Sometimes food companies really make me mad.
Take Yoplait’s latest product, for example: Yoplait Baby.
Here’s a yogurt supposedly appropriate for babies because it’s made with whole milk and has only “5 simple ingredients.”
Whole milk is good, but the other 4 of the 5 ingredients are unnecessary at best.
Check out the ingredients in the banana flavor:
I don’t see any bananas, do you? Nope. That’s because there aren’t any. In fact there’s no real fruit in any of their flavors.
Furthermore, sugar is the second ingredient (babies don’t need sweetened yogurt in my opinion), then corn starch (probably from genetically modified corn), natural flavor (why didn’t they just add banana puree?), and turmeric extract (so that the yogurt looks like it has bananas in it even though it doesn’t).
What upsets me is the packaging and marketing of this product would make most moms believe it was a healthy choice for their baby.
But it isn’t. It’s just another one of the thousands of products trying to convince you it is real, whole food.
This yogurt won’t harm your baby, but it’s not an ideal choice, and shouldn’t be marketed as one.
What should you choose instead?
Plain, whole milk, organic yogurt.
Either a baby yogurt – the only plain baby yogurt on the market is Stonyfield’s YoBaby in Simply Plain – or any other organic whole milk yogurt.
As a baby gets to be a toddler, she might enjoy the sweetened/flavored yogurts too, but I recommend offering plain yogurt most of the time. The fruit flavored kinds should be more of a treat.
Note: Even if you don’t normally buy organic food, I recommend buying organic dairy products when possible. If cost is a concern, you can always buy yogurt in larger containers – like the 32 oz size – which tend to be less expensive than buying individually packaged yogurts.
Please, help me spread the word so that parents everywhere know the truth about Yoplait Baby!
kariJanuary 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm
this is a fantastic post! marketing can be so deceptive. thanks for sharing your nutritional expertise with us!!
TriciaJanuary 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm
Thank you for this post. Just started yogurt with my little one.
The SweetestJanuary 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm
Ha! I love how they brag about no corn syrup but it has corn starch. My son (5 yo) jeeps begging me to buy the yogurt squeezers and kids yogurts, but I won’t (not even the organics) because I don’t believe that less fat and more sugar is good for him. We all eat whole milk yogurt.
AmeliaJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm
Plain whole milk yogurt is so darn good 🙂
AmeliaJanuary 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm
Glad you found it helpful!
MargaretJanuary 30, 2013 at 9:03 am
I find the more geared towards children/babies a package looks the more I give it the side-eye. It’s usually less nutritious then using a kid sized portion of an adult choice and it’s almost always more expensive. Thanks for pointing this brand out and for always advocating label reading.
courtneyJanuary 30, 2013 at 10:01 am
My son has a cows milk intolerance so I can only give his o’soy from Stoneyfield! Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention though…its kind of scary that there is no reall fruit in there
mommymandyAmandaJanuary 30, 2013 at 10:08 am
thank you for this post!!!
[email protected]January 30, 2013 at 10:48 am
That makes me mad, too! That is so deceptive! That’s why I ALWAYS check the ingredients!
JenniferjJanuary 30, 2013 at 11:08 am
I wish you had a pin friendly pic! I want to pin this but not for people to like it.
AmeliaJanuary 30, 2013 at 11:53 am
Reading the ingredients is always the best way to know for sure something is healthy or not!
AmeliaJanuary 30, 2013 at 11:54 am
You’re right, that’s usually the case!
AmeliaJanuary 30, 2013 at 11:55 am
Good point – I’ll try to add one!
AnnaJanuary 30, 2013 at 11:58 am
A great example of why you should never trust the marketing, but just read the nutrition facts and especially the ingredients list! I saw that yogurt and thought about looking at it, but I don’t trust Yoplait so I didn’t bother. I read recently that children should have no more than 12 grams of added sugar per day – they don’t need to be eating yogurt where the second ingredient is sugar!
