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Healthy Fruit Popsicle Guide

Suzanne-Headshot |Gimme the Good Stuff
Written by Suzanne, Chief Health Officer and Resident Grandmother

After staying with us for nearly a month this July, my grandkids left me three reminders of their visit: fingerprints smudged on the glass of my deck doors, jars of (dead) lightening bugs on the picnic table, and half-full boxes of popsicles in my freezer! That pretty well sums up the summertime, doesn’t it?!

Popsicles are a must-have on hot afternoons, and last month, Maia and I set out to find the healthiest fruit popsicles. You’ll see what we discovered under the Good, Okay, Bad, and Sneaky Stuff tabs below.

fruit pops Gimme the Good Stuff

Before I jump into that, I want to make a quick plug for DIY: the healthiest fruit popsicles are those you make yourself!

Healthiest Fruit Popsicles Recipe

Homemade popsicles are my favorite in the summer because there are so many fresh fruits available. First, you need to buy a nontoxic popsicle maker.

Next, you need to choose your fruit and puree in a blender (this is the one we use).

I use 2 cups of fresh or frozen organic berries. You can use raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries, or a blend of them. A banana will lend natural sweetness. I also add some freshly squeezed fruit juice; orange makes the popsicles sweet, but lemon or lime can be fun, too.

I then add one additional cup of water. Other add-ins can include plain yogurt or kefir, or some greens (we’ve found romaine lettuce or spinach to be the mildest in flavor). If you want to add a little raw honey or maple syrup, you can, but if you’re using ripe fruit it should be sweet enough, especially if you include banana.

Once you have your blend, just pour and freeze (and drink what’s left as a delicious smoothie!).

Healthiest Fruit Popsicles: Store-Bought

In terms of store-bought fruit popsicles: the bad news is that we found only one brand that we can really call Good Stuff and you can find easily. Just yesterday, after we’d already written this up and shot the video, we happened upon another brand in Whole Foods that is also Good Stuff, but seems to have limited availability.

One issue with most store-bought brands is that they don’t use organic fruit; this is particularly concerning when the fruits included in the popsicles are among this “Dirty Dozen.”

Here’s a video of us discussing some of the popsicles that we review in this guide, as well as discussing issues like “fruit juice concentrate” and what “sugar free” popsicles really are. I hope this video makes choosing the healthiest fruit popsicles easier.


The Good Stuff

Good Stuff Badge

Ruby Rockets

These are our favorite pops! They contain fruit and veggie purees, and most of the ingredients are organic. They don’t contain sugar. Ruby Rockets are the healthiest fruit popsicles found in many grocery stores.

 

The Okay Stuff

Okay Stuff Badge

Chloe’s Pops

These contain strawberry puree (which is better than juice) and organic cane sugar (14 grams). While there are certainly worse options out there than Chloe’s, I just can’t call something with sugar Good Stuff, especially for a product like a fruit pop that really doesn’t require sugar to be tasty.

Amazon


Mom Pops

I like these because they were made by an actual mom and contain only fruit, organic agave, and guar gum. The only downside is that none of the fruit is organic.


The Good Pop Organic Freezer Pops

A bunch of you recommended this brand, and while I like that they contain actual fruit, they also have cane sugar. One plus is that these are organic. Still, with 15 to 17 grams of sugar, I can only call these Okay Stuff.

Buy from Thrive Market

 


The Sneaky Stuff

Sneaky Stuff Badge

365 Frozen Fruit Bars

Whole Foods’ version of fruit popsicles are made of mostly juice and cane sugar, and pack 25 grams of sugar. They aren’t organic and contain carrageenan, which is known Bad Stuff! Shame on you, Whole Foods.


Ciao Bella Sorbet Bars

These popsicles consist primarily of concentrated juice and cane sugar (not organic) so I don’t consider them a healthy choice. They have 11 grams of sugar per bar.


Nature’s Hand Organic Freezer Bars

We found these in our local health food store, but they are only marginally better than the conventional version of these. In a way, these are even worse, because they purport to be healthy, despite 33 grams of sugar per serving (which is three bars). When you eat these, you’re just eating frozen sugar water with questionable “natural flavors” tossed in to differentiate between the “fruits.”


