Best of Washington: Licking the Competition

Which frozen fruit pops are tops with ballerinas Katharine Lee, Eva Thomas, Cailyn Murray, Alexa Addison, and Sydney Goldston? Photograph by Matthew Worden.

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Some parents do pirouettes searching for a healthy snack their kids will eat. So we asked a group of seven- and eight-year-old girls—all students at local Ballet Petite studios—to sample frozen fruit bars and Popsicles, most of which were made with real fruit and were low in calories.

Which treats were fit for our sugarplum fairies? There was a tie for first place: Julie’s Organic Sorbet Bars in mandarin orange (about $4.50 for a box of four at Wegmans) had, according to one tester, “just the right amount of sweetness.” Made with organic cane juice, each has 15 grams of sugar. The ballerinas also liked Edy’s Strawberry Fruit Bars ($4.39 for six at Whole Foods) because they tasted like strawberry smoothies. Each has 20 grams of sugar, among the highest of the bars tested.

The watermelon fruit bars by Palapa Azul ($4.39 for four at Whole Foods) brought the girls to their toes because, as one said, they were “not too sour and not too sweet.” The gluten-free frozen treats are made with organic cane juice and have 14 grams of sugar.

“Where are all the jokes?” one ballerina asked. “I like the Popsicles with the jokes on the stick.” That said, the girls decided that the orange, cherry, and grape Popsicle-brand natural-juice bars ($3.19 for a box of 12 at Harris Teeter) landed in fourth place. Made with fruit juice, not fruit, and high-fructose corn syrup, each has eight grams of sugar.

Not worthy of a standing ovation were the strawberry So Delicious fruit bars made from soy milk (“The worst!” said one tester), 365 Fruit Bars from Whole Foods (“much too sweet,” said one ballerina), and no-sugar-added Dreyer’s Fruit Bars, which one girl said tasted “like sour water.”

This appeared as part of The Washingtonian's July 2009 Best of Washington issue, on stands now. 


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