Parents today are more likely to let children snack on yogurt than cookies, according to NPD Market Research, which tracks national food trends. Yogurt packs calcium and "friendly" bacteria that might bolster digestive health.
Choose yogurt wisely. A cup of whole-milk yogurt can have nearly a quarter of a day 's worth of saturated fat, which increases the risk of heart disease. The added sugar in flavored or fruit yogurts can rival that of candy. Stonyfield Chocolate Underground yogurt has about 25 grams of added sugar per serving -- about the same as in nine Hershey's Kisses.
Knowing which yogurt contains more added sugar can be tough. The Food and Drug Administration allows foodmakers to lump added sweeteners and naturally occurring sugar into one carbohydrate category on the label.
An example: Dannon's All Natural Blended Style Cherry Yogurt contains about 5 grams of carbohydrates per ounce. To estimate the added sugar requires checking the carbohydrates in Dannon's All Natural Plain Yogurt, then subtracting that number from the carbohydrates in the cherry yogurt. The difference adds up to about 2 grams of added sugar per ounce -- or about 64 calories in one cup. Try doing that math while rushing through the grocery.
Also challenging is the fact that many brands marketed to kids look similar but are in different sizes, ranging from 2.25 to 4 ounces. So ounce for ounce, Yoplait's Go-Gurt contains about 24 percent more calories than Danimals Strawberry Explosion cups.
To save money and avoid added sugar, buy plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt in bulk and add fresh, frozen or dried fruit. Flavor with vanilla, almond or lemon extract.
A more convenient option: Buy Stonyfield Farm Organic YoBaby Simply Plain yogurt in small containers with no added sugar.
¿ Visit leanplateclub.com and try our interactive supermarket to compare nutritional values of your favorite groceries at