>> Thursday, October 23, 2008
One thing that I've found already as we purge our home life of HFCS is that it's important for our kids to have substitutes to HFCS-containing foods that their friends eat. Peer pressure is a strong thing - even when it comes to food. My son seems to like (in theory) the idea of eating healthier, and if I give him a healthier substitute to something that his friends like, he's mostly content.
That brings me to fruit roll-ups. Not all fruit roll-ups have HFCS in them - in fact, most that I've looked at don't. I've already said that I'm not as freaked out about plain corn syrup, which is almost all glucose, but I still don't like giving my child a supposedly "healthy" snack that is mostly corn syrup with a little food coloring thrown in for the wow factor. (Have you seen the roll-ups with "tongue tattoos"?!? My son LOVES them even though the tattoo really just looks like a blob on the tongue. Bleh.) General Mills Fruit Roll Ups even have partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil in them! Healthy, these are not.
But, fruit roll-ups are huge with the preschool and elementary school crowd, and it's important to me that my kids don't feel left out even as we make our diet healthier. If they feel left out, they're more likely to abandon our efforts at eating healthier, so I work to find healthy (or at least healthier) substitutes. Fruit leather won't do (I tried). Homemade fruit leather roll-up-ish things won't do (I tried). It must be a fruit roll-up. Fortunately, there are a couple of good options out there.
First, there's Fruitabu Fruit Twirls. They come in a variety of flavors (grape and strawberry are favorites here). These are kind of a fruit roll-up strip. The packaging is perfect for throwing in a lunch box, purse, or diaper bag. Both of my kids love these. Take a look at the ingredient list:
Apple Puree Concentrate (Organic), Apple Juice Concentrate (Organic), White Grape Juice Concentrate (Organic), Strawberry Puree Concentrate (Organic), Apple (Organic), Palm Fruit Oil (Organic), Citrus Pectin, Strawberry Flavor (Natural), Citric Acid, Fruit Juice (For Color), Sodium Citrate, Acerola Cherry Extract (Natural Vitamin C), Soy Lecithin
It's sugar and flavoring come from fruit (mostly apple, which is not the best fruit to use, but we won't quibble about that). It does have a little palm oil, but that's way better than partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. And no artificial colors!
Fruitabu is my roll-up of choice around here, but we also occasionally buy Jovy Fruit Rolls. These roll-ups are much larger - more of a traditional fruit roll-up shape. The kids almost always go for the Fruitabu Twirls first, but there are times when they want a more traditional roll-up and go for the Jovy Fruit Rolls instead. Here's the ingredient list for the Jovy Fruit Rolls:
Natural Fruit (Concentrated Natural Strawberry, Dehydrated Apple and Pear), Sugar, Glucose, Pectin, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Artificial Colors [FD&C Red #40]
These aren't as big a homerun as the Fruitabus because it does add sugar and artificial color, but the Jovy Fruit Rolls don't have any extra oil.
I can find Fruitabu in the organic section of all of our grocery stores, and the Jovy roll-ups in the produce section of all of our grocery stores.
Just a couple of options for both kids and kids at heart!