While I love fresh fruits and veggies for snacks for my 2 year old toddler, sometimes I need convenience. I can quickly throw a snack cup in my bag when we are on the go. And I need a snack that he will eat and enjoy. One of our go-to snacks is Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Elmo Peanut Butter Puffs. My toddler, like many his age, is an Elmo fan. While he doesn’t get much screen time, there are days when I need the TV to get things done. Elmo’s World was the first show he started watching when we took him on a four-week-trip to California and Arizona. He was 18 months old, and Elmo’s World was a terrific entertainer during the 5-hour flight and for lengthy restaurant meal adventures.
Please know I’m definitely not a fan of marketing characters to toddlers and young children. Check out my post on Toddler Food Labels on my opinion on marketing to parents and caregivers. However, I can be more okay with the marketing of Sesame Street if it’s a semi-healthy snack and a semi-educational show.
This piece is my dietitian review of Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs. I’ll break down the ingredients and give my overall opinion of the toddler snack.
Finally a Toddler Snack without Added Sugar
As you may have read in my previous posts, added sugar is in many infant, toddler and children’s snacks. It’s infuriating! It’s so important not to overwhelm young children with added sugar. This is the time they need nutrients to grow and healthy foods to establish good habits that will last a lifetime.
But, it is almost impossible to avoid added sugar entirely in today’s world. And I also think it’s cool for a toddler to have the occasional treat, especially after age 2. My toddler and I love getting ice cream after a day in the park. We have also been attending many birthday parties with abundant cake and cookies. I do not deny him sugar and treats during this time. Constant denial makes sugar seem more “special.”
However, if my toddler is eating a sugary treat; I want it to be an apparent sugary treat. That’s why I dislike added sugar hidden in snacks that appear healthy. So I love that Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs do not contain any added sugar.
Breakdown of the Nutrition of Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs
Let’s start with the food label. Today, we can pick up a food package at the grocery store and access the food label. The food label tells us caloric information, serving sizes, and macro and micronutrient information. The nutrition facts label for foods marketed to infants and children ages 1-2 have a special nutrition facts panel. First, the serving size for infants and children is not based on the amount they should be eating. It is based on the average amount an infant or child may typically eat. Secondly, the Percent Daily Value, or DV% indicates how much of a nutrient is in a serving for what an infant or toddler needs in a day.
For the most part, toddler snacks should be nutritious – so they should contain some nutrient that is good for a toddler’s growing body. I would not classify Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs as a “super nutritious snack” based on the food label and nutrients listed. It’s not providing a lot of quality nutrients, other than 1g of protein. However, this does not mean it’s a bad snack option. Peanut butter and vegetable oils contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. This snack most likely contains vitamin E, but it is not listed on the food label.
Truthfully, the serving size listed as 7g is relatively tiny. My toddler will quickly eat double this amount. Some of the Peanut Butter Puff’s packages have the serving size listed as double the serving size of this particular label.
Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs Contain Healthy Fats
Because the puffs have 2.5 grams of fat per serving, for the amount eaten, it can be a filling snack. This means that you want to tread cautiously on not having your toddler fill up on the snack before meals. Like I said, my toddler could easily eat double or triple the serving size.
The positive thing about the fat in Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs is there is no saturated fat. Saturated fat is the fat that is considered less healthy than unsaturated fats. Diets high in saturated fats tend to be associated with a higher risk for metabolic disease as a person goes into adulthood. Since 2.5 grams are not saturated, the fat must be an unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are good fats for our bodies. Peanut butter is very high in Omega-3s, which are super healthy for toddlers. We need healthy fats to keep our bodies functioning properly.
Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs have NO ADDED SUGAR!
Like I said earlier, sugar is the first thing I always look at when looking at a food label. You can see the total sugars are 0g. If there is sugar listed in the total sugar, it still may be a healthy snack. You need to look at the added sugars. This means that sugar was not originally found in the food, but it was added during the manufacturing process. Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs contain 0 grams of added sugar.
When it comes to finding prepackaged toddler snacks, finding one without added sugar is a huge win! Most food companies add sugar to their food for it to taste better. And then small children can get an addiction to the taste early.
Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs Ingredient List
Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs only contain 5 ingredients – a win! The more simplistic the food, typically the healthier. Here are the 5 ingredients:
Organic Peanut Butter – pure peanut butter is an excellent source of protein overall. Peanut butter contains other powerful nutrients such as vitamin E, Niacin, Manganese, vitamin B6, Copper, and Magnesium. It is also a great source of Omega-3’s. Peanuts are one of the top food allergens, so exercise caution if your child has not had foods containing peanuts. Keep reading to learn more about peanut allergies and peanut introductions.
Organic Cornmeal – dried corn cakes up cornmeal. This snack contains corn, so I love that it is USDA Organic and non-GMO. Most corn grown in the United States is genetically modified.
Organic Vegetable Oil (Organic Sunflower and Organic Safflower Oil) – vegetable oils contain the antioxidant vitamin E. Sunflower and Safflower oils also contain healthy fats, such as Omega-3s. Safflower and Sunflower oils contain a meager amount of saturated fat and high amounts of monounsaturated fat.
Organic Peanut Flour – the creation of peanut flour happens with removal of fat from the peanuts and it is ground into a flour.
Sea salt – staying away from snacks with large amounts of salt is important for toddlers and young children. The amount of salt in Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs is small and not of concern.
Additionally, Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs are USDA Organic, made with non-GMO ingredients, gluten and dairy free.
Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs Age Recommendation
Peanut butter puffs are for toddlers two years and older. However, in my opinion, children younger than two years old can eat peanut butter puffs. My toddler ate the puffs when he was around 16 months old.
Peanuts are one of the Top 8 Food Allergens
Peanuts are one of the top food allergens. Peanut allergies are a growing problem. It is so widespread, you frequently may find signs at daycares and schools with the saying, “peanut-free zone”. This is because ingesting even a tiny amount of peanut butter can send a child with a peanut allergic into a severe, sometimes fatal, allergic reaction.
The American Academy Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend introducing peanuts to infants at around six months to help prevent a peanut allergy. The LEAP study found that early, slow introduction to high-allergenic foods can mitigate the risk of a child developing a food allergy. However, I would not recommend using Elmo Peanut Butter Puffs as the first food for introducing this allergen. Only because early introduction should be between the ages of 4-6 months. There are healthier options for children around six months of age, such as mixing a small amount of actual peanut butter into oatmeal.
Read more about the American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations.
The Conclusion on Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Peanut Butter Puffs
Generally, Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Peanut Butter Puffs are a good snack for a toddler when combined with a healthy diet. I would not classify them as “super healthy”, but definitely not unhealthy by any means. I give the peanut puffs to my toddler 1-2 times a week as a snack. He enjoys them, they are not messy, and they travel easily. A win in my book.
Pros of Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puffs
- USDA Organic
- No added sugar
- Simple ingredients
- Contains omega-3’s and vitamin E
- Non messy
- Easy for on the go
You can purchase Earth’s Best Organic Sesame Street Peanut Butter Puff’s from many different retailers. Amazon, Target, and Walmart typically carry the puffs. They are also sold in many grocery stores near where I live in northeastern Ohio. If you have any questions about the product or brand, drop a comment below.