Where’s more sugar? Smoothies or candy bars?

Where’s more sugar? Smoothies or candy bars?
Child Health and Nutrition

Are your kids getting loads of sweets and chocolate bars everywhere they go? Or is it only my kids that are being overloaded with unhealthy well-meant treats? Our cupboard is full of snacks that I didn’t buy and I’m not happy about at all.

I want to raise my children in a healthy way and white refined sugar is one of the things I’m trying to avoid. Last year around Christmas time we’ve received huge amount of sweets. Most of them ended up in a bin (I’m sorry grannies, aunts and uncles, I know you mean well…) So this year, we’ve made sure to tell everyone in advance, that we DO NOT wish to receive any sweeties. And guess what, it worked! I was so pleased to see bananas and tangerines instead of chocolate bars in little Santa bags. At least until I realized that now I have more than 8.5 kg of fruits on my kitchen table (I really did weigh it). What should I do with all these fruits? I need to process them before they go off…

The only thing I could think of was making smoothies. There’s just one catch in it. Smoothies are full of sugar too. So I decided to make a research about how much sugar there is in fruits to determine how much smoothies do I want my kids to drink.

Are smoothies healthy?

The healthiest way to receive nutrients from fruits is to eat it solid. Chewing and mixing it with saliva in your mouth is the right start of digestive process. This is how you make sure your own or your child’s body will take all of fruit’s nutritious value in a most effective way. Therefore I prefer to give my kids entire fruits to eat or just chop fruits and serve it right away in a nice bowl that has a picture of their favourite TV cartoon characters printed on. That is in case I don’t have 8.5 kg fruits piled up in my kitchen!

Blending fruits to smoothies and drinking it as soon as possible is also a good way of getting something healthy into your little ones. Although digestive process is a bit different in this case and your body might not be able to get full value in. On the other hand, you’ll eat many more pieces of fruit in a liquid form than you would if you’ve been eating them solid. It’s a good thing as it might compensate a bit for a lower nutritional value of smoothie in comparison to solid fruit. It’s also a bad thing as you consume all the sugar that is contained in fruits you’ve blended at once.

How much sugar is there in a smoothie?

I wanted to find out how much sugar will my kids get if I give them a glass of smoothie. And how does it measure up to common chocolate or candy bars on the market. I dag up some information about nutritional value of all the fruits (and two veggies) I could think of and wrote it down along with the info about some sugary treats.

Here’s what I learnt:

Nutritional value of fruits and veggies

hydrates (g)
Apple with skinper 100g520.260.1713.8110.392.4
Orangeper 100g470.940.1211.759.352.4
Tangerineper 100g530.810.3113.3410.581.8
Bananaper 100g891.090.3322.8412.232.6
Blueberriesper 100g570.740.3314.499.942.4
Raspberriesper 100g521.20.6511.944.426.5
Strawberriesper 100g320.670.37.684.892
Mangoper 100g600.820.3814.9813.661.6
Persimmons (Kaki)per 100g700.580.1918.5912.533.6
Pearper 100g570.360.1415.239.753.1
Watermelonper 100g300.610.157.556.20.4
Peachper 100g390.910.259.548.391.5
Nectarineper 100g441.060.3210.557.891.7
Kiwifruitper 100g611.140.5214.668.993
Cranberriesper 100g460.460.1311.974.273.6
Pineappleper 100g500.540.1213.129.851.4
Honeydew melonper 100g360.540.
Grapefruitper 100g320.630.18.086.981.1
Grapesper 100g690.720.1618.115.480.9
Passion-fruitper 100g972.20.723.3811.210.4
Pomegranatesper 100g831.671.1718.713.674
Apricotper 100g481.40.3911.129.242
Cherryper 100g5010.312.188.491.6
Figper 100g740.750.319.1816.262.9
Lemonper 100g291.10.39.322.52.8
Plumper 100g460.70.2811.429.921.4
Blackberriesper 100g431.390.499.614.885.3
Avocadoper 100g160214.668.530.666.7
Datesper 100g2822.450.3975.0363.358
Litchisper 100g660.830.4416.5315.231.3
Carrotper 100g410.930.249.584.742.8
Spinachper 100g232.860.393.630.422.2

Table shows approximate nutritional values per 100g of fruit. Source: USDA National Nutrient Database (http://ndb.nal.usda.gov)

