Healthy Packaged Snack Foods

Choice Magazine in Australia recently (Jan/Feb 2005) reviewed all the currently available packaged snack foods targeting kids. The results can be viewed at their website. A packaged snack food was deemed desirable if it contained:
600kj or 140kcal or less per serving
less than 5g saturated fat per 100g
less than 15g sugar per 100g (or if some of the sugar came from real fruit or lactose the product could contain up to 25g per 100g)
less than 200mg sodium per serving

The following packaged snack foods satisfied all four nutritional requirements:

Muesli/Cereal bars

Mother Earth fruit topped Muelsi Bars
Uncle Tobys Bites Muesli Shotz Red Fruits
Uncle Tobys Chewy Muesli Bars Apricot

Dairy Desserts/Custards/Yoghurt

Coles Farmland Chocolate Dairy snac
Dairy Farmers Chocolate Custard
Hunt's Scooby Doo Cookies and Scream
Hunts Snack Pack Squeeze n'Go Chocolate
Nestle Chocolate Dairy Dessert
Dairy Farmers Yoghurt Strawberry
Nestle Real fruit Yoghurt Strawberry
Nestle Xplogo Yoghurt Sundae Strawberry
Pauls The Wiggles Yoghurt with Real Fruit Strawberry
Yoplait Go-Gurt Yoghurt Tubes Strawberry

Cooked Fruit/Jelly
Coles Farmland or Goulburn Valley or Sweet Valley Two Fruits in Juice/syrup
Golden Circle or SPC Fruit Salad
Golden circle Splurtz Apple and Strawberry Fruit Puree
Jelly Joy - jelly with real peach slices
SPC fruit snacks two fruits in strawberry jelly

Coolpak popped corn
Healtheries Kids Care Rice Wheels Cheese
Nu-Vit Honey Corn and Rice Crackers
Real McCoy air popped corn

Nutrition experts at the Healthy Eating Club think that this is a very helpful list for parents when shopping for snack foods for children. We now need a similar list of healthy packaged snack foods surveyed by CHOICE which target adults. In the mean time, the snack foods listed above for children are also suitable for adults.

HEC nutrition experts would also recommend the following desirable packaged snack foods for adults and children which were not surveyed by CHOICE because they did not specifically target children:

Muesli Bar
Carman Muesli Breakfast Bars

Biscuits (for your cup of tea or coffee)
Arnotts Oatmeal biscuits or Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits

Remember to read the labels of packaged foods using the rule of thumb for desirable energy and nutrient profile outlined by CHOICE (above) to make your snack food choices. Many packaged snack foods like cakes, muffins, muesli bars etc are loaded in calories - so read the label.

Related article - Healthy Breakfast Cereals




Last Updated: April 2005