When we say HEROFUEL is the world's best fuel for your athlete, we mean it.
Using the latest research and science on sports nutrition for kids, we'll detail exactly why HEROFUEL is unlike any other nutrition bar on the market and why it's the best option for fueling your child.
Ready? Let's go!
How do you evaluate nutritional bars for your athlete?
When looking at nutritional bars as fuel for your child, it's important to take a holistic approach and look at several factors, not just one.
We suggest considering three equal factors:
Taste or “Will they actually eat this?"
Step 1: Nutritionals
First, you must determine if the bar meets the nutritional goals of your child. Does it accomplish what you want it to accomplish?
Most bars in the supermarket are designed for adults with specific health goals, such as muscle gain, weight loss, meal replacement, etc.
Safe to say, these goals probably don’t match up with the goals of your child.
So what are the nutritional goals of your athlete? Here's how we think about it.
THE HEROFUEL FORMULA
As the HEROFUEL formula indicates, we focus on three key nutrients for fueling kids: protein, fiber, and sugar.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of these nutrients is as follows:
Source: Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine
*Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Health Organization recommend consumption of no more than 10% of daily calories from added sugars. For 6-12 year olds the recommended daily caloric intake is 1200-1600 Kcal. Note recent research suggestions even this estimate may be high. Sugar is a big health risk to most diets, and kids rarely have a problem getting enough sugar, so in general sugar should be minimized when possible.
Keep in mind RDAs are different for kids than adults! This is very important as the vast majority of bars on the market are designed for adults.
Since HEROFUEL is designed for 6-12 year olds, we can average the first two rows to come up with RDAs for the 6-12 range.
So, How Much Protein, Fiber, and Sugar should be in a Nutrition Bar?
If we think about nutritional bars as a compliment to your child's existing diet, we might think if it as a fourth meal: a well balanced snack to supplement the three standard meals.
This means the RDA values in a bar should be roughly 1/4th, or 25%, of your child's daily nutritional needs.
This is a good starting place, but kids often have trouble getting enough protein and fiber, so we'll increase these targets from 25% to 40%. On the flip side, kids generally consume enough sugar, especially if they are drinking sports drinks when competing, so we'll decrease its target from 25% to 20%.
Therefore a bar designed for kids should have approximately 40% protein kids RDA, 30% fiber kids RDA, and 20% sugar kids RDA.
11 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of sugar is the ideal blend for a nutrition bar for your child.
Still with us? The hard part is over. Now for the fun analysis!
Let's evaluate popular bars on the market based on these kids target nutritional values.
We took the top 10 most popular bars on Amazon and plotted their protein, fiber, and sugar content on three axes. We placed the kids target nutritional values behind each bar’s nutritional content so we can easily compare.
The more the triangles overlap, the more aligned the nutritional content is with the kid's target values we calculated. The less the overlap, the less the bar meets the nutritional needs of kids.
Top 10 Bars on Amazon
And a couple other bars popular for kids...
What do we notice?
Few bars match up with the kids recommended amounts of protein, fiber, and sugar. The triangles are all over the place!
These are only the 10 most popular bars on Amazon, but feel free to plug in any bar you wish to see how it stacks up. If you have a specific bar you'd like us to analyze, let us know and we'll give you our analysis.
Now, obviously we want to avoid bars with a lot more sugar than the kids RDA. But what about bars that have more protein and fiber? Or perhaps even a bar has less sugar than the kids RDA?
Quest Bar is a good example. Let's take a closer look. We see it has more protein, more fiber, and less sugar. What's wrong with this?
Why not cut a Quest bar in half and feed it to your child? As you'll see, it's equally as important to move to step two and look at the ingredients.
Step 2: Ingredients
Simply stated, you can fake nutrition facts, but you can't fake ingredients. Take sugar as an example. Many bars state they have only a couple grams of sugar or even no sugar at all. If you look at the ingredients however, you see something troubling. Most all bars are sweetened with something. If it’s not real sugar, it’s usually a sugar alcohol or an artificial sweetener.
Both types of these ingredients are concerning, especially to growing kids. We won’t go into detail as to why here, but we avoid these ingredients in HEROFUEL. Common sugar alcohols to look out for are: xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, maltitol and common artificial sweetners are sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin.
The sugar in HEROFUEL comes from organic honey and dark chocolate. We also use natural stevia to provide a touch of sweetness.
When looking at the ingredient list keep the following things in mind:
- How many ingredients are used? Generally, the fewer the better.
- Are the ingredients all-natural?
- Can you pronounce and do you understand all the ingredients? If you don’t recognize it, why feed it to your child?
- Are the ingredients unprocessed, whole foods? There’s nothing better than real, whole food ingredients.
These were our guiding principles in formulating HEROFUEL. We use 11, simple, all-natural ingredients.
After filtering bars that may have met our nutritional requirements through step 2, none survive the ingredient test.That’s not to say there aren't any out there though.
Let's say you do have a bar that meets your child's nutritional goals and uses quality ingredients you deem safe. Great! It's time to move on to step 3.
Without checking this final box, all this analysis is for not.
Step 3: Taste
Finally, the all-important taste factor. Perhaps the most difficult hurtle to survive, especially for kids. Will your kids eat this bar on a regular basis? Will they want to eat this bar on a regular basis? We all know force feeding your child something may work once, but it won’t in the long term.
When creating a bar for kids, taste is critically important and we paid a lot of attention to the taste of HEROFUEL. We wanted a rich chocolate taste, that's not overly sweet and a soft, chewy consistency.
We track all feedback and so far over 95% of kids that try HEROFUEL enjoy the taste.
On top of this we also took into account how kids consume nutritional bars. We put HEROFUEL in a resealable zipper pouch so they could eat it as needed throughout their sporting event. This wasn’t easy to use a type of packaging no other bar on the market uses, but it’s been one of our customers’ favorite attributes of HEROFUEL.
And there you have it! The three steps needed to decide if a bar gets the privilege to fuel your child.
Step 1: Nutritionals
Step 2: Ingredients
Step 3: Taste
Take us up on our offer for 2 free samples by clicking the upper right hand corner. Just pay the $2.99 flat rate USPS shipping.
Let us know how it goes! Did it survive your picky eater’s taste preferences? Do you approve of all the ingredients? Does it meet the nutritional goals of your child?
We look forward to the opportunity to fuel your athlete!
-Reid and Team HERO