Food Finds · Trail Cooking

Food Find: Powerbar Energy Blends

It occurred to me when looking at a display of Powerbar® Performance Energy Blend squeeze packets…..


That they are just fancy baby/toddler squeeze packets. Same packaging, same tops. Same size even. So what is the difference?

Added sweetener.

They double the calories and the sugars. So essentially amping up the natural sugar of puree fruit so you get “energy”. Put it this way, in a same size packet of pure fruit, it is 40 calories and 8 grams sugar. The Apple-MangoStrawberry has 80 calories and 19 grams sugar. The boost? Pure Dextrose.

I can see the pros but also the cons. The Dextrose will pump you up quickly. $1.50 a packet on sale, normal price is $2.99. A packet! Thankfully, we got them on sale and there was a buy 2 and get $1.50 off coupon to be had, which got me 2 packets for $1.50.) That isn’t cheap – that compares with the price for 4-ounce squeeze pouches of organic toddler foods. You can get 4 packets of flavored fruit for $2.50 a box at any grocery store now (and sometimes even cheaper – and if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can get fun flavors like carrot and banana). Do you chug two instead to get 80 calories?

And they are sweet. Really sweet. The Dextrose is a punch. I couldn’t take more than a sip or two…which leads to:

Don’t let young kids see them. As I said, they look exactly like their packets. The 1 year-old saw it and cried and cried for it. He loves packets. He can hold them and feed himself. And he got to it. And liked it way too much, crabbing when I took it away. The issue lies in I can see a well-meaning parent grabbing these at the outdoor store and on a hike tossing it to a kid, who’ll get a way big sugar rush. But for adults, needing a very quick boost, who is trying to at least eat somewhat healthier? If you have deep pockets, sure, check it out. But I still think you might do better chugging a squeeze pouch of Plum Organics from the baby food aisle……and save some cash.


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