Is a GoGurt a Healthy Go or a Junk Food No?

June 1, 2010   28 Comments

The convenience of yogurt in a tube is phenomenal. No need for spoons and SO easy to pack make GoGurts a potential healthy choice for parents looking for something fun to add to lunch boxes.

Gogurt Review

GoGurts are made by Yoplait, and as you can tell by the packaging, are directed at children. I can't make it past the dairy section without my kids screaming for them. They love anything with Scooby Doo, Dora, SpongeBob, Spiderman, etc. (you get the picture).

Do I want to say these are the HEALTHIEST snack ever? Yes. Can I do that? No.

The first clue that you have to their healthiness is the taste. I tried one called, "Shaggy's Cool Punch". It was SO sweet and tasted like punch.

The second clue is the second ingredient on the box. First you have milk, then you have sugar. In plain yogurt (which is healthy - see FAGE), the ingredients include solely milk and cultures. No sugar is added to plain yogurt and while we cannot expect children to eat plain yogurt, we can expect them to eat DIY Yogurt that has less added sugar.

How much more sugar than plain lowfat yogurt? Well, Yoplait added more than a teaspoon to each tube of yogurt. Which doesn't seem like that much, except that we are looking for a healthy snack.

And then there are the artificial colors and flavors which are added to Gogurts. Do you really need them to make it taste good? Does it need to have Blue #1 to get a child to eat it? Not with a teaspoon of sugar in it and the cool packaging!

Yoplait is coming out with a GoGurt called Simply Gogurt. The reason for this Gogurt review was that one of you asked me to review Simply Gogurt. Unfortunately, I was unable to find it at my local grocery store. Here is Yoplait's marketing line:

It's the deliciously fun filled tube with simple ingredients. Plus it's free from artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. Just the goodness of 100% Yoplait® yogurt.

This sounds hopeful, but there is still the same amount of sugar in the tube of Simply Gogurt. I was able to find the nutritional information on the Yoplait site.

So, plain yogurt has 4.5 grams of sugar for 70 grams of yogurt, and the Simply GoGurt has 10 grams of sugar for 70 grams of yogurt. To put this in perspective, ice cream has about 15 grams of sugar for 70 grams (depending on the ice cream). So you are halfway between healthy and treat.

My suggestion is to buy the Simply Gogurt if you can find it. Then, treat it like a dessert. It is a "sometimes" snack versus an every day addition to the lunch box. Just be aware that you can do better with DIY Yogurt.

I don't want to be a super duper Grinch - but there is also the packaging to consider. A big tub of yogurt is much better for the planet versus a cardboard box and 8 plastic tubes. Okay, enough preaching for today :)

Anybody buy GoGurts? What is your strategy with these snacks?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 28 )

The second ingredient used to be HFCS so at least they changed it to sugar. I stopped buying it ages ago because of the HFCS. I sure wish someone made a less sugary version.

I won't buy them. I think they're junky. I make my own yogurt in a yogurt maker and my kids like to top PLAIN yogurt with fresh fruit or a dollup of honey. I'd much rather they have honey than sugar for a sweet treat. In Food Rules, Michael Pollan advises not to eat anything heavily advertised on television, and I agree. Once you break kids away from artificial flavorings and colorings and sweeteners, they come to appreciate natural sources of sweeteners and they seek out natural colors. It does happen. :) Plain Greek yogurt is a good place to start with kids because it's creamy and not sour/bitter like most yogurts. Add some pureed berries for color and flavor.

While everyone enjoys making HFCS the enemy (first comment), there's very little difference between HFCS and sugar. Most of us need to reduce our intake of both.

And, in Michael Pollan's speeches he specifically mentions GoGurt as the "ultimate junk food". Something our grandmothers would never recognize.

Ken Leebow

If it has sugar, especially as one of the early (ie, first five) ingredients, I consider it junk food, cause sugar/HFCS are just plain not good for us. Sugar added to it makes it dessert, and dessert is not supposed to be a snack or meal--but jsut that...dessert. A treat. A rarity.

I rarely buy yogurt for the kids (for me, I buy plain Greek yogurt or goats milk yogurt and add berries - no sweeteners) but when I do, I stay away from these. The added dyes and so much artificial-tasting flavor can't be good. I know the "regular" yogurts still have a good deal of sugar, but it's an every-once-in-a-while snack.

This makes me sad because I've been packing lots of go-gurt in my kids lunches. I love that you can keep it in the freezer. It helps keep their other lunch items cool and is thawed just in time for lunch. Let's write them and encourage less sugar and no added color. Who even looks at the color when the kids suck it right out of the plastic?!

I have never purchase GoGurt because I read labels in the store!! We have always done DIY yogurt and my girls have always loved it because it's all they've ever known! Greek yogurt with a dollap of left over fruit smoothie is a fav too. Kids LOVE blending stuff in a blender! It's exciting :-) And they love mixing stuff together and watching it change! We really have to take control over the bad stuff these companies put in food and target toward our kids! You don't need to fill my kids up with sugar and dye! Nope! Not happening in my house!!!!

