Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Infant & Toddler Nutrition/Nutrition/A Guide To Choosing Natural Sugar Alternatives

A Guide To Choosing Natural Sugar Alternatives

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Sugar has become a constant companion in our lives, so much so that in 2015 the World Health Organisation (WHO) put an international call out for people to reduce their intake of sugar by at least half.

WHO guidelines recommend adults and children to reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total intake. A further reduction to below 5%, or roughly six teaspoons per day, would provide additional health benefits.

What are ‘free’ sugars?

Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose and fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and fruit juice concentrates. Currently, it’s estimated the average Australian consumes a staggering 27 teaspoons of free sugars each and every day.

There’s no denying we love our sugar and conforming to these recommendations is hard work. Is it even possible to cut down from such large amounts of white sugar intake? Are there alternatives that will make cutting down on sugar easier? Will introducing our kids to natural sweetener alternatives early make them less vulnerable to a sugar addiction?

Let’s see, shall we…

Natural sweetener alternatives

When it comes to sugar substitutes, some are natural and some are synthetic. Generally speaking, most people believe ’natural’ will always be better, but let’s think about this. Venomous snakes occur in nature, as do black widow spiders, maggots and mosquitoes. Do we want to eat them? Absolutely not!

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate made up of fructose and glucose. These two simple sugars join to create sucrose. While sucrose is found naturally in plants and fruits, the refining process required to make granulated sugar (including cane, raw or brown sugar) is what makes it bad for consumption.

Raw honey is one and a half times sweeter than sugar, and people have been eating it for thousands of years. Yet raw honey still feeds the systemic yeast infection, candida, and it also raises blood sugar almost as much as table sugar.

Not all things ‘natural’ are good for us, so why are so many people turning to natural alternatives for their sugar needs?

Natural sweeteners are gaining popularity because they promise to offer the same sweetness without the calories. Many sweeteners suggest a sugar spike without the crash, and a great taste that’s “refreshingly uncomplicated”.

The global market for non-sugar sweeteners is expected to top $14 billion in 2019, so what’s the deal? Are they better for you, or are manufacturers merely jumping on the fact we are slowly becoming aware of our unhealthy addiction to sugar?

It can all get a little complicated, and nobody needs the added frustration of trying to work out what really is good for your body. Simply put, some natural sweeteners are a better than sugar while others can be just as bad, if not worse. To make life easy for you, we’ve compiled a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ list to help you make good food decisions, for you and your family.

In the ‘good’ corner

Stevia

Stevia is a herb native to South America, and is 300x sweeter than sugar. It has been used as a sweetener for centuries in South America and Japan, and makes up 41% of the sweetener market. Stevia has no calories and no glycemic impact, making it suitable for diabetics as well as weight watchers and eco warriors.

Monk fruit

Industry insiders predict monk fruit is the ‘next stevia’. Calorie-free, after-taste free and non-glycemic, monk fruit is also about 300x sweeter than sugar and is derived from the antioxidant-rich, lemon-sized fruits found in the misty mountains of Southern China and Northern Thailand.

Date sugar

Made from dried dates, date sugar is the end result of a process which sees the fruit dehydrated and then ground. Retaining many of the nutritional benefits of dates, date sugar offers a rich flavour similar to brown sugar. Unfortunately, it is difficult to dissolve and it will not melt.

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Maple syrup

Boasting a distinctive taste, maple syrup can already be found in most people’s pantries, and makes a good alternative to sugar when baking cakes. It can also be dehydrated and turned into a sugar, should you wish.

Honey

Honey has more calories than sugar and does come with the concern of candida, but because of it’s super sweet taste you don’t need to use very much of it. Honey also has antimicrobial properties and is packed with healthy vitamins.

Molasses

While molasses is the byproduct of the sugar production process, it’s also a good source of iron and calcium. Blackstrap molasses in particular comes with a range of health benefits, and is thick and viscous, making it great for baking.

Barley malt syrup

Similar to molasses in texture, barley malt syrup has a malty taste ideal for including in breads and home brew. Easily digested, it has a low glycemic index and a subtle sweet taste.

Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is created from the sap of the coconut palm, which is heated to evaporate its water content and then reduced to make usable granules. Coconut sugar is highly nutritious and has a low score on the glycemic index, meaning you won’t experience a buzz followed by a crash. Its flavour is slightly richer than brown sugar.

Lucuma powder

Lucuma has a uniquely sweet, fragrant, and subtly maple-like taste that’s an excellent source of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It boasts plenty of beta-carotene (excellent for the immune system) and is rich in iron, B2 and B1.

In the ‘bad’ corner

High fructose corn syrup

With a slightly higher fructose level than sugar, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been ruining waistlines since it sneaked onto the food scene 30 years ago. HFCS is added to an array of processed foods, including breads, yoghurts, ketchup, and salad dressings.

Agave nectar

While your health food store is likely to stock agave nectar, surprisingly many agave nectars contain up to 70 – 90% fructose – more than the amount found in high-fructose corn syrup. Agave’s high fructose levels go straight to the liver, where the organ repackages it as blood fats called triglycerides, increasing the risk of heart disease.

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Sucralose

Sucralose, better known as its brand name Splenda, is often marketed as natural, but the end product is anything but. Sucralose uses chlorine in its production process and scientists have found it to be wreaking havoc in wastewater treatment plants as it can’t be broken down.

Evaporated cane juice

Evaporated cane juice is essentially table sugar. The only difference is table sugar is stripped of all traces of molasses during the refining process, and evaporated cane juice might still retain small amounts. Nutritionally, it’s the same as white sugar.

The reality is that no sugar will ever be good when it makes up more than 10% of our daily diet. While some natural sugar alternatives may be a healthier option than white sugar, your best bet is to develop low-sugar consumption habits by removing as much sugar from you and your child’s diet as possible.

The preceding article was for general information purposes only; for specific dietary information for your child, it is best to consult your child’s health care professional.

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Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.