Chewsday Review- Cocobella Coconut Yoghurt

Lots of interest in coconut yoghurts- so here goes. Today’s Chewsday Review features Cocobella Coconut Yoghurt.


🔹Water, coconut milk, native starch, tapioca syrup, yoghurt cultures and probiotics

🔹Native starch is a bit vague- there’s no definition provided of this and it’s not clear what the starch is derived from (corn, wheat, rice etc). The product does state it’s gluten free so it won’t be from wheat.

🔹Tapioca syrup is a sweetener, just like sugar.

🔹Common allergens include: nil

🔶The positives:

🔹Overall fat content meets healthy guidelines.

🔹The sodium content also meets healthy guidelines, which I would expect for a sweet product.

🔹The sugar content (2g/100g) meets guidelines and is lower than most dairy yoghurts (but remember that yoghurt will naturally have about 3-6g/100 of sugar from lactose- this is not added sugar). The vanilla and fruit flavoured versions have more added sugar but are still reasonably low.

🔶The negatives:

🔹The saturated fat (bad fat) content is three times the upper recommended limit. It also makes up 90% of the total fat content meaning there’s very little good fat in this product. Coconuts are actually a significant source of saturated fat. Interestingly, this is one of the only plant sources of saturated fat- most comes from animal products like butter, meat and bakery products like biscuits. Regardless, this saturated fat content is an issue. Lately there’s been a lot of hoo-ha about saturated fat being ‘good for you’ but this is very unfounded.

🔹There is no calcium in this product. This is a big concern for me if children are eating this in replacement of dairy or fortified soy yoghurts.

🔹The protein content is less than 1/5 of other yoghurts. Protein can be a concern on some allergy or vegan diets and I’d be most conscious of this in toddlers.

🔹At $3 for a 170g tub or $6 for a 500g tub, these are seriously expensive water and coconut milk combos (and double the price of most other yoghurts!)

🔶The marketing:

🔹“Non-GMO” Genetically modified ingredients are those that have had their DNA structure altered to create a new characteristic (e.g. an improved nutritional content). This has potential benefits (especially on a world scale), but many people don’t want to eat genetically modified foods. That’s totally up to you.

🔹“Dairy and lactose free” This is important for children with a confirmed dairy allergy, but if your child is lactose intolerant (actually very rare) choose a lactose free yoghurt instead.

🔶The alternatives:

🔹If your child has to avoid cow’s milk for allergy reasons, then I know how hard it is to find a suitable replacement. This is ok from a taste point of view or being used as part of a meal, but on it’s own it isn’t particularly nutritious.

🔹The Cocobella coconut yoghurt pouches have added calcium (but not the tubs- go figure) as do the Alpro yoghurts (if you can find them). If your child can tolerate soy, then soy milk (with a calcium content of at least 120mg per 100g) is a better calcium option.

🔹Other foods such as sardines, broccoli and almonds contain calcium, but you often have to eat a lot to get the amount of calcium the body needs. There's a new John West tinned tuna with ground fish bones added back in (sounds gross but is great) that is an easier option too. You can check out a ‘dairy free’ blog post I wrote for Annabel Karmel here where I discuss the different calcium containing foods compared to fortified soy products.

🔹Finally, join Baby Mealtimes and Toddler Mealtimes to access my 'how to choose 'guides to help you navigate the supermarket. There's guides for how to choose yoghurt, dairy free yoghurt, yoghurt pouches, and lots more!"


About Mealtime Building Blocks

Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla and Lauren on their website and sign up for their newsletter, and the Facebook page or on the Instagram page.

You can also email them.

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