Saturday, April 12, 2008

Snack Attack: Mott's Healthy Harvest Apple Sauce

Most of us ate apple sauce as babies, and then some of us outgrew it leaving it behind as "baby food." After an apple sauce drought, I thought my son made the transition, then suddenly he started requesting "pink" applesauce. I had no idea there was such a thing, and I was pretty sure if it existed, it couldn't possibly be good for you. That's how I discovered Mott's Healthy Harvest line of apple sauces.

My mother, who is diabetic, picked up an eight-pack after reading the "No Added Sugar" on the label and had given the Summer Strawberry naturally flavored snack to my son. Hence, the requests for "pink" applesauce.

Applesauce by itself is kinda blah to me, but with Mott's Healthy Harvest varieties they've managed to add sweetness and more fruity punch -- apple sauce with a pop.

What I like about the Healthy Harvest line is that it's simple and straight forward. The ingredient list on the Blueberry, delight in this example, is short: Apples, Water, Apple Puree Concentrate, Vegetable Juice for Color, Blueberry Puree, Natural Flavors, and Vitamin C. I actually think in some part of my mind that the addition of "vegetable juice for color" is a plus. Do you? I'm thinking beet juice.

Mott's didn't target their Healthy Harvest line for kids, per se with flavors like Blueberry Delight, Summer Strawberry and Peach Medley, Mott's Healthy Harvest offers a grab-n-go treat with no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners and less sugar than regular apple sauce along with vitamin C. I assume along with the berry blends come the antioxidant properties associated with the berries. Another grown-up variety of apple sauce is the Mott's Plus Sauce, which has added calcium and fiber, and comes in sophisticated flavors (for apple sauce anyway) like pomegranate and cranberry-raspberry. Did I mention each cup carries only about 50 calories?

Mott's site lists TONS of information on the health benefits of apples to support that old adage, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." You will find clinical studies, expert advice, recipes and much more on all things apples.
As a grab-and-go option, Mott's Healthy Harvest has become a staple in my house. Summer Strawberry has made appearances in the Eating Breakfast in the Car Show along side cinnamon flavored multi-grain toaster waffles.

In their Scooby Doo Apple Sauce there's added nutrition for kids as well as 25% less sugar than regular apple sauce. However, I haven't investigated whether or not the kid's brand contains any artificial colors, sweeteners or other stuff (though I'm pretty confident in Mott's commitment to healthful snacks as a brand). If you have some in your cupboard, let me know! Mott's has an entire line of reduced sugar, apple-based sauces, juices and more just for kids, too.

Apple options for every age group -- good marketing, Mott's!

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