If there’s one snack that kids of all ages seem to love, it’s yoghurt in a squeezy pouch. These convenient servings of flavoured yoghurt tick all the boxes for parents too – no mess (excellent for babies and toddlers), no need for a spoon (great for lunch boxes), a good source of calcium (fabulous for everyone), they’re easy for kids to eat and seem a healthy choice in comparison to many other snack options. And the biggest bonus? They actually get eaten!
Since they hit the market, parents have been snapping them up so much that there are now over 100 squeezy yoghurt pouches on the Australian market. That’s a lot of choice – but which ones can actually tick the ‘healthy’ box too?
Researchers at CHOICE have done the homework on this particular question and compared the contents of 118 yoghurt pouch products on offer in Australia, including popular brands like Yoplait Petit Miam, Chobani, Tamar Valley Kids and Farmers Union. They’ve revealed which yoghurts are the worst offenders when it comes to total sugar, along with the best performers for calcium, protein and fat content. They also looked at the additives for each product.
So which yoghurt pouch brands are the healthiest?
Not all yoghurt pouches are created equal, and it can be confusing to know what to look for amongst the dozens of options on the shelf at the supermarket.
The good news is that things are heading in a healthier direction. CHOICE expert Marianna Longmire says, “In our last review of yoghurt pouches in 2016 all of the products contained added sugar, but in 2020 we’re seeing healthier options available as well.”
So let’s break down some of the results:
Of the 118 products tested, only two were regular, natural yoghurt with no additives or additional sugar – those products are:
- Farmers Union Greek Style Yoghurt Pouch
- Rafferty’s Garden
On average, natural yoghurt contains roughly five to six percent intrinsic sugars. So if the total sugars value on the product’s nutrition information panel is more than 7g per 100g, it probably contains added sugars. Roughly two in five yoghurt pouches on Australian shelves now contain no added sugar.
Of the 118 yoghurts CHOICE reviewed, the products that contain the most sugar are:
It’s interesting to note that some of the pouches containing the most sugars also had high levels of calcium. You can see how they compare on the CHOICE website.
While some yoghurts are flavoured with minimally processed real fruit, the fruit content in others is more like a kind of jam made from fruit purée, water and sugar, with thickeners, colours and food acids.
According to CHOICE, “You can only tell by looking closely at the ingredients list: if it’s not real fruit, you’ll see something like ‘fruit’ followed by sugar and other ingredients, all enclosed within brackets.”
Health Star Ratings
CHOICE checked the Health Star Ratings of the yoghurt pouches that displayed them (about 11 percent of those in the survey). All of them were accurate. A few products that gained a Health Star Rating of 5 are:
- Chobani (vanilla, raspberry, pineapple coconut)
- Chobani FIT (coconut, vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, banana)
- Danone Yopro (banana, mango, strawberry, vanilla, blueberry)
- Sanitarium Up & Go (banana, vanilla, milk chocolate)
- Siggi’s Skyr Yoghurt Pouch (mango, passionfruit, raspberry, vanilla)
To find out more about finding the healthiest yoghurt pouches for your kids, head to the CHOICE website.
Choking hazard warning
It’s great to know that the options are getting healthier, but one last cautionary note to parents – all of the yoghurt pouch products available in Australia include one of two types of removable screw-top lid.
No matter which lid your yoghurt squeeze pack has, all of them are choking hazards when removed from the pouch and should be kept out of the mouths of children.
Only three in five of the products CHOICE looked at had a choking warning on the packaging, so it’s important for parents to be aware of this potential hazard, especially when giving yoghurt pouches to smaller children. We recommend removing the lid for them, and keeping lids away from little tots entirely.