January 22, 2013 by healthwisehome
Whenever I go to eat lunch with one of my boys at their school, I can almost guarantee that I will be helping at least a handful of children open a popular lunchtime side: a Yoplait Go-Gurt yogurt stick. These convenient little sticks seem innocent enough. After all, Yoplait describes them as:
Go-GURT® Portable Lowfat Yogurt, the first-ever yogurt in a tube, is the perfect snack for kids. Not only do kids love Go-GURT® yogurt’s fun tube and interactive promotions, but they can’t get enough of the smooth, creamy texture and wide variety of great, fun flavors like Strawberry Splash and Cool Cotton Candy. Go-GURT® brings kids the wholesome goodness of real Yoplait® yogurt and unstoppable fun every day!
The problem is, they aren’t full of “wholesome goodness”. Have you ever looked at the ingredient list?
“Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Kosher Gelatin, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Sorbate Added To Maintain Freshness, Carrageenan, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Blue #1, Red #40, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3″.
Other than the milk, do any of these ingredients sound “wholesome” to you? Did you know that each tube offers a smaller serving than a regular yogurt cup — just over 2 ounces, or 35% of a regular cup. Yet in this smaller serving, you will find 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar! In addition to all of the sugar and additives, Blue #1 (Blue Dye #1) and Red #40 (Red Dye #40) are also included in these products. Did you know that many food dyes, especially Red #40, have been linked to health problems like hyperactivity, headaches, asthma, and tumor growth? In fact, in Europe, products containing Red #40 are now required to come with warning labels. I don’t know about you, but none of this sounds nutritious or “wholesome” to me!
There are some better options in your grocery store if you are still willing to pay extra money for the convenience of these yogurt tubes (as I said earlier, these tubes offer a smaller serving size than a regular yogurt cup yet they cost just over $0.05 more per ounce). Stonyfield Farms Yokids Squeezers, for example, uses organic beet and carrot juice to add extra color to their yogurt instead of any artificial colors or dyes and they use organic milk. Yoplait also offers Simply Go-Gurt now, which contains no artificial colors or dyes, but is still full of additional additives and does not use organic milk.
Another healthier and more economical solution is to make your own! This summer I discovered Norpro Silicone Ice Pop Molds. They are awesome! These molds are reusable, dishwasher safe, BPA free, and can be used for making your own yogurt sticks, popsicles, and many other things as well. I stared making homemade yogurt sticks for my kids this fall and now they prefer them over the store-bought brands. To make, I simply blend plain yogurt (I usually use greek yogurt), fruit, and usually a handful of spinach (they will never know if you use blackberries or blueberries but you can certainly leave it out) together in my blender and pour the mixture into the Norpro Silicone Ice Pop Molds. That’s it! Our kids prefer them frozen, so I store ours in the freezer. You can also put leftovers from regular smoothies in the molds for a frozen afternoon treat and they are a great replacement for popsicles in the summer. Love them!