Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ten foods that will make your kids fatter, faster....

In CHOICE’s on-going campaign to stop Australia’s childhood obesity epidemic, we’re revealing ten of the foods that will make your kids fatter faster.

Many of these items can be found in school lunch boxes but they’re packed with too many kilojoules and some of them have too much fat and sugar.

The food snacks making CHOICE’s hit-list have about the same amount of kilojoules per 100 grams as a fatty Big Mac (1000kJ).

The drinks on our list have more kilojoules per 100mL than a gut-inducing beer (155kJ).
We chose high-profile, market-leading snacks that were packaged in small portions, meaning your kids get not much satisfaction from a load of kilojoules.
Here are the snacks your kids should not eat too often:

* Nestle Milo Cereal
* Steggles Chicken Nuggets
* Uncle Tobys Roll-Ups Funprints Raspberry Flavour
* Ribena Blackcurrant Fruit Drink
* Kraft Dairy Bites Snack Abouts Cheese Spread and Chicken Flavoured Biscuits
* Go Natural Berry Pieces in Yoghurt
* The Natural Beverage Co Apple Naturally flavoured Soft Drink
* Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Bar
* Arnott’s Tiny Teddy Dippers Strawberry with Choc Chip Tiny Teddy
* Ferrero Nutella Hazelnut Spread

Nestle Milo Cereal (1658kJ/100g)
While OK for salt, Nestle Milo Cereal has more kilojoules per serve than most kids’ cereals including Kelloggs Coco Pops. Sanitarium Weet-bix is a much healthier cereal, even if you add some sugar.

Steggles Chicken Nuggets (1060kJ/100g)
Steggles Chicken Nuggets are just 55% chicken, so one serve actually gives you only 69g of actual meat but four teaspoons of fat. That’s more than three times the fat your child would get from the same amount of barbecued chicken breast.

Uncle Tobys Roll-Ups Funprints Raspberry Flavour (1560kJ/100g)
Uncle Toby’s was recently hauled over the coals by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for claiming Roll-Ups are “made with 65% real fruit’. The major ingredient is not fruit - but maize maltodextrin - a form of starch. Roll-Ups also contain 30% sugars. Your child is better off having a real piece of fruit such as an apple.

Ribena Blackcurrant Fruit Drink (215kJ/100mL)
It’s been around forever but now comes in a funky ‘Squee-zee’ pack. You may think it’s healthy but Ribena’s main ingredients are water and sugar and blackcurrant juice comes a poor third at only 5%. Pack them a bottle of water and maybe a piece of fruit instead.

Kraft Dairy Bites Snack Abouts Cheese Spread and Chicken Flavoured Biscuits (1789kJ/100g)
The label says ‘dairy goodness that kids love’ but they also contain a lot of fat and far too much salt for a kids’ snack. A serve comes with about as much saturated fat as a 50g packet of potato chips. A piece of real cheese and some low-fat crackers would be a healthier choice..

Go Natural Berry pieces in Yoghurt (1820kJ/100g)
We found this product in the health food aisle but it’s more like a confectionery. The main ingredients are sugar and fat. And the fat is among the worst the manufacturers could have chosen – hydrogenated palm oil which contains the fatty acids most strongly linked to heart disease risk. .

The Natural Beverage Co Apple Naturally flavoured Soft Drink (200kJ/100mL)
From all the marketing you might think this drink is healthier for kids than other fizzy drinks. Wrong. In fact it contains a little more sugar than Sprite but only 1% apple.

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Bar (1714kJ/100g)
These bars may be ‘iron man food’ but they have too much saturated fat and sugar and lack the dietary fibre and nutrients that kids could get from other cereal bars made from whole grains.

Arnott’s Tiny Teddy Dippers Strawberry with Choc Chip Tiny Teddy (2240kJ/100g)
They might be tiny but they pack more than twice the kilojoules per 100 grams than a Big Mac. Nearly 80% of the energy comes from fats and sugars so don’t expect your kids to get many of the nutrients they really need. A tub of fruit yoghurt is the healthier lunchbox treat.

Ferrero Nutella Hazelnut Spread (2175kJ/100g)
Loaded with fat and sugar Nutella combines the worst aspects of peanut butter (high fat) and jam (high sugar). Only 13% of the spread is made from nutritious hazelnuts. Mashed banana or even jam make healthier spreads.
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