JamFrakas - a review

So Megan over at Megans Munchies somehow got all of her readers free JamFrakas bars (made by LARA bar). I love reading Megan's blog and you should go read it too! She's a great girl and has such great energy about her, so go read up and I'm sure you'll fall in love with her and her recipes too!


Back to the bars. I was super excited when a package showed up in my mailbox earlier this week. I was thinking LARA would send us 1 bar to try... scratch that! they sent 5! I can't find these bars online... so I'm thinking the bloggers are the test market maybe?

The bars are being marketed as a "crispy chewy food bar for KIDS" They are the perfect snack size for adults though, around 90-120 calories 1- 5.5 g fat with 0-2.5 (or was it 2... I tossed the wrapper already whoops) being saturated. I have to say the fat and saturated fat had me a little worried, the only one with 0 saturated was the apple flavor. The bars are 28 grams in weight with as high as 15 g coming from sugar... I know it's natural sugar from the fruit and honey... but it still seems a bit high, I mean that's over 50% of the bar is sugar in the apple one! The fiber and protein count isn't that great either. 2 grams protein at the highest, and 1 or 2 grams fiber...

The bars were pretty good (my favorite was the peanut butter one-very tasty!), but nutrition wise... just because it says it's organic and a whole grain doesn't make it good for you. I'm not trying to bash LARA bars at all (I mean it was tasty), but it just goes to show you that you really need to look at the nutritional facts on products. I work in marketing and let me tell you when we design things... we want you to buy them... organic, healthy, whole grain, they are all big buzz words right now and people are slapping them all over packaging. It's important to really look at what goes into a product and what the breakdown of the nutrition label is. These bars are all natural and have great ingredients in them... but that doesn't mean they are healthy great things for you.

There are a lot of products out there not that market themselves as being healthy and good for you when in reality they aren't nutritionally better then a candy bar. So keep on the look out and read the nutritional labels :)

OK I'll get off my soap box now haha. Sorry for the rant!

UPDATE: Megan made a good point in her comment, it's true they will be better then most kids eat and any step in the right direction is a good one :) I normally snack on fresh fruit, popcorn, oatmeal, yogurt and nuts but I know not all kids like those thing haha. As for specific bars that I eat, fiber one bars are decent sugar wise and fantastic fiber wise (fiber = keeps you full), and I have to say they taste crazy good!

Another bar that I really like are Zone bars, (not really for kids though) they have a good combination of fats to carbs to protein and will definitely satisfy. These taste and look like a candy bar, but are much better for you then grabbing a Snickers :) I use these as a mid afternoon snack some days. The caramel ones are my favorite! They have 200 calories, 14 g protein, since it's peanut butter the fat is kinda high at 6 grams, 1 gram of fat = 9 calories so about 50 calories is from fat, that's 25% fat. The combo of fat and protein in this bar is very satisfying.

Now I'm no nutritionist but I do a lot of nutrition reading on the side, so check with your doctor or whatever hahaha. Add disclaimer here so no one can sue me :) Protein has 4 calories a gram so you can eat more grams of protein for less calories plus it takes longer for your body to process them. As you've probably heard fiber takes longer to digest then other things, so eating whole grains and food high in fiber will keep you full longer, also making sure you have enough protein in your diet is important. I try to eat bars that have a decent amount of protein and fiber in them, otherwise I mean what are you really eating... pretty much sugar.

Another bar that I love are pure protein, these taste a bit more dense / chewy so some people may not love them. They are crazy good nutrition wise, 20 grams of protein 190 calories and only 2 grams of sugar. Again the fat is a little high since they are peanut butter 6 grams, but overall these things are a powerhouse of protein, love um!

For a smaller bar Pria by powerbar is also a good choice, 110 calories, 5 grams protein, 9 grams sugar, with all bars it seems the fat/ saturated fat is a bit high for what it is... all the flavors of these are tasty and like the jamfrakas they fit nice in your purse for emergency chow :) OK am I the only one who carries emergency chow??

Hope that helped! Jamfrakas are a good choice for organic and convenience! And it's true if it's processed it's not going to be as good as straight up fruit but it is convenient and there are far worse things out there for you! Just keep an eye out and look at what is really going on with the numbers!

OOOO or you can just make your kids these. YUM! If you don't do the jam centers they are much more portable without the mess :)


UPDATE 2:

I don't know how I forgot about these! Kashi TLC granola bars (and really all of their TLC line) is amazing and totally healthy for you! 120 calories, 5 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 8 sugars. AND DELICIOUS!

7 chews:

Meg said...

Thanks for all the sweet things you said about me and my blog!

Oh my goodness...you opened my eyes to a whole new world of looking at bar nutritionals. I have always thought the regular LaraBars were extremely high in sugar even though I knew it was from fruit. I admit I eat my fair share of bars, but I guess none of them can really be conceived as healthy because they are processed in a way. I guess the good thing about the JamFrakas for kids is that is a better choice than some of the other snacks kids might choose. Do you have any suggestions of bars that are truly healthy?

Sounds like you have a very interesting job!

stephchows said...

Totally girl! I love your blog!! I did an update to the post to answer your questions so everyone could easily see :)

I don't market food thankfully but it's amazing what some companies are doing right now to play into the whole health kick it's crazy!

Laurie said...

I got the JamFrakas bars from Meg too! You did a great job on the review - honest and informative.

I never eat bars of any kind because I don't want to waste 120 calories on something that isn't totally yummy and I don't find bars all that yummy. But my kids loved them.

It looks like you had so much fun (and ate so much good food!) at Blueberry Hill Inn. I LOVE Vermont and enjoyed your photos very much.

Chef E said...

Since my hubby is a big ole kid, he might like these. He eats his weight in nutrition bars anyway! I tried to write a blog like your Blueberry Hill, but my trip went a little off the map, but check out mine, I would have rather been on your trip! I will try that South Orange place, put it on the list -E

Meg said...

Thanks for all the sweet things you said about me and my blog!

Oh my goodness...you opened my eyes to a whole new world of looking at bar nutritionals. I have always thought the regular LaraBars were extremely high in sugar even though I knew it was from fruit. I admit I eat my fair share of bars, but I guess none of them can really be conceived as healthy because they are processed in a way. I guess the good thing about the JamFrakas for kids is that is a better choice than some of the other snacks kids might choose. Do you have any suggestions of bars that are truly healthy?

Sounds like you have a very interesting job!

Laurie said...

I got the JamFrakas bars from Meg too! You did a great job on the review - honest and informative.

I never eat bars of any kind because I don't want to waste 120 calories on something that isn't totally yummy and I don't find bars all that yummy. But my kids loved them.

It looks like you had so much fun (and ate so much good food!) at Blueberry Hill Inn. I LOVE Vermont and enjoyed your photos very much.

Chef E said...

Since my hubby is a big ole kid, he might like these. He eats his weight in nutrition bars anyway! I tried to write a blog like your Blueberry Hill, but my trip went a little off the map, but check out mine, I would have rather been on your trip! I will try that South Orange place, put it on the list -E

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