FoodChoosing Healthy for Kids: The Hidden Truth Behind Fruit Syrups

Choosing Healthy for Kids: The Hidden Truth Behind Fruit Syrups

Is fruit syrup good for children? Parents should know.
Is fruit syrup good for children? Parents should know.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | pingpao

2:27 PM EDT, May 15, 2024

It's commonly said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This saying holds especially true for parents in their quest to care for their children. We aim for the best, yet the outcomes don't always align with our intentions. So, what should we do? Reading the labels is an excellent first step, particularly for drinks that may appear healthy.

On one hand, our goal is to shield our kids from lifestyle diseases, ensuring their well-being and proper development. On the other hand, we often, without a second thought, offer them drinks whose contents, to put it mildly, may not be very beneficial. A prime example of this is parents' widespread choice of fruit syrups. Since these syrups are mixed with water, they're considered healthy, right? Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

What we drink matters

Most parents know that serving cola or other sugary, carbonated drinks to children is not the path to promoting a healthy lifestyle. "Everything in moderation," some say, and that's a valid point. However, problems arise when a child refuses even to sip plain water. In these instances, many of us see fruit syrups as the "lesser evil." But is this assumption justified?

Raspberry syrup—not necessarily healthy

The list of ingredients in popular raspberry syrups—minimal raspberry juice content, glucose-fructose syrup, artificial sweeteners, citric acid—might surprise many. Does a product coming from a renowned manufacturer necessarily guarantee good quality? Not. It might signify the opposite. What else lurks within these so-called "fruity" products?

Besides the aforementioned components, these syrups are largely made from concentrates—and not just raspberry. They incorporate concentrates of cheaper ingredients like carrots, beets, and black currants. Some are quite cheeky, containing merely 0.1 percent concentrated raspberry juice, with the remainder consisting of condensed aronia, added sugars, and flavorings. Quite shocking, isn't it?

How many raspberries in raspberry syrup? Unfortunately, usually not many.
How many raspberries in raspberry syrup? Unfortunately, usually not many.© Canva | silviarita

Flavor syrups—there is hope

However, the situation isn't entirely bleak. The market does offer high-quality raspberry syrups, the best of which contain only two ingredients: raspberry juice (up to 55 percent) and organic cane sugar. The difference between these products and their misleading counterparts is stark. Fortunately, this significant difference makes the better choices stand out. All it takes is a closer look at the label...

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