our families health into our own hands, reduce unnecessary sugar, and replace it with natural fruits (organic if possible).
Today I am breaking down some of the popular 'dairy yogurt' brands we have here in Australia, at Coles Australia to be exact. In Australia, we are still waiting for Whole Foods or really any independent grocer that consciously stocks honest healthy options, not just the ‘big brands.’
There are many more brands out there doing great things when it comes to healthy foods. By learning to quickly read ingredient labels we can choose healthy for our families. Keep an eye out for grams of sugar and choose foods with the least amount of ingredients.
Quick side note: You can make homemade yoghurt, dairy or coconut, with just 2 ingredients so really there shouldn't be too many ingredients added to your packaged yogurt. I personally recommend limiting or completely eliminating dairy from yours and your families diet, so here is an amazing recipe for yummy organic vanilla bean yoghurt. Enjoy!
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Kristin Derrin is a certified nutritionist, health practitioner, mum and the founder of June Superfoods, a range of certified organic kids superfood supplements that contain natural fruit and vegetable nutrients to support kids growth and development naturally. Kristin created June Superfoods after noticing a gap in the market for high-quality organic health products for kids. This prompted her to create a product with the highest quality organic ingredients; no added sugars, fillers, or anything artificial.