ALDI’s back to school snacks unwrapped
They’re billed by ALDI as the best school lunch box essentials, but an analysis of its back to school processed snack range has found many are high in sugar, salt and saturated fat.
The George Institute for Global Health unwrapped 31 snacks, ranging from chips, to flavoured yoghurt, muesli bars and tuna snack packs and found just four could be considered healthy.
Half failed to meet the Australian Government’s Eat for Health guidelines for salt, 60 per cent failed on fat targets and 40 per cent didn’t meet sugar guidelines.
Researchers found a single Aldi Hillcrest Mrs Millers Chocolate Dip Oat Bar contained almost a third of a day’s worth of saturated fat for an eight-year-old child, and around four teaspoons of sugar.
Whilst a Belmont Biscuit Co Yoghurt Strawberry Fruit Bake would provide a kid with almost 70 per cent of an entire day’s worth of sugar, and three times as much saturated fat as the Eat for Health guidelines.
Brooklea’s Chocolate Dairy Snack contained more than four teaspoons of sugar and 30 per cent of a child’s daily saturated fat intake.
A tuna mayo and cracker combination provided 30 per cent of an entire day’s worth of saturated fat per serve and a whole day’s worth of salt for an eight-year-old child.
Public Health Nutritionist Clare Farrand, of The George Institute for Global Health, said it was worrying so many of Aldi’s snacks were high in kilojoules, fat, sugar and salt given one in five children are now overweight or obese. “We know that many parents are time poor so it’s understandable that they reach for these ready prepared snacks.
“But I think many would be shocked to find that some of these snacks contain almost a day’s worth of salt or sugar for an average eight year old child. And remember they are just snacks, not meals.”
The only products to meet all guidelines for sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt per 100g were flavoured yoghurts including Brooklea Yoghurt Squishy’s. Though be careful of portion size, as the Just Organic Blueberry Yoghurt was twice the size compared to others and contained almost five teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Clare Farrand said parents would be better advised to head to the fruit and vegetable area for packs of bananas, apples and pears – also part of Aldi’s Back to School Snack range.
“With a little bit of prep parents can create a health snack such as dip and sliced carrot. And there’s nothing better than a simple piece of fruit. But be mindful of dried fruits, they are high in sugar so watch your portion control,” Ms Farrand said.
Notes for media
Calculations for dietary intake for an eight year old child were based on the following references:
Sugar: World Health Organisation – ideally less than five per cent dietary energy intake per day. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/149782/1/9789241549028_eng.pdf…
Equivalent to 5 teaspoons a day based on energy intake calculated from Australian Nutrient reference values for a lightly active eight-year-old. https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/your_health/healthy/nutritio… date-dietary_intakes_0.pdf)
Fat: World Health Organisation – less than 30% dietary energy per day. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs394/en/
Equivalent to approximately 58g fat per day based on energy intake calculated from Australian Nutrient reference values for a lightly active eight year old.
Saturated fat: Heart Foundation less than seven per cent dietary energy per day.
Equivalent to approximately 14g per day based on energy intake calculated from Australian Nutrient reference values for a lightly active eight year old. https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/your_health/healthy/nutritio… date-dietary_intakes_0.pdf
Salt: Australian Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) 300-600mg of sodium per day is the “adequate intake” of an eight year old.