baby snacks

Topic: Revealed: the ‘healthy’ baby snacks containing the most unnecessary sugar

So-called “healthy” snacks for babies and toddlers can contain as much as two teaspoons of unnecessary sugar, a study has found.

Action on Sugar looked at 73 baby snacks and found that more than a third (37%) could receive a red traffic light-style label for sugar content – despite their packaging featuring “healthy sounding” claims.

Just six products (8%) would have received a green (low) label for sugars.

Currently, baby and children’s food and drink is not required to display traffic light labelling on the front of packs.

The campaign group named the worst offenders as including Heinz Farley’s Mini Rusks Original, with 8.7g of sugars per serving or the equivalent of two teaspoons of sugar.

That product was followed by Organix Banana Soft Oaty Bars, which are sweetened with apple juice concentrate and contain 8.1g of sugars per serving.

Five Kiddylicious products scored the worst for sugars per 100g – Banana Crispy Tiddlers at 59g of sugar per 100g, and Pineapple, Coconut and Mango Juicy Fruit Bars made up of 30.7g of sugar per 100g.

A poll for Action on Sugar found 84% of parents of young children said they buy these sweet snacks for their children, and 60% said a “no added sugar” claim would be the reason for choosing a particular product.

Some 92% said they were more inclined to buy products containing “natural sources” of sugars; for example, fruit.

Action on Sugar described the findings as of “deep concern”, advising that babies and toddlers should not eat any free sugars at all.

It has called for the removal of “misleading” nutrition and health claims, especially around “no added sugar”, when such ingredients are replaced by fruit concentrates which are still a type of free sugar and should be limited.

It is also urging the Government to finally publish its composition guidelines for baby and toddler products, which will guide manufacturers on how much sugar should be used.

Topic Discussed: Revealed: the ‘healthy’ baby snacks containing the most unnecessary sugar

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