The healthy snack market is full of "better-for-you" bars that are branded for toddlers and kids. Many of the ones you find on shelves will proudly claim that they include "no added sugar". While we were in the midst of creating Happy Wolf fridge-fresh bars, many parents shared with us that they are looking for "no added sugar" products. That's why, our original goal was to avoid any added sugar at all.
But, do you ever wonder how those "no added sugar" bars still manage to taste to sweet?
We were wondering the same thing! So we did our homework and this is what we discovered:
Many “no added sugar” bars include “natural” sweeteners. And these natural sweeteners are not always obvious to spot in the ingredients list! Functional ingredients like Tapioca Fiber, Tapioca Fiber Syrup, Jerusalem Artichoke Powder, Inulin, Chicory Root Fiber, Monk Fruit Concentrate, and many more, also act as a sugar substitute. While they may sound "natural", in reality they are highly processed powders and syrups. Some research suggests that these ingredients can be irritating for our guts. But in any case, it's important to note that they’re very far from being a whole food.
When we set out to create our bars, we were serious about only including real, whole foods, like the ones we would use at home in our own kitchens. And the truth is, we also wanted to include "no added sugar" too! Just like some of the bars you'd find on shelves. BUT (there's always a but), we also needed our bars to taste great, and we couldn't rely on the sugar substitutes since they're not real, whole food ingredients!
As parents, when we make sweet snacks at home that we expect our kids to eat, we use organic honey or maple syrup in moderation to add sweetness. That’s why we decided to include 2g of organic honey in our bars. While it technically counts as an “added sugar” on the nutrition facts panel, it's a pass in our books! What to do when you have a picky toddler and a vendetta against processed ingredients and substitutes!?
So, there you have it. Bless this age-old, trusted, whole-food sweetener that tastes amazing and does the job in a natural way! (And also acts as an all-natural preservative... Bonus!) 🐝