This post is a reminder to those who treat yogurt as a healthy addition to kids’ diets: virtually all sweetened yogurts on the market contain as much added sugar as candy. In fact, Stonyfield–one of the top organic brands–just upped the sugar content in many of its yogurts by 1-3 teaspoons per serving, so that some varieties now contain the equivalent of over 6 tsp. Think about filling a plastic baggie with that much sugar and sending it along as part of your kid’s daily lunch!
Yogurt itself is obviously a healthy, gut-friendly food, but like so many other foods, it has been processed and tinkered with beyond recognition. Plain yogurt topped with fruit, granola, and a drizzle of honey is a terrific breakfast, but now that kids are used to the uber-sweetness of Go-gurts, Danimals, and the rest, the challenge becomes how to recalibrate their tastebuds to like and enjoy plain (or very minimally sweetened, as a couple of brands thankfully are) yogurt’s tangy, naturally delicious flavor.
The over-sugaring of America’s food is a major issue, as I noted in another recent post. Here again, I highly recommend that everyone read Mark Bittman’s excellent discussion on sugar as a direct cause of diabetes. This is perhaps the prime area to focus on if we want to turn around America’s health decline. Make a start in your own family by keeping in mind that 4g of sugar = 1 tsp., and treating sugary yogurts as the dessert they are.