I’m a new reader with a 3yo and a 1yo. Enjoying your blog!
AmeliaJanuary 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm
Welcome to the blog, Anna! I hadn’t heard that sugar recommendation before, but it sounds like a good rec.
RuthJanuary 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm
Thanks for sharing! It is sad that these companies will do anything to increase their sales. Like toddler toothpaste – what a waste!
You said to spread the word so I linked to your page from my (very new) blog. I hope I did it right!
AmeliaJanuary 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm
Thank you, Ruth! I’m excited to check out your blog too.
SarahFebruary 1, 2013 at 4:48 am
Great post!! I always find it interesting (scary!) how much junk food is directed towards kids and babies. This is so deceiving. Good for you for putting this kind of stuff out there!
karengreenersFebruary 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm
All food marketed to/for kids is generally gross.
LSsMomFebruary 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm
Ugh, gross. It’s stuff like this that gets kiddos hooked on sugar so young! That and some peoples complete lack of education when it comes to selecting foods for their kids (and themselves for that matter!).
Shobana ArunachalamFebruary 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm
There is absolutely no need to buy “Special” foods for babies. Just serve them what you eat and they will be happy and so will your wallet.
JodieFebruary 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm
its sad that most companies do crap like this. I like sweet yogurts, so I buy their vanilla because it has no high fructose corn syrup in it. I have to say that they are improving because it used to have high fructose corn syrup in it. As far as this product, it is definitely unnecessary for all, that stuff in baby’s food.
AmeliaFebruary 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm
I am with you on this one 🙂
AmeliaFebruary 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Sad, but very true.
AmeliaFebruary 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm
Thanks, Sarah. You’re right – this happens way too often!
AdrianaFebruary 2, 2013 at 8:49 am
I’m with you!! For my tot that wants the sweet yogurt, I just add a little honey or mashed bananas to the plain/organic yogurt. She loves it and I can control the amount of sugar.
AmeliaFebruary 2, 2013 at 10:38 am
This is the type of sweetening I do too – and to a baby (and to most adults), it’s plenty sweet!
Chase GrishamChaseFebruary 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm
I was on board until the end.
“This yogurt won’t harm your baby, but it’s not an ideal choice” followed by “What should you choose instead? Plain, whole milk, organic yogurt.”
You’re comparing two different things at this point. A flavored yogurt vs a plain yogurt. Saying the plain is better because it has less ingredients. NO DUH plain has less.
You want a fair comparison compare the Yoplait to YoBaby Banana Yogurt.
Yoplait: whole milk, sugar, corn starch, natural flavor, and turmeric extract.
YoBaby: CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC WHOLE MILK, NATURALLY MILLED ORGANIC SUGAR, ORGANIC BANANA PUREE, NATURAL FLAVOR, PECTIN, ORGANIC ANNATTO EXTRACT (FOR COLOR), VITAMIN D3.
So lets see now. OH LOOK SUGAR IS THE SECOND INGREDIENT! Ok it’s follow by banana puree that’s good. Then look NATURAL FLAVOR (apparently banana puree isn’t good enough). Next up is Pectin (bit better than corn starch). Followed by annatto extract for color, but I thought it was the right color cause it had real bananas? Guess not. Finally vitamin D3 which your baby really only needs if they live in a cave.
Also the whole organic labeling, isn’t quite as trustworthy as we’d hope. You make a dig at them for not labeling it as possibly GMO, but the regulations for labeling something organic aren’t what everyone consider’s organic. Example: You can treat a cow with antibiotics and other drugs following rules: “(1) Milk or milk products may be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced beginning 12 months following the last date that the dairy animal was treated with the prohibited substance; and
(2) The offspring of gestating mammalian breeder stock treated with a prohibited substance may be considered organic: Provided, That, the breeder stock was not in the last third of gestation on the date that the breeder stock was treated with the prohibited substance.”
