The Diet Detective: Calorie Bargains for Kids

Try these healthful products and calorie bargains for your kids.

Yotta Bars (Cherry)

The Why: These bars by Undercover Vegetable Co. are well designed and tasty. There are seven vegetables in each bar (tomatoes, asparagus, sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers, beets and corn). And even your 7-year-old can pronounce all the ingredients.

The Health Bonus: Only 120 calories per bar, certainly lower than your typical energy bar or candy bar, which usually has 200 to 300 calories. The bars are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C and a good source of iron, and they are low in fat and sodium with no refined sugars or preservatives.

What We Liked Best: The ingredients are all natural and kids seem to love them.

What We Liked Least: A bit of an aftertaste--nothing too bad. And no one liked the apple cinnamon flavor, only the orange and cherry.

What It Replaces: Candy, and all the other unhealthful kid (and adult) snacks.

The Price: $14.49 for 12 bars.

Other Offerings: Orange and apple cinnamon.

Where to Buy: Whole Foods,

Nutrition: (1 bar, cherry) 120 calories, 1g fat, 26g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g protein, 40mg sodium.

Ingredients: (Cherry bar): Baby oats, brown rice syrup, honey, pear juice concentrate, dehydrated vegetables (tomatoes, asparagus, sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers, beets, corn), rice, rolled oats, evaporated cane juice, dried apples, natural flavors, canola oil.

Yoplait Kids Yogurt Drinks (Strawberry)

The Why: This drink, specifically designed for toddlers, has less sugar and the rest of the ingredients aren't too bad. Plus it has Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, Nick Jr. and Go, Diego, Go! characters on the packaging. It's reasonably low in calories, has a smooth texture (for safety) and tastes good.

The Health Bonus: It contains 16 milligrams of naturally sourced omega-3 DHA, known to help brain development. Additionally, there's calcium (20 percent of daily needs), vitamins A and D and 2 grams of protein.

What We Liked Best: Decent ingredients.

What We Liked Least: Still too much sugar.

What It Replaces: Yogurt with more sugar and artificial ingredients.

The Price: $2.79 for a six-pack of 3.1-ounce bottles.

Other Offerings: Banana, Mixed Berry and Strawberry Banana.

Where to Buy: Supermarkets.

Nutrition: One bottle (91 milliliters) 70 calories, 1.5g fat, 11g carbs (10g sugar), 2g protein.

Ingredients (Strawberry): Low-fat yogurt (cultured pasteurized Grade A reduced-fat milk, sugar, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, tricalcium phosphate, pectin, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3), water, strawberry puree, grape juice concentrate, omega-3 DHA algal oil, natural flavor, colored with beet juice concentrate.
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