When it comes to packing a healthy snack for a lunchbox, yoghurt may not commonly feature because it needs to be kept cold. Let’s compare yoghurt pouches with other yoghurt choices.
Yoghurt pouches are popular due to their convenience factor. They are a good size for lunchboxes, easy to open, require no spoon, and have minimal mess (unless a half-eaten pouch comes home in the lunchbox with no lid!). These can be major advantages for busy people. On the other hand, packing a yoghurt cup or a home prepared container of yoghurt requires a spoon, and may lead to more spills and clean up in the lunchbox.
When it comes to flavours, yoghurt pouches and yoghurt tubs come in a variety of options. Yoghurt pouches are available in flavours such as strawberry, banana, and honey, which can appeal to picky eaters and are often heavily marketed, which can increase the cost of the yoghurt. Yoghurt tubs also offer a variety of choice with fruity blends, Greek yoghurt, and a range of lactose-free and dairy-free options.
Keeping yoghurt cold is essential for safe consumption. Yoghurts can contain live bacterial cultures which when exposed to warm temperatures can cause spoilage and result in harmful bacteria growth. You can read more about lunchbox safety here.
Tips to keep your yoghurt cool:
- Freeze your yoghurt overnight and pop in an insulated lunch box with a freezer bag
- Put your yoghurt straight from the fridge into an insulated lunch box with a freezer bag and consume the yoghurt within 4 hours of removing from the fridge
Yoghurt is a good source of calcium, needed for healthy bones, protein to build and repair muscle as well as to make enzymes and manufacture hormones. Some yoghurts contain probiotics to help with gut health. It’s a good idea to compare labels and nutrition information panels on different yoghurts labels to check for added sugars and artificial flavours to help you reduce your intake of these. Regular Greek yoghurt tends to be higher in protein and lower in added sugars, but flavour wise is more tart. Read more about the different types of yoghurts here.
Yoghurt pouches are usually more expensive than yoghurt tubs and a lot more expensive than a big tub. Price can vary depending on the brand of yoghurt and quantity. The budget friendly option is to buy a large yoghurt tub (500g-1kg) and divide into smaller portions as a more cost-effective choice, but less convenient.
Environmental concerns relate to the packaging and particularly plastic. Many workplaces, educational institutions and schools are ‘plastic free’ or encourage minimal use. So, think about this when planning lunch and snacks. Single-use plastic yoghurt pouches will contribute to higher levels of plastic waste, whereas homemade containers of yoghurt and fruit can help reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment.
The Bottom Line:
Your choice of yoghurt can be dependent on your circumstances and priorities.
- If hassle free is what you are looking for, yoghurt pouches might be your go-to choice.
- If cost is your number one priority, opting for bulk yoghurt tubs might be for you.
- If the healthiest choice is what you are after, Greek yoghurt with added fruit or honey may be suitable.
- If sustainability is a priority for your family one large yoghurt tub divided into smaller portions may be a more eco-friendly option.