Further their is a list of 25+ synthetic substances you’re allowed to treat your livestock with and still call their milk or meat organic (without appending rules of 12 months, etc). So depending how strict you want to stick to “organic” you may be a bit outraged.
I’m not going to say that the YoBaby Organic isn’t more healthy, but it’s aiming to be more healthy and better, hence why it costs more. Yoplait is cheaper, and not that much worse for you when you actually compare it to a fair comparison. A normal Yoplait yogurt has like 14 ingredients, so ya their baby yogurt is better for babies. Nothing you purchase from a store is going to be an ideal choice, you want an ideal choice make your own yogurt ( http://www.food.com/recipe/breastmilk-yoghurt-for-babies-52832 ). Ya out of breast milk, talk about ideal.
But it takes 9 hours. So if you got the time more power to ya, if not well Yoplait might suffice here and there.
AmeliaFebruary 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm
Thanks for your comment and I agree with some of what you’ve said here. A few additional thoughts:
1 – Yoplait Baby is actually more expensive, ounce for ounce, than Stonyfield YoBaby. So in this case, the organic version is the cheaper choice.
2 – The USDA organic seal does ensure that a product is free of GMOs, toxic & persistent pesticides, and artificial colors and flavors. And there are many other benefits. I like Stonyfield because they use Organic Valley cooperative milk which comes from small organic farmers who have a say in what goes on in their production. These farmers grow with the earth, health of the animals, and health of humans in mind. They really embody what the word organic means.
3 – I agree with you that Stonyfield’s YoBaby would be better if it just had the banana puree and not the additional flavor, and if the sugar was lower or left out altogether. That’s why I choose to buy their Simply Plain.
4 – I am not comparing apples to oranges. Yoplait Baby would get a lot more credit in my book if they even offered a plain flavor, which they don’t.
Grace GourleyJune 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm
So dads are allowed to buy this, or do dads never shop?
AmeliaJune 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm
This post is aimed at all parents, guardians, and caretakers who grocery shop for babies and children. Moms are still the primary grocery shoppers in most households, according to 2012 research, which is why I titled the post as such. However, you bring up a good point. I did read a study revealing that 24% of dads research food products before grocery shopping, compared with just 11% of moms.
HeatherJune 26, 2013 at 9:48 am
Thank you for this! Yet another reminder to always pay attention to what we give our precious kids and ourselves! Always always read. My FIL told me when I was pregnant: no lees no sabes..basically if you don’t read you don’t know and this is so true when it comes to these darn food labels! I’m THAT crazy lady in the store with my coupons in one hand and the back of the packages in my face in the other reading reading reading. I get weird looks because I’m usually reading this box then putting it down to pick up another but whatever! My health not theirs!
AmeliaJune 26, 2013 at 9:53 am
I do the same thing, Heather. It’s worth it! Though my shopping trips take FOREVER 😉
ShannonJanuary 10, 2014 at 12:34 am
I want to try making breast milk yogurt when I have a baby, making it yourself you know whats in it and you don’t waste breast milk that’s been pumped already. Though I’ve been told to wait until your milk is at the richest of states most likely I’m guessing by the time the baby is 4 months go from there.
Personally I understand when they say wait until 6 months for food, but if it is yogurt I don’t see the problem really.
JodashdeSeptember 25, 2016 at 6:07 pm
Can we start a petition against baby yogurt products with such additives?
MaryDecember 9, 2016 at 1:19 pm
my daughter in law sent stonyfield yo baby with my grandson for lunch! he wouldn’t eat it. i tried it, and didn’t care for the aftertaste and texture.
Amelia WinslowDecember 15, 2016 at 11:50 am
Hi Mary, As with anything, we all have our taste preferences. I personally don’t find any aftertaste and love the creamy texture. And I like that it’s not overly sweet. But Switching to new brands sometimes does require a taste adjustment too. As long as you’re choosing a lower-sugar, all-natural (preferably organic) yogurt, you’re probably in good hands.