Nutritional value of common sugary treats

ValuesEnergy (kcal)Protein (g)Fat (g)Carbohydrates (g)Sugars (g)Fibre
M&M'S Peanutper 100g5119.725.359.253.8NA
per 45g*2304.411.426.624.2NA
Snickersper 100g5109.527.954.344.9NA
per 48g*2454.613.426.121.6NA
Marsper 100g4484.416.769.359.9NA
per 51g*2282.28.535.330.5NA
Bountyper 100g4873.725.758.948.2NA
per 57g*2782.114.633.627.5NA
Twixper 100g4954.52464.648.8NA
per 50g*2482.31232.324.4NA
Aeroper 100g5426.530.957.856.22.2
per 37g*2012.411.421.420.80.8
KitKatper 100g5115.824.865.152.72
per 42g*2152.410.427.322.10.8
Gummy Bearsper 100g3436.9<0.57746NA
per 39g*1342.7<0.53017.9NA
Oreoper 100g48052069382.5
per 44g*2112.28.830.416.71.1
Milkaper 100g5306.32959581.8
per 50g*2653.214.529.5290.9

* Common portion size

Source: http://marsnutrition.co.uk/, http://www.nestle.com/, http://www.aerochocolate.co.uk/, http://www.kitkat.co.uk/content/kitkatcollection/FourFinger, https://www.haribo.com/enGB/products/haribo.html, http://www.oreo.co.uk/, http://www.milka.de

For my first smoothie, I blended:

¼ mango
2 oranges
¼ persimmon fruit
1 apple
1 banana

I got cca 450ml of pretty thick smoothie that I divided into 3 portions (150ml each). One portion of this drink contains: 134kcal, 1.7g of protein, less than 0.5g of fat, 34g of carbohydrates of which nearly 25g is sugar and 5.5g of fibre.

Try our Smoothie Calc to see what nutritional value is in your favourite smoothie!

When you look at the amount of sugar in such smoothie, it’s comparable to eating one chocolate bar. But it has much much more fibre than any of the sugary snacks from my table.

Give your kids sugar – they deserve a treat!

Yes, many people share this opinion. Kids are kids and they eat sweets. If amount of sugar is a measurement of good mum giving her children praise, well done to me. I’ve given my kids quite enough of sugar today.

I also gave them:

  • Fibre, that has many benefits, e.g. it is important to slow down and improve metabolism, is good for your heart, fills you up for longer, helps control your weight and much more.
  • Vitamins, such as C (great antioxidant, improves immune system, protects health of your eyes), B9 (benefits your heart as well as neural and emotional health), A (good for white blood cells production and remodeling of bones), K (helps you build strong bones, is important for blood clotting and improves overall health)
  • Minerals, such as Potassium (important for your heart, muscles, brain, helps you fight anxiety and stress, improves metabolism), Calcium (strengthen your bones and teeth), Phosphorus (works with calcium towards your bone health and boosts brain functions), Magnesium (helps to release hormones calming body and mind, fighting anxiety, stress and insomnia)
  • No unhealthy fat
  • No other additives, flavourings, aromas etc.


Sugar content in fruits is high. You can easily give your kids the same or even higher amount of sugar by giving them fruits or fruit smoothies than you would give them in a chocolate bar. However there’s a big difference between sugar contained in sweets and sugar in raw fruits. Candy bars usually contain refined sugar that will spike the blood sugar level, are bad for your metabolism and in general unhealthy. Blood sugar roller-coaster negatively affects mood, physical activity and concentration levels.

On the other hand fruit sugar or fructose in combination with fibre, vitamins and minerals is natural source of sugar (and other nutrients). Your body can handle it much better than white sugar. Next time you crave something sweet, treat yourself (and your kids) with a nice piece of fruit or smoothie. Your body will feel better and you will feel better about yourself too.


About Jarmila

I’m a mom of three (8, 6, 4). For me, having kids means my biggest dream coming true. It’s blessing from God to have them. Although, it still applies, that children are best when they’re asleep. And on photos, too. Every night when they’re all 3 fast asleep, I go to check on them and I watch them with a smile on my face. Their breath is calm and their little faces are so beautiful and gentle. I think of all the funny things they’ve said and done that day. Or even naughty little things they’ve done. I just smile and enjoy the moment and the quiet in the house :)