Organic Whole Fruit Frozen Juice

Even Maia, expert label-reader, was duped by these! We found them at Costco, and she actually thought from the label (which proclaims “frozen juice!”) and a quick ingredient scan that these were truly just frozen juice. Later, after tasting one and finding it cloying, she read the label again and discovered white sugar (15 grams in one popsicle).


Trader Joe’s Fruit Frenzy Bars

The main ingredients in these are water and sugar (not organic). These are the sweetest bars we reviewed, with  20 t0 30 grams of sugar!

 


The Bad Stuff

Bad Stuff Badge

Edy’s Fruit Popsicles

A lot of you asked about this brand, but it seems it’s been bought out by Nestle and is now the Outshine bar (see below).  These are Bad Stuff just like Outshine and have 20 grams of sugar. There is some real fruit but nothing is organic.


Generic Freezer Pops

We took this picture of these basic “fruit” pops piled high in an outside bin at the grocery store. These make me sad because they are hard to miss, marketed to kids, and really inexpensive so moms who are looking for a summer time treat are buying these for their kids. The first ingredient is water but this is followed by high fructose cron syrup and then various artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. No wonder you can get 24 of these for $1.99–they aren’t even food:(.


Nestle Outshine Fruit Bars-No Sugar Added

Don’t be fooled by the fact that these proclaim to have no sugar and “made with real fruit.” Outshine’s sugar-free fruit pops consist of water, sorbitol (an artificial sweetener that is not recommended for children or anyone with a sensitive digestive system because it causes diarrhea), sucralose (AKA Splenda), polydextrose (yet another synthetic ingredient, in place to make reduced-calorie products taste better), and maltodextrin (similar to corn syrup). These do contain real fruit, none of which is organic. The regular  Outshine by Nestle fruit bars have cane sugar (14 grams total in each bar) and modified corn starch, which is an additive that can’t even really be called food. Nothing is organic, obviously.


Simply Popsicle

These are basically just water and cane sugar (9 grams). They don’t contain any fruit juice (just beet juice or turmeric for color).

 

I hope you have a wonderful August full of delicious fruit pops! Please share your favorite recipes or brands below!

To your health,

Suzanne's signature

 

 

 

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13 responses to “Healthy Fruit Popsicle Guide”

  1. The popsicle maker linked is not available. Do you have another one to recommend?

  2. This is a wonderful list of pops for kids. I don’t usually buy from the stores because I usually make some pops at home for my kids.

  3. Hi! Can you recommend a nontoxic popsicle mold please? The link you have above doesn’t work! Thank you!!

  4. I don’t understand why non-organic popsicles would be added to the Good Stuff list. I get trying to avoid sugar but you replace with natural flavoring, citric acid and pesticides from non organic foods. If the only goal is not having refined sugar then great but if you are actually looking for a healthy, non-toxic popsicle this list is a bit misleading.

  5. Try Paleo On the Go! Technically not a store bought I guess because you order online, but their pops are made of bone broth, banana, organic strawberries and pineapple juice. This company has really good ingredients.

    http://Www.paleoonthego.com/broth-pops

    1. Thanks for this awesome recommendation!

  6. Just wanted to point out that the good pops have a lot of pops (Specifically the ones you pictured above) that do not have any added sugar and have a total of 8-9 grams per pop. I personally think these should be included in the good stuff as they don’t have added sugar and many of the ones you make at home would actually have more “grams” of sugar then that. (Even if it’s natural fruit or milk sugars)

    1. Hi yes! Good Pops has expanded their line! We will update accordingly:)

  7. You two are so wonderful! I can’t explain how much finding Gimme The Good Stuff has changed my and our family’s life! You’ve saved me so much time when searching for certain natural items to help to live the best toxic free and natural lifestyle possible! You all align so much with my values as a parent and person! Thank you, thank you! ?

    1. Awww, thanks so much for these kind words! This is why we do what we do!
      xoxo

  8. Great list. We don’t buy popsicles often, but I do like to treat my girls occasionally. Now, I know what to look for when shopping. Thanks!

    Plus, I would have never thought of buying popsicles off of Amazon, but I guess they sell everything now!

    1. I know, Jamie, it’s a new world!

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