In principle, veggies in yogurt is a great idea.  But when Stonyfield Farms gets their hands on it, watch out.

According to the Stonyfield Farms website:

“Combining vegetables and fruits with yogurt? They told me I was crazy. Then their kids tried it and loved it. Hint: don’t even tell them about the vegetables. –Gary”

I agree. Take Stonyfield’s advice: Don’t tell your kids about the vegetables.  First, there aren’t enough veggies in the yogurt to make a difference.  Second, you don’t want your kids thinking vegetables taste like this!

Stonyfield fruit and vegetable yogurts are mostly fruit and sugar.

All told, one 4-oz container of Stonyfield Farms Apple and Sweet Potato Yogurt has 14g of sugar – more than twice the 6g found in YoBaby Simply Plain.

  • 1st Ingredient – Whole Milk
  • 2nd Ingredient – Apple Puree
  • 3rd Ingredient – Sugar

Good luck getting your kids to eat real vegetables once they get the idea into their heads that veggies taste like ooey-gooey, sweet pudding.

And what about the vegetables?  Not so much.

It’s hard to tell how much sweet potato makes it into the Apple & Sweet Potato, how much squash is in the Peach & Squash, or whether there are enough green beans in the Pear & Green Beans to make a difference.  The signs are not good:

  • Manufacturers are required to list ingredients by how much is in the product, and the veggies appear 4th on the list – just before the added zinc and vitamin D3.
  • All three fruit and vegetable yogurts have basically the same Nutrition Fact Labels.  Shouldn’t different vegetables contribute different nutrients?
  • Except for a Vitamin D and a Zinc boost – both of which are added –  the fruit and veggie yogurt doesn’t improve on the plain stuff.
  Vitamin A Vitamin C Vitamin D Calcium Iron Zinc
Simply Plain 12% 0% 15% 30% 0% 0%
Pear & Green Bean 8% 0% 20% 20% 0% 20%
Apple & Sweet Potato 8% 0% 20% 20% 0% 20%
Peach & Squash 8% 0% 20% 20% 0% 20%

If you want your kids to eat veggies in yogurt, here’s an idea: put some veggies in their yogurt!

Start with plain yogurt and add some green beans or sweet potato.  Hold the sugar and the fruit puree.  You might also consider adding in tomatoes, cucumbers or any other veggies your kids enjoy.

Not only does adding your own veggies guarantee that there are actually vegetables in the dish, but by making your own concoctions you will also be teaching your kids

  • What yogurt really is.  White, creamy, slightly tangy stuff, not synthetically sweet goo.
  • What vegetables really are.  Your kids will see the vegetables in their natural state.  Even if you puree your green beans, chances are you won’t mash them into total oblivion.
  • To accept a wider variety of tastes and textures.  Home-cooked foods naturally vary.  You’ll probably add different vegetables from time-to-time, but even if you don’t, your knife skills can’t match the consistency of a machine.

I’ve said it before:  Go ahead and give your kids these products, just use them as treats – not nutritious snacks.  And don’t con your kids (or yourself) into thinking these yogurts are a worthy source of vegetables.

The data simply don’t support the idea that these yogurts are quality foods.  (It’s the same poor nutrition story when manufactures add veggies to juice too. Read Should Your Kids Drink Their Veggies).

More importantly, though, it messes with your kids’ minds to associate these products with veggies.  And what your kids think about food influences what they eat.

~ Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits. ~


Source: accessed March 12, 2010; Product labels.