The new brand Cow Candy adds bright colors and fruit flavors to string cheese snacks, but is it really a healthier alternative?
Wisconsin-based Cow Candy has released a line of string cheese snacks with added flavors like Green Apple, Orange, Fruit Punch, Grape, and Strawberry. Colors range from hot pink My Little Pony-branded sticks to Transformers red. The idea is to reel kids in with a healthy snack disguised as more familiar, less healthy munchies, but we're not sure that is really the best strategy.
String cheese is already an inherently kid-friendly food. It’s individually packaged for snacks and lunches. It’s easy for little hands to handle. Like any great snack food—we’re looking at you, Oreo—there’s a fun method to eating one, peeling into long strands and dangling into one’s mouth is preferred. So does it really still need the mascot and artificial color/flavor treatment?
Cheese should be the color of, well, cheese. Introducing a different coloring and a sweet profile to yet another savory snack can be trouble. Even though the snacks are low sugar compared to fruit-flavored milk or yogurt, cheese shouldn’t be sweet at all. Young palates need variety; sweetening even mild snacks like string cheese could sensitize them to other flavors, and not in a good way.
If your kid still needs to be convinced to eat less processed snacks, start them out with a mild string cheese like mozzarella. If they're a bit more open-minded, then Colby Jack or sharp cheddar also make a tasty lunchbox inclusion.