How healthy are Frucht­zwerge, Mons­terbacke & Co?

Lots of sugar, fat and calories – some ready-made desserts for children are more like sweets. Stiftung Warentest has tested 25 puddings, yogurts, quark and cream cheese desserts from the refrigerated shelves, including from Danone, Dr. Oetker and Ehrmann. Five get bad marks for having too much sugar. One thing is deficient because it contains too much fat. The testers can recommend almost every second dessert as a dessert or snack

(prices: 0.17 to 1.27 euros per 100 grams).

In the test: Frucht­zwerge, Mons­terbacke & Co

Ready-made desserts from the refrigerated shelves hit the nerve of children – with printed images of cartoon idols such as Maya the Bee and Ice Princess, with names such as “Fruchtzwerge” and “Monsterbacke” – and with their taste. They taste sweet, often strong like fruit or chocolate, and are creamy. But of the 25 products in the test, the testers rated five more as sweets, because a child consumes plenty of fat, sugar and calories with a cup: borderline much – in one case even too much – for a dessert or a snack in between.

This is what the children’s dessert test from Stiftung Warentest offers
Test results. The table shows ratings for 25 children’s desserts from the refrigerated shelves, including traditional brands such as Fruchtzwerge, Monsterbacke and sweet tooth as well as inexpensive retail brands from Aldi, Lidl and Netto Marken-Discount. Three desserts tested have an organic seal.

Purchase advice. We tell you what the differences are between cream cheese preparations, yogurts and puddings, which desserts are better for children – and why parents should sometimes pay attention to the topping and cup size.

Nutrition calculator. Our nutrition calculator helps parents to calculate how much fat, sugar and calories a child consumes with a certain product and how these amounts relate to the daily nutritional recommendations.

Recipes. We reveal three recipes for homemade healthy desserts that children will love.

Booklet. If you activate the topic, you will have access to the PDF for the test report from test 10/2020.

Puddings, yoghurts, quark and cream cheese preparations

In addition to yoghurts with and without topping, we tested quark and cream cheese preparations, puddings and a jelly. Among the twelve good products in the test, one product group in particular stands out. This shows that small cups tend to have advantages for our main criterion “nutritional quality”. After all, three products still achieve a good overall rating despite large portions in comparatively large cups. In their assessment, the testers assumed that younger children would eat one cup as a portion and older children from 7 years of age from small 50 to 60 gram cups would eat two.

15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight

Parents should pay attention to the nutritional values ​​when shopping children’s desserts and not offer the products in excess. If dessert or snacks are regularly too generous, from a nutritional point of view there is not enough scope for a balanced main meal or fruit in between. The products can then fuel a big problem: According to the Robert Koch Institute, around 15 percent of children in Germany are overweight.

Formulations streamlined

In 2000, Stiftung Warentest tested previous versions of some products from the current test when testing dairy products for children. Monsterbacke, Fruchtzwerge & Co contained noticeably more fat, sugar and calories. You can download the old test report here.

Natural yogurt with fruits cannot be topped

Ready-made children’s desserts are among the processed foods. All products in the test contain additives and added sugar, most of them with extra flavors. The fruit content of many fruit desserts is just six percent. Of course there is another way: when children eat natural yoghurt with unsweetened berries or untreated quark with apple pulp and almonds, they do not absorb any added sugar and get used to the taste of original fruits. In addition, fruits and nuts provide other important nutrients such as fiber, secondary plant substances and unsaturated fatty acids. More information on this in our test report.

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