Being a parent can be tough! Struggling to balance everyday situations and activities is hard enough, and adding nutrition concerns can make it overwhelmingly difficult. Parents usually look for easy solutions to make sure their kids are getting their proper daily nutrition. Because let’s face it, kids are known to dislike the things that are good for them, like fruits and vegetables which are packed with the vitamins that are necessary for their health. An easy fix that parents take is giving their kids fruit snacks. Problem solved right? WRONG!
Fruit snacks usually come in vibrant, fresh fruit colored packages that say “Made with Real Fruit” or “Packed with Vitamin C!”. This is perfect advertising for the worn down parents who are sick of having the fruit and veggie fight on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there are a handful of problems with feeding your child fruit snacks. First of all, fruit snacks actually share almost identical ingredients to your average gummy candies. The main ingredient in both of the leading fruit snacks and gummy candies is corn syrup, followed by sugar and artificial flavors and colors. They both also contain gelatin, which very easily clings to the teeth. The stickiness and ingredients are a recipe for disaster when it comes to your child’s teeth. They sit on the teeth, eating away at the enamel. Gelatin turns into an acid when mixed with saliva and can cause cavities.
Giving your children these chewy, sweet fruit snacks as a substitution for Vitamin C is a bad idea as well because it doesn’t teach your child to eat properly. It blurs the line between fruit and candy. We want our kids to know that a treat is a treat and fruit is fruit. And we also want them to know that just because something is labeled with having real fruit juice or has those vibrant fun pictures of fruits on it doesn’t make it a good substitute.
Instead, try different types of fresh fruit, all fruit smoothies with some vanilla yogurt or even frozen fruit. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s diet or counseling on proper nutrition, feel free to contact our office at any time and one of our team members will be happy to help!