I’m often looking for healthy foods to pack in lunch bags. Aside from whole fruits and veggies such as apples or carrot sticks, I appreciate the convenience of nutritious, shelf-stable, no-sugar-added foods that last a long time and require no refrigeration. Bonus points if they appeal to picky eaters. Among the staples in my pantry are Aldi’s unsweetened applesauce pouches, sold by the carton.
Simply Nature Apple Unsweetened Squeezeable Fruit Blend cost $4.49 for a carton containing twelve 3.2-oz. BPA-free pouches at the time of publication, which comes to about 37 cents per pouch. For comparison, a 20-pack of GoGo squeeZ applesauce variety pouches from Walmart cost $9.78 (about 49 cents per pouch) at the time of publication. This Aldi product is a Regular Buy, meaning it’s on store shelves year round. It also comes in an apple cinnamon flavor, but that has added sugar that I try to avoid, so I’ve never bought that variety.
An interesting feature about the packaging is that when I compared pouches I’ve bought more recently to pouches that are a little older, I can clearly see how Aldi has reduced the amount of packaging material without decreasing the amount of applesauce inside the pouch.
The older pouches in my pantry are larger than the newer ones, but both types of pouches have 3.2 ounces of applesauce product. When I give each pouch a gentle squeeze, the newer smaller pouches feel fuller and have less give, while there seems to be more “empty” space in the older larger pouches.
It appears this is an example of how Aldi is making good on its promise to reduce packaging across its range of house brands by at at least 15%, which is part of its commitment to address the global plastic crisis and move toward better overall sustainability.
Ingredients in these pouches are apples and ascorbic acid (to maintain color). They are nut and dairy free and are certified non GMO.
One pouch has 45 calories and no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. One serving has 12 grams of total carbohydrates (4% DV), 1 gram of dietary fiber (4% DV), 8 grams of total sugars, and 0 grams of added sugars.
The pouches are sold unrefrigerated, and they are shelf stable for a long time. The most recent carton I bought had a “best by” date that was more than a year into the future. If you open a pouch and do not consume the entire pouch, the cap should be replaced and the pouch should be refrigerated, and it should be consumed within 24 hours after opening. The box says not to microwave the pouches.
Be careful giving these pouches to small children because the small cap may be a choking hazard.
The box also states that while the cardboard box is recyclable, the multi-layer pouches are not.
Sometimes my younger elementary student says she has a little trouble opening the cap, but she’s never come home from school with an unopened, uneaten pouch, so I don’t think they’re too difficult to get into.
These are a lunch box staple in my household. While I try to nudge my kids to eat more whole fruit, these are a nice compromise in terms of nutrition and convenience. I usually keep a couple of cartons around so we have plenty for school lunches, family outings, and camping trips.
Simply Nature Unsweetened Apple Squeezeable Fruit Blends are your typical fruit puree in a pouch. They’re great as snacks for babies and toddlers, as lunch bag staples for school-age kids, or for the family during a picnic or outing. When it’s not convenient to eat whole fruit, these offer a serving of fruit without added sugar.