Chiquita Fruit Bites: A Healthy, Convenient Lunchtime Snack in a Bag for Kids
School has started and mothers everywhere are looking for quick, easy, and healthy lunch options sent with their kids. The quest for a healthy lunch can be challenging. Even popular granola bar options, which ought to be healthy, often prove to be loaded with sugars and preservatives.
This week, I stumbled upon one healthy lunch option when I purchased Chiquita’s delicious new product, Fruit BitesTM.
What is it?
What are Fruit Bites you ask? Chiquita has discovered a way to keep pre-sliced apples from turning brown and is offering pre-packaged, pre-sliced apples at your local grocery store. Chiquita Fruit BitesTM are pre-sliced apples packaged in bags with 5 2.4 oz individual packs, in bags with 4 3.15 oz individual packs, or in family bags with no individual packs. Both green and red apples are available.
Since I needed something healthy to pack in lunches, we chose the sweet crisp red apple slices in individual packs and the sweet crisp red apples with caramel dipping sauce. We did not try the family package.
A Positive Experience
Saying nothing, I packed the pre-sliced apples in my kids’ lunch and in my husband’s lunch. About noon I got a call from my husband complimenting me for sending the apple slices. When I picked up the kids from school, both of them thanked me for the apple slices.
But is it Really Healthy?
Okay, so the apple slices passed the taste test, but are they really healthy? Surely there must be some sort of dangerous preservative right? I mean, if I sliced apples and put them in a plastic bag, they would be brown and mushy in about an hour.
A quick examination of the ingredients (indeed, the only other ingredient is the apples) reveals that nothing more than calcium ascorbate is added to maintain color. So, what is calcium ascorbate and is it okay for my kid’s lunches? I googled calcium ascorbate and found that vitamin companies sold it. Calcium ascorbate, better known as a natural form of vitamin C, is not only not bad for you. It’s actually good for you. So, the answer is yes, these sliced apples are really healthy.
Not the Cheapest Option
This product is on sale at my grocery store for about $2.00 a package. Since each package only contains about 12 oz, that makes the sliced apples about $2.67 a pound. Fresh unsliced apples can usually be had for under $2.00 a pound.
The price is for convenience, however. Fresh, whole apples would be mushy within an hour if I sliced them and put them in my family’s lunches. If I packed them unsliced, then there is the core and seeds to dispose of. Plus, I’ve noticed that when my kids eat a whole apple, they rarely eat all the apple, but take a few bites of the apple and leave a thick portion of apple uneaten around the core.
Despite the price, this mom votes for the convenience of getting something healthy into the family’s lunch bag. I’ll be using these again.