Baby and toddler snacks: Are they really as healthy as they seem?

I’ve always been a big fan of feeding my children the healthiest food possible, with as little effort as possible.  I love making my own baby and toddler snacks as it’s the best way to know what’s in them. However, as a mum of two children under 3 years old, I also love a shortcut!  Harry is now at an age where he wants ‘treats’ and I am trying to teach him about having them in moderation.  Megan is weaning and hates being left out so I’m always looking for something that they can both enjoy!

The supermarkets are full of lots of different baby and toddler snacks with bold claims of how healthy they are for your child.  The shelves are lined with phrases such as, ‘no articificial colours or preservatives,’ ‘no added sugar,’ ‘gluten free,’ ‘lactose free,’  and so many more claims.  It’s hard as a parent to know which is the healthiest, especially when you have a little ‘helper’ in the trolly screaming for a snack (or is that just my kids?)

Organix commissioned a survey to find out more about parent’s attitudes towards snacks for babies and toddlers, which revealed that more than half of parents questioned (52%) said it’s difficult to find food they can trust.

A quarter of parents (27%) admit to making a decision on whether to buy a food just by looking at the front of pack, despite the fact that 40% say they don’t trust the healthy food claims found there.

It seems that lots of us parents are struggling to make sense of the claims on baby and toddler snacks, so can we trust them?  How can we make sure we are choosing the healthiest snacks for our children?

Top tips when choosing snacks for your baby or toddler

Look at the back of the pack

If you want to know what’s really in packet snacks then the ingredients list on the back of the pack is the best place to look.  It may ‘made with real fruit juice’ on the front of the pack but a quick look on the back can often show that snacks contain very little and are also packed full of artificial sweeteners.

Choose snacks with fewer ingredients

It shouldn’t take 30 different ingredients to make one snack bar.  Chances are, if there’s lots of ingredients, there’s hidden nasties that just don’t need to be there!  The fewer ingredients the better!

Avoid ingredients you don’t recognise

If you don’t recognise it or can’t pronounce it then chances are you don’t want to be giving it to your baby or toddler!

Avoid added ingredients

Added salt, sugar and flavourings aren’t good for babies.  Salt in particular should be avoided wherever possible.  It’s hard to believe that some packet snacks aimed at babies and toddlers have as much salt in them as a packet of adult crisps! If salt is shown on the ingredients list then it really is worth putting them back and looking for a salt free option!

For more advice check out this handy video from Cherry Healey and Organix

 

Which snacks can I trust?

Look for snacks with the organic logo

If you see an organic logo on pack you can feel sure what you buy has been made to the highest standards.

Choose a brand you can trust

Organix are committed to providing healthy snacks for babies and toddlers.  They have a ‘No Junk’ promise which means that you’ll never find any hidden nasties in their products.  Their ingredients are all organic and they taste great.

 

Do you have any top tips when shopping for baby or toddler snacks?  Have you found anything that shocked you while buying snacks for your baby?

Get involved and share what you’re found using #foodyoucantrust .

 

This post has been written in paid partnership with Organix, as part of their ‘No Junk Journey’, aiming to make it easier for us to feed our families good, healthy food.

1 thought on “Baby and toddler snacks: Are they really as healthy as they seem?”

  1. I find it useful to look at the grams of sugar (listed as carbohydrates of which sugars) per 100g, which is easy to convert to % – the banana bar pictured is 27.6g of sugar, which means 27.6%!!! An apple is about 15% and a banana 12%.

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