Fruit roll ups! Either you love them or hate them and many of you remember how awesome these were when they were in your school lunch. Of course many times they didn't want to peel off the wrapper and your hands got sticky but they were tasty! Kids love them and it's no wonder they do. They are FULL of SUGAR!
Years ago they were marketed as "real fruit" but you'd be surprised to learn how little real fruit is in there. The strawberry flavor contains no strawberries, and the only ingredient derived from fruit is the sugar present in concentrated pear juice.
Let's take a look at the ingredients of one of the popular Strawberry fruit roll ups on the market today.
Corn Syrup, Dried Corn Syrup, Sugar, Pear Puree Concentrate, Palm Oil. Contains 2% or less of: Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Fruit Pectin, Monoglycerides, Malic Acid, Dextrose, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Acetylated Monoglycerides, Natural Flavor, Color (red 40, yellows 5 & 6, blue 1).
Does that make your head hurt? It does mine!
Let's see...sugar, sugar, sugar and some more sugar (that last one is at least natural sugar from the pear). Palm oil is controversial ingredient from both an environmental standpoint and from a health standpoint. It has a high saturated fat content, which can be harmful to cardiovascular health.
It states that there are No Artificial Flavors. Good for them, right? The ingredient list says "Natural Flavor."
But what is "Natural Flavor?" According to Healthline.com "The original source of natural flavors must be plant or animal material. However, natural flavors are highly processed and contain many chemical additives. In fact, natural flavors aren't much different than artificial flavors in terms of chemical composition and health effects." There are many articles that address the term "natural flavor" if you want to read more.
The fruit roll ups above also states Produced with Genetic Engineering.
One last part I'll point out is Color...red 40, yellow 5 and 6, and blue 1. There are articles about artificial food dyes and hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions, possibly tumors and cancer. Some of the dyes have been banned in other countries. Example, blue 1 has been banned in Norway, Finland, and France. My suggestion is to always do your best to avoid artificial colors. If something is good for you, we don't need it to look pretty.
Rarely are foods naturally bright pink or purple (unless they are a fruit or vegetable) but yet we see all sorts of colors added to our snacks, cereals, beauty and hair products, dog and cat food, and even bird food. We have an African Grey parrot and she will not touch anything with an artificial color in it. That says A LOT in my book. If Pip doesn't approve, it's a NO GO! By the way, Pip LOVES Thrives fruit and veggies.
So what's a lover of fruit roll ups to do?
Yes, you can make your own but if you're like me and not handy in the kitchen nor do I have time to make my own, we have a simple solution for you!
insert trumpet sounds as I bring you...Spinach Fruit Crisps! From the minute I put one in my mouth, that nostalgic fruit roll up taste is what I thought of.
The Thrive Spinach Fruit Crisps are made from 100% fruits and veggies These crisps pair the fantastic nutrition of spinach with the great taste of apples, oranges, and bananas. Best of all, you won't even know you're eating spinach! A handful of crisps (1/2 cup) is 2 full servings of fruits and veggies! These won't get stuck to that cellophane wrapper, are easy to eat, crunchy, and won't make your hands all sticky.
I smile just seeing this...
- Certified gluten-free
- NO GMOs: no bioengineered ingredients
- NO artificial colors or flavors
Check out the ingredient list...
Apple Puree Concentrate, Orange Juice Concentrate, Banana Puree, Spinach Powder.
Each serving has 10g of sugar but it's the natural sugar from the fruit. It's not added sugar.
Guess what? They are Pip the parrot approved too! That speaks volumes in my book.
I forgot to mention, there is one downside of the Spinach Fruit Crisps. They only come in Snackie bag size. Oh please, please, please give us these in a pantry can size because they are just that good and good for you!
Which would you rather have? A fruit roll up with the list of ingredients above or these healthy Thrive Spinach Fruit Crisps?
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Lisa and Rich Jelinek