If your kids are like mine, they love packaged things above fresh things. Why?
Well, it seems that children taste foods with their EYES as well as their mouth. I already wrote about the using the power of cartoon characters to push a healthy snack see: DIY Packaging Tricks For Healthy Snacks.
Snack Girl got really excited when she saw these new Dole fruit cups in 100% fruit juice. I had reviewed Del Monte Diced Peaches in Light Syrup and was sad there was added sugar in the product.
Now, Dole comes out with a product with the diced fruit in fruit juice. Just to be clear, this didn't decrease the overall sugar in the snack. Fruit juice has sugar as well, but it is natural sugar as opposed to refined sugar.
Why does it matter?
It probably doesn't matter that much, but it is less a processed form of sugar and therefore more natural. This snack has no artificial colors, no high fructose corn syrup, and no preservatives other than vitamin C.
I think these are a great option to keep in your pantry for when you run out of fresh fruit. My children also consider these a TREAT, and they are way better for them then many other packaged snacks.
When I wrote about Del Monte Diced Peaches in Light Syrup, the first commenter brought up a study on lead levels in these canned fruits. So, I looked into the research on lead levels in fruits.
The reality is that orchards used lead in their pesticides in the 1950's, and we all used to drive cars with LEADED gasoline. The lead got into the soil, and it doesn't degrade. Basically, all fruits or vegetables could have some lead in them.
What amount is safe? We don't know. This is a toxin that is in our environment and it is difficult to avoid. The amounts found in these canned fruits were very low.
The question I have is what about the benefits of eating fruit? Does that benefit outweigh the potential harm of eating a small amount of lead?
It seems that everything we eat has an ethical, chemical, or political issue. My suggestion is to just eat a variety of things so that you don't get dosed on too much of anything.
For example, five fruit cups a day is probably too many. Maybe 2 or 3 fruit cups a week is a good amount. Just use common sense.
What do you think of Dole Fruit Cups with 100% Fruit Juice?