Yoghurt pouches are convenient, clean and practical snack for little fingers on the go. But are they any good for your kids?

Consumer watchdog, CHOICE has done a deep dive into the dairy cabinet and taken a look at the ingredient list and health star ratings of 118 different squeezey yoghurt products from brands including Yoplait Petit Miam, Chobani, Tamar Valley Kids, Farmers Union and more to help give parents some direction in the flooded market.

The study also looked at the packaging to check out how kid-safe the potential choke hazard lids really are.

So, how do they make the grade? Are yoghurt pouches really a great snack for your kids?

“When we first reviewed kids yoghurt pouches in 2016, all of the products we looked at contained added sugar. We’re pleased to see there’s been some improvement – now 36 percent of the yoghurts we reviewed contain no added sugar, which means there’s an increase in healthier kid yoghurts available on supermarket shelves.” CHOICE spokesperson, Marianna Longmire told Bounty Parents.

“One of the biggest surprises was the inclusion of carrot concentrate in some yoghurts. Many parents would be thrilled to sneak some veg into their children’s diets, but carrot concentrate is actually just the colour and sugars from a carrot, not the fibre and other nutrients that can be found in a whole carrot.

“When you’re in a rush and just want to choose a nutritious yoghurt without any added sugars and additives, you can’t beat regular natural yoghurt.”

CHOICE spokesperson, Marianna Longmire is please with the direction children’s yoghurt snacks are headed.

The best natural yoghurts …

If you’re after great nutrition, and want to avoid unnecessary added sugars and additives, it’s hard to beat regular natural yoghurt which will contain two basic ingredients: milk and live yoghurt cultures.

If you’re after great nutrition, and want to avoid unnecessary added sugars and additives, it’s hard to beat regular natural yoghurt, which will contain only two basic ingredients: milk and live yoghurt cultures.

Of the 118 kids’ squeezey yoghurts CHOICE looked at, only two were natural:

  • Farmers Union Greek Style Yoghurt Pouch
  • Rafferty’s Garden

Something else to note: organic does NOT always mean healthy.

Natural yoghurt is the way to go!

The most sugar …

Most squeezy yoghurts still don’t list added sugar in the nutritional information panel, so it’s difficult to tell how much of the sugar content is added vs intrinsic (naturally occurring sugars found in milk, fruit and vegies).

For total sugars, Aldi’s Just Organic vanilla bean yoghurt was the worst offender, with 15.4g of sugars per 100g. That’s more than ten times more sugar than a pouch of vanilla Cocobella Dairy Free Coconut Yoghurt (1.2g/100g). The sugars they contain may be organic, but that doesn’t make them healthy.

Of the 118 yoghurts CHOICE reviewed, the following (ordered alphabetically) contain the most sugar – all had 12g or more per 100g:

  • Aldi Just Organic Yogurt (70g pouch: vanilla bean, strawberry, blueberry; 140g pouch: vanilla bean, strawberry)
  • Aldi Yoguri Greek Style High Protein Yogurt (strawberry)
  • Chobani (blueberry, strawberry)
  • Coles Yoghurt Pouch (blueberry)
  • Five:am Organic (vanilla bean)

The best Health Star Ratings

CHOICE did their own calculations and found the Heath Star Ratings (HSR) listed on products to be accurate, so if you’re short on time a quick scan of the HSR should give you a good indication of the products you want in your trolley.

According to CHOICE calculations, the following products have an HSR of 5:

  • Chobani (vanilla, raspberry, pineapple coconut)
  • Chobani FIT (coconut, vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, banana)
  • Danone Yopro (banana, mango, strawberry, vanilla, blueberry)
  • Sanitarium Up & Go (banana, vanilla, milk chocolate)
  • Siggi’s Skyr Yoghurt Pouch (mango, passionfruit, raspberry, vanilla)

In a flooded market, it can be confusing trying to make the right health choice for your child.

Choking-hazard lids

CHOICE found that two different types of screw-top lids were used on the yoghurts – a larger ‘mushroom’-shaped lid and a smaller screw-top lid similar to those found on some toothpastes.

No matter which lid your yoghurt has, both are choking hazards when removed from the pouch and should be kept out of the mouths of children.

Once removed from the ouch, all lids are a choking hazard.

Read CHOICE’s full report including information on calcium, fats, fruits, proteins and probiotics here.