Condiments are a huge part of life in this household. Which is not a bad thing! Dips and spreads are a great tool in getting your toddler to try new foods. An unfamiliar food can feel less intimidating when paired with a familiar condiment! What’s less stellar is that these condiments are typically loaded with high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and mystery ingredients we can’t pronounce.
My approach is simple. I’m a huge believer in moderation, but generally, at home, we try to follow a more “whole foods” approach! It’s something that makes sense to me, and I feel better when doing so! That said, a road trip isn’t complete without a stop at Chick-Fil-A.
Switching out your condiments is one of the easiest everyday health swaps you can make for your ketchup-loving toddler. Below are a few of my favorite swaps.
Look for options without high fructose corn syrup. Organic is best because it also contains no GMO crops (like corn, canola, sugar). Still, any option without HFCS is a much better choice! These are a few good options:
Good & Gather Organic – 20oz – $1.89 at Target ($0.09/oz)
Heinz Organic – 32oz – $5.29 at Target ($0.17/oz)
Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened – 12oz bottle – $4.69 at Target (This is my favorite because it doesn’t have any sugar and still tastes great…but it is absolutely not necessary as it’s pricey)
Bad guy comparison Heinz – 14oz – $1.99 at Target ($0.14/oz)
Peanut Butter/Almond Butter/Nut Butter
Peanuts and salt. That’s it. I love a short and simple ingredient list!! If you’ve been loyal to Jif and Skippy, this will taste less sweet, so you can add a little honey if you need to ease into it. But start ’em young, and they’ll only know real peanut butter! (Note: choose unsalted for babies or when trying to limit salt). And the same idea for other nut butter- just nuts and salt.
Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter – TWO 28oz (56oz total) – $9.99 at Costco ($0.17/oz)
Wild Friends Peanut Butter – THREE 16oz (48oz total) – $14.94 at Amazon ($0.31/oz)
Simply Nature Organic Peanut Butter – 16oz – $3.39 at Aldi ($0.21/oz)
Bad guy comparison Jif – 16oz – $2.39 at Target ($0.15/oz)
Look for options without high fructose corn syrup. A few of many choices:
Organic Simply Nature Strawberry Preserves – 11oz – $2.65 at Aldi ($0.24/oz)
Crofters Organic Just Fruit Spread – 10oz – on sale for $2.69 at Whole Foods at the time of this writing (so, yes, I stocked up!) but usually $3.99. This is an excellent choice because it has no sugar
Thrive Market brand, Whole Food 365, and Trader Joes all have great options!
Smucker’s Natural is a BETTER option too (without HFCS) – 17.25 oz -$2.69 at Target ($0.16/oz)
Bad guy comparison Smuckers – 18oz – $2.89 at Target ($0.16/oz)
The syrup thing is mind-boggling. Most of the popular syrup brands do not contain any real maple syrup! Like what?? Aunt Jemima ingredients: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, cellulose gum, caramel color, salt, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate and sorbic acid (preservatives), sodium hexametaphosphate. This is more expensive because true maple syrup is more expensive. Pro tip: mix syrup with almond butter of peanut butter to stretch it! What your syrup should contain: 100% real maple syrup
Kirkland Organic Maple Syrup – 33.8oz – $9.99 at Costco ($0.30/oz)
Good & Gather 100% Maple Syrup – 12oz – $7.39 at Target ($0.61/oz)
Trader Joe’s Maple Syrup – 8oz – $4.49 at Trader Joes ($0.56/oz)
Thrive market…or your local farmer’s markets or farm stand!
Bad guy comparison – Aunt Jemima – 24oz – $2.89 (I feel like they aren’t comparable though!)
You might not typically think about yogurt as a condiment. Still, I’ve seen my toddler dip pretty much anything in yogurt. 9/10 times he’s sucking it right off the pretzel, but it counts as exposure to the food in my mind! Plain yogurt is also cheaper than “kid-friendly” yogurts filled with sugar, junk, and a marketing mark-up price tag. Cost-effective and better for you? No-brainer. Whole fat yogurt is so good for developing brains, and if your toddler doesn’t love milk, it’s an excellent way for them to get in that extra calcium!
- Sour cream replacement
- Mix it with something spicy to dilute spice level (chicken, soups, etc.)
- Dip carrots, pretzels…it’s so versatile.
- Mix it with berries to sweeten it up!
Simply Nature Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt – 32oz – $2.99 at Aldi
Siggi’s 4% plain whole milk yogurt – 24oz – $5.99 at Whole Foods
Good & Gather Greek Plain Nonfat Yogurt – 32oz – $3.69 at Target
Bad guy comparison – Yoplait Disney Frozen Yogurt – 32 oz – $3.79 at Target
**Please note that the prices listed are what I found when writing this article. Of course, prices will fluctuate based on location, timing, sales, and more…but I hope it provided a helpful comparison!