Wendyl Wants To Know

Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl wants to know: A littlies' sweet treat without the guilt trip

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Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents

Nice & Natural Fruit Turbos - $4.59 for pack of eight. Photo / Supplied
Nice & Natural Fruit Turbos - $4.59 for pack of eight. Photo / Supplied

When it comes to sweets and lollies we all know that too many are bad for us and our kids.

But banning treats altogether, in my opinion, simply sets up a situation where your child will hunt them out elsewhere or demonstrate some fairly astonishing behaviour to get them.

We have 10,000 taste buds and they're all wired for sweet taste. Recent studies have shown that babies are born to like sweet tastes and can develop certain tastes for foods while in their mother's womb.

So fighting that urge for something sweet is likely to be a lifelong battle if you choose to wage it and you risk setting up a food issue when it comes to sweet food if you do.

Best to let them have the occasional treat and when they have that treat make sure it avoids additives such as artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.

These sweets are packaged as a snack food and are 65 per cent fruit juice, but let's be honest, they are lollies and should be treated as such. In each little packet you will find eight lollies shaped as cars, planes and spaceships.

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first):

Reconstituted fruit juice (65 per cent) - This is juice that has been dehydrated, usually for ease of transport, then rehydrated with water.

Apple (62 per cent) - This tells us that these sweets are mostly made up of apple and orange (below).

Orange (3 per cent) or raspberry (3 per cent) - The "or" means that this fruit and blackcurrant and lime (below) will be in the sweets depending on which flavour you are eating. They come in green, red and orange colours and flavours.

Or blackcurrant (3 per cent)

Or lime (3 per cent)

Glucose syrup - This is another form of sugar often used in confectionary.

Sugar - These are sweets so they will be high in sugar but one pack, which has eight sweets, will deliver 10.4g or nearly 2.5 teaspoons of sugar. One pack is probably enough for a treat.

Beef gelatine - It is good that they tell us this gelatine is made from beef, so vegetarians can avoid this food. Not all food manufacturers bother to do this.

Food acids (citric acid, malic acid) - These acids will work as preservatives but may also help with flavour. Citric acid is derived from citrus and malic acid from green apples and grapes.

Gelling agent (pectin) - This is the naturally occurring thickening agent that occurs in fruit and is sometimes added to jams to help them thicken.

Natural flavours - Great to see natural flavours used here.

Natural colours (120, 163, 160a, 160c, 141) - These are cochineal or carmine (120), which is a red colour obtained from insects. Anthocyanins (163) are red, blue or purple colours obtained from plants. Carotenes (160a) are natural orange/yellow colours and paprika (160c) is a natural red/orange colour. Chlorophyll copper complexes (141) is a natural olive green colour.

Glazing agent (vegetable oil, carnauba wax, beeswax) - These make the sweets shiny and fresh looking.

My recommendations

These are a great option if you want to let your kids have some treats but don't want those treats to come with nasty additives.

I would rather see a child consume a bag of these to get their sweet treat of 2.5 teaspoons of sugar than a glass of Coke, which has 6.4 teaspoons of sugar per 250ml.

These are not for lunchboxes though, despite their handy snack packaging. Instead save them for special treats.

Highlights

• No artificial colours or flavours.

• Nearly 2.5 teaspoons of sugar per 8 lollies.

• Beef gelatine, not suitable for vegetarians.

Do you have a food product you would like to feature in Wendyl Wants to Know?
Email wendylwantstoknow@gmail.com with suggestions. Unfortunately Wendyl cannot correspond with readers.

- NZ Herald

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