The Best and Worst Children’s Yogurts
In the book “What To Eat”, Marion Nestle makes clear the high amounts of sugar calories in yogurt products marketed to children.“Sugars constitute 55% of the 80 calories in Go-Gurt (Yoplait’s “kid-friendly slurpable yogurt in a tube”), 67% of the 90 calories in Danimals Drinkable (Dannon’s version of children’s yogurt) and 68% of the 170 calories in Danimals XL. In Stonyfield’s YoBaby organic yogurts, marketed for infants and toddlers, 53% of the 120 calories come from added sugars. Some of Stonyfield’s yogurts for older kids suggest that they are berry-flavored, but they actually have no fruit content at all; their sweetness comes from juice concentrate and sugars, and their color comes from beet juice. Stonyfield yogurt may be organic, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t “Big Yogurt” — Group Danone (Dannon Yogurt) owns 85% of the company.”
This information is enough to make any parent wary of the yogurt they are feeding their children. With flashy colors and advertising campaigns making these products visually appealing to kids, regardless of their actual nutritional value, I decided to look past the marketing to determine the best and worst children’s yogurts available at my local grocery stores.
Click the image below to download my Children’s Yogurt Comparison Chart.
Chobani Champions is the best choice when selecting a yogurt marketed towards kids.
Chobani Champion Cups and Champion Tubes yogurts contain cultured pasteurized nonfat milk, cream, and live and active cultures.
Importantly, these yogurts also contain ingredients that match their flavor…
Chobani Champion Tubes (2.25oz)
Jammin’ Strawberry – Strawberries
Rockin’ Blueberry- Blueberries
Swirlin’ Strawberry Banana – Strawberries and Bananas
Chillin’ Cherry Ingredients – Black Cherries and Pineapple
Chobani Champion Cups (3.5oz)
“Very Berry” – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
“Banana Honey” – clover honey and bananas
“Vanilla Chocolate Chunk” – chocolate and cocoa crème
“Orange Vanilla” – orange pulp and orange juice
…they also contain the following added ingredients:
Evaporated cane juice (sugar)
Locust bean gum (thickener)
Champion Tubes (2.25oz): contain 70 calories, 1 gram total fat (0.5 gram saturated fat), 8 grams sugar and 5 grams protein.
Champion Cups* (3.5oz): contain 100-110 calories, 1.5 grams total fat (1 gram saturated fat), 10-13 grams sugar and 8 grams protein.
*Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Champion Cups contain more calories, fat and sugar. This flavor contains 120 calories, 3 grams total fat (2 grams saturated fat), 14 grams sugar and 8 grams protein.
Stoneyfield’s YoKids Organic Low Fat Yogurt is my second-place choice among yogurts for kids. This is because YoKids yogurts contain less protein than Chobani Champions and are flavored with fruit juice, not actual fruit.
YoKids Organic (4oz)
“Strawberry Vanilla” – strawberry juice from concentrate, vanilla extract
“Blueberry” – blueberry juice from concentrate
“Strawberry” – strawberry juice from concentrate
“Banana Strawberry” – strawberry juice from concentrate, banana puree
YoKids Organic Low Fat Yogurt (4oz): contains 80 calories, 1 gram total fat (0.5 gram saturated fat), 13 grams sugar, 3 grams protein, 20% DV of calcium and 25% DV of vitamin D.
Champions vs. YoKids
Chobani Champion and Stoneyfield Farm’s YoKids Organic yogurts both have a preferably short ingredient list. Both brands use a sweetener and a thickener.
Chobani Champions is flavored with actual fruit; however, YoKid’s yogurt is flavored with fruit juice concentrate.
Chobani Champion Cups are higher in protein than YoKids Organic Low Fat Yogurt.
Dannon’s Danimals yogurt was the worst choice in yogurts marketed towards kids, due to its lengthy list of ingredients. These yogurts contain sweeteners, preservatives, thickeners, coloring agents and other additives.
THE BOTTOM LINE
You don’t need to buy a yogurt specifically marketed towards kids, but whatever yogurt you choose should have a short ingredient list with the least amount of additives possible. It is a perfectly fine alternative to choose a Greek yogurt or a plain yogurt and flavor yourself with local honey or fruit.