I like to give my kids little treats in their lunchboxes, but in the interests of good nutrition and dental health I only send candies on special occasions. For the most part I pack them fruit or yogurt or dried fruit or raisins to enjoy once they're done with their lunch. Team Mom recently invited me to try a great new product -- Raisels, "The Fruity Fruit Raisins" -- that is probably the first real fruit-based alternative to candy out there. Read more below to see why:
Raisels are a new, healthier alternative to candy from the National Raisin Company. They are rich in antioxidants, fat free, cholesterol free and contain 100% of US RDA for vitamin C. Raisels contain zero sodium, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. These fruity flavored golden raisings come in four flavors -- Sour Apple, Sour Orange, Sour Lemon and Sour Peach -- and are available in six-packs of 1.25-oz (25-g) boxes.
Raisels, where have you been all my life? I love these little treats! My kids love these treats! Here's why:
* Even before you remove the plastic wrapping from the six-pack you can smell a heavenly fruity scent.
* Some kids are grossed out by the dark color of raisins, but Raisels are made with golden raisins so they look really nice.
* They really do taste like candy!! My kids are crazy about any kind of sour candy, so Raisels are right up their alley. We all have a different favorite, but they all taste great. My favorite is the Sour Lemon, which tastes exactly like a sour lemon drop. And they have that great chewy texture, so it feels and tastes just like you're eating a sour gummy candy.
After devouring a box each, the kids made me swear I was going to buy more, which I am more than happy to do after all the unopened boxes of raisins that come back home. This is one healthy treat that's destined to become a regular staple in our pantry!
Nutrition purists are bound to object to the added sugar in Raisels, but 90% of the sugar in Raisels is actually naturally occurring (remember, grapes do contain fructose, a naturally occurring sugar, which is what makes them sweet!). Here's a comparison of the amount of sugar in Raisels versus similar snacks:
Raisels: 23 g sugar per 35-g serving (.66 grams sugar per gram of product)
Raisins: 20 g sugar per 28-g serving (.71 grams sugar per gram of product)
Yogurt covered raisins: 18 g sugar per 28-g serving (.64 grams sugar per gram of product)
Sweetened dried cranberries: 29.4 g sugar per 42-g serving (0.7 grams sugar per gram of product)
100% all-natural fruit roll-up: 14 g sugar per 21-g serving (0.67 grams sugar per gram of product)
See, Raisels' sugar content is actually the lowest of all of these... and none of the others taste like lemon drops. Yes, Raisels does have a bit of added sugar, but so does most kids' yogurt, and so does chocolate milk. If packing Raisels in my kids lunch boxes gets them to gobble raisins like candy, I'm happy to add Raisels to my list of approved healthy treats (and I was kidding about the gobbling -- everything in moderation, kids, even Raisels and especially candy).
The Bottom Line
Raisels are a great healthy alternative to candies and soft drinks -- they're your kids' best bet when they need to get a sour candy fix!
Win a Raisels Prize Pack
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive a Raisels prize package that includes a variety of Raisels flavors.
Leave a comment on this post and tell me which kind of dried fruit you like best. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).
2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).
3) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).
4) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Raisels giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes
5) Write this on the Raisels Facebook page wall (1 entry):
I entered the Raisels giveaway on Bonggamom Finds! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes
6) Follow Raisels on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Enter to win a prize pack of @Raisels, the new flavored raisins that taste like candy! @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes #giveaways
7) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for every giveaway you've joined).
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on March 16, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on March 17 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received product samples from Raisels and Team Mom to facilitate this review. I was not paid to review the product or give my opinions.The views and opinions expressed here are my own.