This healthy snack choice is actually causing a big problem.

Many parents think sultanas, raisins and other dried fruits are a good option because they’re packed with vitamins. But in fact the concentrated sugar content in dried fruit is extremely detrimental to a child’s teeth, reports The Mirror.

A small packet of raisins has around 8 teaspoons worth of sugar in.

According to the NHS , the recommended daily sugar allowance for children aged four to six years-old is no more than five sugar cubes. For children aged seven to ten, it is no more than six.

The reason dried fruit poses a particular danger is also because of its consistency.

“Raisins are sticky, and get stuck in teeth. Therefore the bacteria has a prolonged source of sugar, so it can cause decay for a longer period of time.”

However, given their nutritional value, this does not mean they should be avoided altogether.

“It’s better to give your child raisins as a dessert or part of a meal rather than a snack.

“Sugar as part of a meal is not detrimental to the teeth, so saving sweet treats for mealtimes doesn’t cause decay.

“However frequent snacking of sweet foods and drinks between meals causes the mouth to remain in an acidic state – which is ideal for decay to occur.”

Some of the bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugar present in our diets, producing acid.

Earlier this year parents shared their confusion after one mum was told sultanas was not an acceptable lunch box snack, despite what the note actually advises. Read more on that HERE.

A Melbourne vented on Facebook after her daughter’s greek yoghurt and vegemite biscuit snacks were deemed unhealthy according to her kindergarten’s policy. Read that HERE.

The best snack?


It neutralises the acid in the mouth and prevents tooth decay. Any savoury snack is in fact a good alternative – like bread sticks.

The Right Bite and healthy eating policy classifies food and drink into three categories according to their nutritional or ‘healthy eating’ value.

Oh my youngest always loved his sultanas! May explain some of his teeth issues. DOH!

Do your kids love dried fruit?

Share your comments below.

  • Ahhh what a pain, such a convenient easy snack to have in the bag,,, will have to think outside the square


  • I had no idea about this. And always gave in small portions dried fruits to my children.


  • Thankfully my Mum taught me to prefer snacks such as fruit, cheese, nuts and raw vegetables though I do occasionally snack on a variety of dried fruit. I’ve always been aware of the high sugar content though. Back in the 1950’s my Mum actively promoted a healthy balanced diet and I’m sure it is part of the reason for my ongoing good health though I have not always been “good”.


  • We eat dried fruit in our own combo snack mixture we make up and place in bags. We have a good balance of dried fruit and nuts and seeds and other healthy nibbly foods.

    • We also eat a lot of cheese – an enormous amount and variety of cheeses.


  • My lot do not eat much dried fruit unless it is in cooking.


  • I never thought about the sugar content. Thank you for this information.


  • No wonder my son has such beautiful teeth. He loves cheese.


  • Dried fruit has never been a favourite here – good to know Cheese is a great snack though as we all love it!


  • As always, all things in moderation, including moderation.

    Yes, I give my children dried fruit. Other than sultanas, though, it is rare as we have to dry then ourselves because of sulphite allergies. Sulphite is used as a preservative on most dried fruits.


  • I hardly give my kids dried fruit because of the high sugar content indeed. Some dried fruits have even sugar added ( cranberries for example) and a sugarfree variety is hard to find in the supermarket. We also keep sugar out of our cupboards as much as possible.


  • Thanks for the article,next time l will check the sugar content!


  • My daughter loves eating dried cranberries. As a snack she get some trail mix: nuts and dried fruit.


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