Veggies in packaged muesli bars: great idea or just marketing genius?

Hidden veggies in a fruit bar?! Sounds like a great way to get veges in your kiddies doesn’t it?

Until you look a little harder and realise this product:

A. Has 10 different types of sugar
B. Is more than 1/4 sugar per bar
C. Only 14% of that tiny bar is spinach. Which equals 1.3 grams of spinach, which I estimate to be about quarter of a teaspoon, at the most.

This bar came out last year and now Mother Earth are at it again! Fobbing off highly processed sugary muesli bars as a healthy way to get kids eating vegetables.

This product:

A. Is 64.2% sugar... and yes concentrated fruit puree IS sugar! Each tiny 15 gram bar has 9.6 grams of sugar which is around 2 ½ teaspoons.

B. Only 28% of that tiny bar is carrot. Which equals 4.2grams of processed carrot, which I estimate to be about 1 and a half teaspoons at the most.

Hardly an ideal way to get veggies into our kiddies!

Keep in mind that the World Health Organisation recommends that our kiddies have no more than 3 teaspoons of added sugar in their diets each day. These veggie bites come close with a whopping 2.5 tsps per tiny bar. For more info on sugar click here

So how do you get kids eating veggies?

Think of it as a long term plan – there is no short term fix. And remember it can take up to 20 tries to get kiddies used to tastes and textures so keep offering!

1. Be a good role model. Eat your veggies. Don’t tell kids they’re yuk, even if you think they are!

2. Eat as many meals as a family as possible.

3. Keep meals positive and fun. Make them about family time, catching up together after a long day.

4. Try the one bite rule. One bite, leave the rest on your plate.

5. Offer new foods away from meals times. This can take the pressure off kiddies to eat a big plate full of something a wee bit scary.

6. Get kiddies involved in food decisions, meal planning, cooking, prepping and gardening.

7. Don’t just offer veggies at dinner. Offer them at other meals and snack times. Put their favs in their lunchboxes.

8. Keep veggies in the fruit bowl. Having them visible will increase the likelihood of getting your kids eating them.

9. Offer a wide variety of veggies in lots of different ways. Use sauces to dip in, cook them in butter and garlic, grate them, spiralize them, mash them, hide them, skewer them and offer them on the side in their natural state.

10. Offer them small amounts of 3 to 4 different veggies, at each meal. That way if they don’t like one veggie they might eat the others.

11. Let them choose one or two veggies they don’t have to eat and focus on them eating the others. We all have natural likes and dislikes, which is totally normal.

12. Follow the division of responsibility. That is it’s your job, as the parent/caregiver to provide what food at what time you think they need to eat. It’s the kids job to choose what to eat our of what is offered and how much. Following these can really help

Moral of the story?

If you and your kiddies like these bars and they fit your food values and budget, then go for it. But please don’t be sucked into the marketing that kids need these to eat vegetables!

Got fussy kids? Not sure how to help them eat? Worried they have nutrient deficiencies? Contact me for a 1 on 1 consult, I can help!

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