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  • Are Yogurt Drinks Good for Kids? We Ask Experts to Look at the Labels

    Not all yogurts drinks are created equal, so we asked experts to weigh in on them.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Are Yogurt Drinks Good for Kids? We Ask Experts to Look at the Labels
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  • Scour the dairy section of any grocery in the country, and you will likely find an array of yogurt products to choose from. Yogurt, a product produced by fermenting milk with live bacteria culture, is well-known for its health benefits. It is high in protein, calcium, B Vitamins, and, probiotics.

    “Probiotics are important to our children’s health because they may aid in digestion, may help relieve acute constipation, colic, and acid reflux in healthy infants and children. They may also help prevent secondary infections and diarrhea in kids using antibiotics. Probiotics may even help prevent eczema and allergies in some children,” says food technician Christine Garingan-Pascua.

    For moms who have to think of what to give their children for baon daily, yogurt drinks have not only been a convenient choice but food their kids actually want. After all, many articles online point out its health benefits, right?

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    Is yogurt drink good for kids?

    We tend to disregard, however, the nutritional facts on the labels that help provide information on whether the yogurt drink is good or heahtly enough to give to children regularly.

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    So SmartParenting.com.ph asked Garingan-Pascua to provide us with the lowdown on the top yogurt drinks in the market today. Based on the nutritional facts listed at the back of their packaging, she compared and analyzed five yogurt drinks that are well-known kid-favorites. Here’s what she learned.

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    Probiotic content

    Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, but only one brand stated the number of probiotic strains on the label, which is within the recommended daily intake for kids. So Garingan-Pascua solely depended on the nutritional data provided as a source of probiotics and nutrients but not on the probiotic effect that it may give.

    Sugar content

    The sugar content of these five drinks is within the levels recommended by Food and Nutrition Research Insitute (FNRI). While they have “just enough” sugars that can provide energy to kids, says Garingan-Pascua, you will notice that Brand 1 and Brand 3 had higher sugar content than the rest. 

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    • Brand 1 with fruit juice (180 mL): 23 grams per serving
    • Brand 2 with fruit juice (180 mL): 11.7-14.3 grams range depending on flavor/serving + sucralose on top of sugar content*
    • Brand 3 (100 mL): 17 grams per serving
    • Brand 4 (80 mL): 11 grams per serving
    • Brand 5 (80 ml): 3.6 grams per serving (same product as Brand 4 except this is a “light” variant)

    *While Brand 2 indicated lower sugar content compared to the rest, it has sucralose added, which is a high-intensity sweetener.

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    Registered nutritionist-dietician and fitness coach Cheryl Dy, who also studied the nutritional facts of the same yogurt drinks, says that one to two bottles of yogurt drink a day is enough. However, she warns, “Children and adults who are into weight management or those with special health conditions, must ask their doctors or registered nutritionist-dietitian for the right daily allowance.”

    Dy says that some yogurt drinks can have more sugar than sodas. She says children 4 to 6 years old should have no more than 19 grams of free* sugar a day while children who are 7 to 10 years old should have no more than 24 grams of free sugar a day. Adults, on the other hand, should have no more than 30 grams of sugar a day. (*World Health Organization defines free sugar as “all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices.”)

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    While yogurt drinks are usually associated with probiotics, Dy says that consumers need to consider the other nutrients of these products and not only the probiotic. “These drinks contain different values of calories, vitamins, sugars, and minerals. All claim to have health benefits for kids, adult, and even pregnant women but no single drink contains all the nutrients that we need, so it all boils down taking it in balance, variety, and moderation.”

    Experts recommend 6 teaspoons of added sugars in a day for kids ages 2 to 18. Click here to learn how much is it in ready-to-drik beverages.

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