Picking the Right Pudding

Puddings are popular with kids, but can pile on the pounds. How do we choose a healthy option? We asked the experts from Hartley’s about No Added Sugar Jelly Pots.

The world can often feel like a bit of a minefield when it comes to feeding the kids. There seems to be a lot of endless pressure all around, telling us that we need to feed them the ‘right’ stuff, and countless rules you feel you have to constantly abide by to be a ‘good parent’. All of this, while keeping on top of everything else in our busy lives… packed lunches, school drop-off, work, after school clubs…the list goes on!

When it comes to dinnertime, more than ever it can feel like hard work as a parent – particularly if you live in a world of slow eaters, fussy eaters, those that refuse to try anything new or even leave half of it to just get thrown in the bin!

However, after the main meal stress (and hopefully with empty plates!) there’s a rewarding moment that everyone looks forward to…the moment you can stop saying no and can actually say yes to the kids – the pudding moment!

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The Pudding Moment

The pudding moment is one that creates really nostalgic family memories, whether it’s a shared pudding in celebration at the weekend, or a quick mid-week pudding to finish off a family meal. However, puddings are often indulgent affairs, full of cream and sugar, and are generally very high in calories. As an adult on a diet, the pudding moment is generally one of the first things cut.

Frighteningly, more than 1 in 5 children in reception are overweight or obese(1), which is proof we need to be careful as to what our children eat.

Over-consumption of sugar is one of the biggest drivers of childhood obesity, and currently children are having over two times more sugar than they should(2). A lot of this comes from unhealthy snacks, puddings and sugary drinks.

That being said, this doesn’t mean a total ban on all things sugar, and the pudding moment is still one that can and should be enjoyed. There are lots of easy ways in which you can start to cut back on the amount of sugar your child eats for pudding without feeling like you have to say no to everything.
Here are some top tips to consider when picking a pudding or sweet treat.

  • Always read the label
    There can be more sugar than you would expect in many food products, so it is always worth reading the label to avoid any surprises. While some foods are naturally high in sugar like fruit and vegetables, others have sugar added to it to make it taste sweet. Keep an eye on what foods have lots of sugar added to them and try to keep within your child’s daily sugar allowance. For 4-6 year olds this is 19 grams, for 7-10 year olds this is 24 grams, and for those 11+ years old this is 30 grams. Food labels are becoming easier to read as these are mostly now coloured in red, amber and green. Look out for foods with more greens and ambers, and try and cut out red labels where possible.

  • Look for No Added Sugar products
    There are lots of No Added Sugar or low sugar alternatives to your favourite puddings, which literally means that they haven’t had extra sugar added to them for taste. Swapping to the No Added Sugar version of a product can really reduce sugar consumption without having to sacrifice on taste. Some excellent examples are sugar free jelly, lower-sugar yoghurt or lower-sugar custard. In some cases, you can make this simple swap and remove 10g of sugar! Change4Life offers lots of brilliant tips and support to help make simple swaps and stay healthier – www.nhs.uk/change4life.

  • Use pudding pots for portion control
    There are lots of products in the market that are there to help you feed the correct portion for your child. These also come with the added benefit of ease and convenience (and not forgetting mess reduction!) for you. Look out for pudding pots that alleviate the problem of cutting a slice a little too big or giving an extra spoonful! There are lots of perfectly portioned pudding pots available, with a flavour offering for everyone, that takes out the guess work making life easier.


While there are lots of concerns around sugar levels in our child’s diet, don’t forget life is all about balance! The pudding moment is one for you and kids to enjoy, and sometimes it’s nice to put smiles on faces without the pressure. As long as these are eaten in moderation, you are able to enjoy the pudding moment as a family as it’ll be a brilliant time to create memories – everyone looks back fondly on Grandma’s jelly and custard!

There is a clear need across the nation to start making sensible swaps and reduce the amount of sugar that children are consuming. Begin by making simple swaps and looking out for no added sugar variants of your favourite puddings. There’s lots of support out there to help you make the right choice. But most importantly – don’t forget to enjoy pudding!

Hartley’s No Added Sugar Jelly Pots are here to offer you choice if you’re looking to reduce your child’s sugar intake. These refreshing, fruity flavoured jelly pots contain no added sugar, and in a handy small pot they are a brilliant addition to brighten up any lunchbox.

1 – Source PHE Patterns and Trends in Child Obesity Feb 2021
2 – Source; NHS Change 4 Life Reducing Sugar | Cutting Out Sugar | Change4Life (www.nhs.uk)

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