Do you ever wonder if your kids really know what they are eating? I have to ask the question because I’ve just watched Toby trying to lick his finger with uncooked bread dough on it… I mean, he seemed to be living his best life until the yeast hit and then the realisation began to dawn that perhaps this beige substance wasn’t as delish as it looked.
When it comes to kids I don’t honestly think that they have a clue what is and isn’t in their food – sometimes this is something I praise the gods for because if Edith’s palate was defined enough to tell that I had grated carrots and courgettes into her chilli con carne, then I would be in trouble. On the other hand, though, it can be a bit worrisome when a lot of our kid’s favourite meals are really not as good for them as they might think.
Toby in particular has a sweet tooth, he loves a glass of fizzy pop when his dad takes him to the football but has never understood WHY mummy has a problem with him having a glass everyday or even often. Not unlike the children in a recent study conducted by Arla Explorers, Toby was really surprised when I told him that in every glass of fizzy pop, there were 10 sugar cubes. It’s a surprise to me to learn that on average, children consume 5748 cubes of sugar every year, though I’m not surprised to learn that the average 6-11 year old will gobble up 208 chocolate bars, 260 biscuits and 208 bags of sweets per year, though admittedly I could absolutely eat that amount of biscuits myself in a week.
What this adds up to is around 26,000 grams of sugar a day, around 63g a day. According to the Arla Explorers research, most parents believe that their kids don’t eat that much and eat an average of 20g a day – which is what I would have guessed myself unless it was a treat day like a Friday. It’s SO difficult to know what is in their food, and even more so for them to know themselves.
What I didn’t know was that it is an assumption that kid’s will always prefer their food super sweet, when in fact the Arla Explorers study, which included a behavioural experiment, revealed that 8 out of 10 children often inadvertently choose the healthier options with strawberries, watermelon, apples and carrots being chosen.
There are three different products in the Arla Explorers range that all contain either reduced sugar or no added sugar:
- Swirl me – Toby’s favourite, with two delish colour contrasting yogurts that are swirled into each other, it is reduced sugar and comes in Raspberry and Mango or Apple and Blueberry.
- Bubble – Reuben’s favourite, though Edith wasn’t keen as she was suspicious of the fruit juice bubbles that are mixed into the yogurt. These are also reduced sugar and come in peach (Toby loved peach) or strawberry – an undeniable fave for Roo.
- Squeeze me – simple and familiar which is why I think it was Edith’s fave, the main difference with other brands is that this squeezy pouch is NO added sugar. Flavours are Mango and Strawberry.
Arla Explorers are a massive hit in my house and I will be totally honest, I wasn’t sure because they are at least 30% less sugar than everything else on the market. It’s a nutritious and popular snacking option for us and contains protein which contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass, which means I’m dealing with less meltdowns in an already really trying time.
If you want to try them yourself you can find them in Tesco, Morrisons and Asda. Or you can watch the full experiment that shows all the research I’ve mentioned above, over at the Arla website.