Ah, GoGurt! I have a 2 year old and I first bought it close to a year ago because I had a coupon and my son loved yogurt so I figured this would be great, right? I was shopping with my 2 year old and just grabbed 2 boxes off the shelf quickly (had to buy two boxes to get the discount) when I got home I discovered the boxes had two flavors I think one was cherry and the other was COTTONCANDY!!! Even my son wouldn't eat that junk... I tried one other time because again I had a coupon and I purchased the fruity flavors... He liked them but he likes my DIY yogurt too and I know it is a lot better for him.

While I agree with Ken that we need to reduce our intake of both HFCS *and* sugar I disagree that there is little difference between the two. Or maybe the little difference there is really matters. One of my kids is diabetic and his blood sugar spikes differently for HFCS than sugar. I want him to have less sugar, I want him to have no HFCS.

I love Yoplait yogurt, my favourite brand. I think it is the best tasting yogurt on the shelf. But I was shocked to see how much sugar are in each little mini-tubs of yogurt. 17g!! No wonder my 20 mo. old loves this stuff. I'm switching to having plain yogurt with a dollop of honey; it tastes so much better when it's not overloaded with sugar.

By the way, I love your blog. Very inspiring. :)

I have mixed feelings on this. My kids won't touch yogurt (though ate it like crazy as infants/toddlers) unless it is frozen and in a tube. I buy the Stonyfield Squeezers (the only yogurt I ever have bought is stonyfield period) which has nothing artificial and they love them. Sure, there's some sugar, but I felt (now I am wondering???) it was okay given the active ingredients and benefits from them. They are free flowing in our house, but I do allow them to have one a few times a week. The other favorite snack they have other days are homemade fresh fruit/spinach (or kale) smoothie popsicles. That balances it out right? :)

I've never bought the GoGurts because or all the artificial colors. I might as well give my child candy. I recommend Horizon Tuberz. The ingredients are all organic and the flavors are actual fruit. I throw them in the freezer and use them for special treats.

I usually by YoBaby, recently we've switched to plain yogurt that has 3 ingredients, then add our own fruits to it when we get home.

My 3 year old has fun making his own flavors and blueberries naturally change the color of the yogurt.

Don't buy these because of the sugar and added colors. I shop at TJ's or Sprouts and buy yogurt there. Would love to make my own....maybe Santa will bring me a yogurt machine for Xmas.

Oh and BTW-there is a HUGE difference in sugar and HFCS-find out how it's made. It's an highly processed "food". It's a sweetner, yes, but I would rather eat regular sugar than that stuff.

Someone game me a box of gogurts but since I knew that I wouldn't eat them, I set them aside to give to my grandkids. They were at room temp. for at least a week... are they still safe to eat. The box doesn't say anything about keeping refrigerated.

If you dont like it, dont buy. Simple as that.

YoBaby yogurts also have lots of sugar. I have been feeding my 2 year old daughter plain whole milk yogurt (often with flax seeds) since she was 6-8 months old and she loves it. Super Baby Food is a great resource on healthy feeding for babies and toddlers.

While I think that all the sugar and dyes aren't a good thing, I don't see anything wrong with having a gogurt every once in a while as a treat, because at least it is better than candy- right? (Rhetorical question)Besides, kids should be free to be kids, not be on strict no-sugar-rich-foods-for-you constant diets.


If you don't like it, don't buy it! I understand that it has sugar and artificial flavors in it, but you don't have to go on and on about how unhealthy YOU think it is. It could be totally unhealthy, it could be not that bad. These are all opinions, and yes, some of you have probably looked on the back, but that doesn't give you the right to complain about it. JUST DON'T BUY IT. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to come out mean, but think about it, if you had a company that might have worked on some product for several months, trying to improve on the taste, and appeal to kids, would you want people constantly saying how they hate it, and that you would NEVER buy this junk food? I am fine with everyone's opinions, but PLEASE, have some respect in other company's work.

In regards to the conemmt the poor get handouts I think you might like to educate yourself a bit more as to what the poor actually get. A couple of years ago, I looked into the WIC program out of curiousity and learned that although the government does provide some specific categories of food items (in the form of vouchers), in the fine print it explicitly states that you are not allowed to purchase organic food. Too expensive. And have you checked out the school lunch programs? The poor qualilfy for free breakfast and lunch. And what they get is highly processed crap loaded with unnatural sweetners and trans fats. I know I'm going off topic a bit here, but I think what a government/country chooses to feed its poor and vulnerable populations reflects both a dismissal of what constitutes proper nutrition, and a complete lack of concern for the health and well being of its citizenry.As far as HFCS goes, seven years ago I began to make a game of trying to buy food that lacked HFCS as an ingrdient and wound up consistently in the organic aisle ever since. I agree with an earlier poster, if HFCS is an ingredient, then most likely there is a bunch of other crap in there too that's equally bad for you.The late Jack La Lanne always said that if you want to live a long and healthy life, make every meal from scratch. People just need to wake up and reprioritize their budgets and time.

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