Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Simply Nature Apple Peach Squeezable Fruit Blend Pouch (Aldi)

An affordable and tasty (almost too) little snack for kids.
I’m quickly learning another great benefit to having a child: raiding their food stash, especially as they get older. I don’t do it all that often (although some of my reviews might make it seem otherwise), but sometimes I’m a little short on “grown-up” food for lunches at work, or I need a quick pick-me-up snack at home, and don't have very many “adult” options. That's when I find it’s okay to snoop around and see what items he’s had sitting in his little section of the pantry for a while…I mean, hey, it’s better than having it go to waste!

The (un)lucky item this time is Simply Nature’s Apple Peach Squeezable Fruit Blend, which are little pouches of what basically amount to flavored applesauce. Aldi sells these four to a pack, for under $2, which is a good deal made slightly less so by the size of each pouch: 3.2 oz. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again: these are almost too small, as our 3-year-old has them sucked down before I even make it out of the room. But he likes the flavor, and they seem to be pretty healthy, so I don’t mind keeping them on hand.

In fact, the ingredients list is pretty minimal: apples, peach puree, apple juice concentrate, and ascorbic acid, which is reminiscent of their Little Journey line of baby food pouches. The only differences are that Simply Nature’s pouches aren’t organic, and they also pack in another ingredient: those pesky “natural flavors”, which kind of makes you wonder how and where they are used. (If I had to guess, I’m going to say it’s the peach, because the flavor seems to have that “lab-created” intensity to it that I wouldn’t expect to find from a natural peach.)

After digging into one myself, it's easy to see why the little one likes them. Most kids already seem to appreciate the applesauce texture, which is here in spades, while the pouch cuts back on the frustrations of making a mess, or having to coordinate dipping the spoon into the cup. So I guess my biggest frustration—the quick time it takes him to down it—is probably one of the reasons he likes it so much. The strong, sweet flavor also helps, with peach taking center stage, and the apple following close behind. It might be overly sweet for some, but I think it's a pretty good balance, especially for the child demographic that it is clearly marketing itself toward. Also, for the record, I pretty much have the palate of a child.

Good value, great flavor, reduced mess...what's not to like?

Overall: 7.5/10. What we have here is basically a glorified applesauce pouch, and while they're a little more expensive than buying the multi-pack cups (and with typically less applesauce per pouch), the trade-off is the reduced odds of a mess, since it requires no hand-eye-spoon coordination on the part of the child. It does feel a little anti-climactic, considering my son has these downed before I can even leave the room, but it's healthier than some snack items, and with a delicious peach-forward flavor that most kids (as well as myself) will enjoy. Nice to have as a backup snack, if nothing else, and the $1.65 asking price makes keeping them on hand easy, without having to break the bank.

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