Consumer advocacy group Choice has done the hard work for parents, reviewing 118 yoghurt pouches to find the healthiest options.
The squeezy pouches are a godsend for parents everywhere. They are the ultimate convenient, seemingly nutritious school lunch box staple and a quick distraction for toddlers while on the go. But while they make for an easy snack option, deciphering the sugar content and weighing this against the amount of calcium and protein they contain is anything but.
Thankfully Choice has put in the legwork to review the myriad of options in the supermarket chiller, to produce a quick guide to the best – and worst performers. Popular category brands such as Yoplait Petit Miam, Tamar Valley, Chobani and Farmers Union were all assessed for their fat, sugar, calcium, fruit and protein contents, as well as added ingredients.
First up, Choice looked at the sugar content. While encouragingly this was found to be trending down since they first assessed sugar levels in 2016, 10 products were found to contain 12g or more of sugar per 100g. These included selected flavours across Aldi Just Organic Yogurt, Aldi Yoguri Greek Style High Protein Yogurt, Chobani, Coles Yoghurt Pouch and Five:am Organic.
When it came to calcium levels, Choice found that only 51 of the products assessed contained an amount high enough – calculated at 175mg or above, to be considered a good source of calcium, based on the 700mg RDI of calcium for kids aged four to eight.
Among the best options were Activa Probiotics, Aldi’s Bookle Yogurt Squishy, Just Organic and Yolivo Kids Yogurt, Coles Yoghurt Pouch, Danone Yopro, Farmers Union Greek Style Yoghurt Pouch and Five:am Organic, among others.
Choice also warned parents to read packaging carefully to ensure any high protein claims were justified. To be considered a good source, according to the Food Standard Code, products must contain at least 10 grams of protein per serving.
“Some of the yoghurt pouches we looked at have ‘source of protein’ or ‘protein for growing bodies’ claims on the packaging, said Choice expert Marianna Longmire.
“It’s important to be wary of claims about protein if this is particularly important to you. While all yoghurts contain protein, we found that 60 yoghurt products contained less than half the amount of protein to qualify as a ‘good source’.”
The best protein-rich options Choice found were selected flavours across Aldi Yoguri Greek Style High Protein, Chobani, Chobani FIT, Danone Yopro, Siggie’s Skyr Yoghurt Pouch and Vaalia Plus Protein.
The advocacy group also advised consumers to be sceptical of fruit contents claims, saying these were often derived from jams made from fruit puree and with added thickeners, colours and food acids.