I had a customer express concern over putting a couple of slices of dried pineapple in their child’s lunchbox each day for a sweet treat, so I thought it was worth discussing the pros and cons of dried over fresh fruit…
Dried Pineapple from Gin Gin & Dry
You might be interested to know that dried fruit contains almost all* of the nutrients of their fresh counterparts, but in a condensed package that is easier to transport (no bruised, mushy peaches at the bottom of the schoolbag), easier and less messy to eat (when’s the last time you ate a fresh mango without a knife, plate, and access to a shower?), and generally sweeter (more on this later) which makes them a healthier alternative to lollies.
In fact, by weight, dried fruit contains up to 3½ times the fibre, vitamins and minerals of fresh fruit and are high in antioxidants, making it easier to get your daily recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals from just a little dried fruit each day. And because they’re dried, they can last up to months if stored correctly (in a cool spot out of direct sunlight, in an airtight container is best). That means you have a huge range of fruit to choose from regardless of season – we have Aussie grown mango, pineapple, peaches, pears, prunes, berries (strawberries and blueberries), nectarines, apricots, apple, sultanas and raisins all year round – perfect as a healthy snack for a hike, road trip, or in the littlies’ lunchbox.
Dried Mango from Gin Gin & Dry
So where’s the downside? Well, because they’re concentrated, that also means that, by weight, they have higher sugar levels too, so portion control is important here. It’s easy to nom half a dozen pieces of dried peach – that’s three whole peaches! (And definitely avoid dried fruits with added sugar – easy at MAD, we don’t have any 😊).
Some dried fruits also use sulphites as a preservative (e.g. our peaches, apricots and nectarines) which can give some people a bit of an upset tum, or an asthmatic reaction – if that’s you, steer clear of these and try the preservative free alternatives (mango, pineapple, apple, berries, sulphur-free apricots, sultanas and raisins – all our fruit is clearly labelled with any added ingredients).
All this adds up to a healthy, convenient alternative to fresh fruit – just watch the portions!
*Vitamin C is a notable exception here; the drying process typically reduces vitamin C levels in fruit, so you may want to consider an alternative source for this.
Source: healthline.com Dried Fruit: Good or Bad?