KIDS snacks have come under fire from health experts for confusing parents who think the “healthy” sweets count as fruit.
Popular snacks like School Bars, Yoghurt Fruit Flakes, Fruit Strings, Fruit Winders and Bear YoYos claim they count as “one of your five a day”.
But experts warn their high sugar content means they should be seen as an alternative to sweets – with some having as much sugar as a Mars Bar.
They recommend having real fruit – rather than the unhealthy snacks.
Top Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, said: “It is worrying that these products may be viewed as a fruit replacement.”
She added: “Low sugar is considered to be 5g or less per 100g.
“When it comes to nutrition from fruit you will get more fibre and vitamins and minerals, concentrated fruit sugars result in a much sweeter taste, which make these an alternative to sweets.”
The sweets are usually made with concentrated fruit juice which is packed full of sugar.
Top snack like Fruitbowl Yoghurt Fruit Flakes contains more sugar per 100g than a Mars Bar, while Fruitbowl Strawberry School Bars’ packaging claims ‘1 bar = 1 apple’.
Research suggests children are consuming up to three times more sugar than is reco
Bear YoYo’s, which boasts it does not contain concentrates, but contains 42g of sugar per 100g – twice the daily recommended amount.
NHS advice says children aged seven to ten should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day – around six sugar cubes.
Children between four and six should not eat any more than five sugar cubes a day, or 19g of free sugar.
A British Dental Association spokesperson said: “We are concerned about misleading claims made by the food industry about fruit snacks aimed at children and marketed as healthy when they are anything but, due to their high sugar content.
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“It’s no wonder that parents are confused when some of these products are labelled as being ‘one of your five a day’, ‘organic’ or ’full of vitamins’.
“The worst offenders are processed dried fruit products which are often promoted as having a high fruit content, but the sugar in these products is often ‘free’ sugar derived from fruit juices, purees and concentrates.”
The BDA spokesperson adds: “Whole fresh fruit is preferable to any of these bars because they contain vitamins and fibre.”
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