The Healthiest Fruit Snacks For Kids

fruit snacks

Question: My 7-year old loves fruit snacks.  Which ones are the healthiest for her?

Answer: The reality is that fruit snacks are often just candy with the word “fruit” in the title.  So it’s important to shop carefully, and either choose fruit leathers, which are made from fruit puree and have no added sugar, or an organic brand of fruit snacks that are free of artificial colors or flavors.  Here are a few great products:

  1. Stretch Island Fruit Strips.  These delicious fruit leathers count as 1/2 a serving of fruit, are 100% natural, and have no added sugar, just the naturally occurring sugar in the fruit.
  2. Fruitabu Fruit Rolls.  These are a great substitute for the traditional fruit roll up.  Also made by Stretch Island Fruit Co, they offer a full serving of fruit, no added sugars, and are a real hit with kids.
  3. Tasty Brand Organic Fruit Snacks (pictured above).  These organic snacks fall into the occasional treat category, but you can rest assured that they have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  Plus, your child (and you!) will love the taste.
  4. Annie’s Homegrown Organic Fruit Snacks.  The best thing about these certified organic bunny-shaped treats (besides the fact that they’re made with real fruit juice and have no artificial colors or flavors, of course) is that they come in four different delicious flavors, so it’s impossible to get bored.
  5. Trader Joe’s Fiberful Dried Fruit Bar.  These bars are essentially fruit leathers packed with fiber.  Don’t go too crazy on them or you’ll get a belly ache, but in moderate portions, they’re a nice healthy treat.

Happy Snacking!

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  1. Amelia Doherty says:

    Have you ever tried the Annie’s fruit snacks? I haven’t actually read any of the nutritionals but tried them on demo at Costco and they were so tasty and I loved the texture!

  2. I am a superfan of Strach Island Fruit Strips. I buy them in bulk on Amazon. I love how chewy they are!

  3. Hey Amelia,
    I recommend you check out the nutrition facts on Annie’s. Syrup and Sugar are the first two ingredients.

    • Annie’s Homegrown Fruit Snacks do fall into the “occasional treat” category – but just like Tasty Brand, they meet the criteria of no artificial colors or flavors, and are made with organic ingredients, so when your child (or you!) wants a treat, they’re a good choice. Check them out here: http://www.annies.com/fruit_snacks

  4. I just came across the post in Google searching for fruit snacks for kids and I wanted to interject. Freeze-dried fruit retains all the nutrition of fresh fruit, whereas these purees used for fruit leather do not always.

    Freeze-dried fruit is just like fresh fruit except the water is removed in a special process. See here: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/fresh-ideas/dinner-food-facts/freeze-drying1.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeze-drying

    I myself have been purchasing freeze-dried fruit snacks from Costco for some time, I have also bought them on Amazon too. I do have a preference and that is the Brothers All Natural brand. However, I have tried Crispy Green as well (they were at Whole Foods) and they were just as good and just as healthy.

    It is important to look at the label even for freeze-dried fruit because some are produced with added sugars and other additives. The two I mentioned above are nothing but the fruit, 100% fruit! Check these out also as an option.

    Just thought I’d chime in…

    Joe

    Sorry, I forgot to include the website for the freeze-dried fruit snaks: http://www.brothersallnatural.com/

  5. Thanks for the tips! I will make some home made fruit leather for my 14 month old son.

  6. kari lauritzen says:

    until i read this article, i never considered “fruit snacks” equivalent to candy, even though they clearly are. viewing them as a treat (not as a serving of fruit), and being mindful about the artificial additives in some brands, was really an eye opener for me. thanks amelia!

  7. Thanks for the great tips. I get so overwhelmed trying to navigate all of the information about food marketed to us out there – I just want to make healthy choices for me and my family and this information really helps.

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  1. […] The Healthiest Fruit Snacks For Kids – Eating Made Easy – Question: My 7-year old loves fruit snacks. Which ones are the healthiest for her? … and they were just as good and just as healthy. It is important to look at the label even for freeze-dried fruit because some are produced with added sugars and other additives. […]