The Aussie mum pushing no-sugar kids’ snacks

15th December 2023 | EATIVITY Editors

With two-thirds of Australian packaged food products containing added sugar, and 60 percent of Australian children aged 2-8 consuming more free sugar than the recommended intake, one Aussie mum has decided that it is time to change the way kids snack.

Following the birth of her son, food scientist Jo Leontiades was inspired to create Grumpy Bums, a range of easy, bake-at-home products without added sugar, sweeteners or refined sugars – incorporating real ingredients and the natural sweetness of fruit.

As a parent, Jo saw a gap in the health food market for mums and dads seeking wholesome, no-sugar foods to fulfil their childrens’ breakfast, snacking and lunchbox needs, while also catering to a range of dietary restrictions.

Grumpy Bums Founder Jo Leontiades and her son.

“As a first time mum, I immediately identified with the issue many parents face when giving their kids snacks, namely sugar,” explains Ms. Leontiades.

“Many products that claim to have ‘no sugar’ are overly processed and often contain sweeteners, sugar substitutes or refined sugars.

“But it’s my belief that kids don’t need to be denied sweet treats, so I started baking products for my son, with no sugar and no additives – and he really enjoyed them!

“This was the inspiration for Grumpy Bums – as a way to give parents healthy snacking options that satisfy snack cravings, without the added sugar.”

Grumpy Bums comes in three flavours of mini muffin mix – apple & cinnamon, banana bread and strawberry yoghurt – as well as a banana muesli cookie mix. Replacing sugar with real freeze-dried fruit – which maintains up to 95% of its nutritional value and 100 percent of its fibre 3 – Grumpy Bums’ products rely on natural sugars to achieve the snacking satisfaction kids are looking for.

Ms. Leontiades says Grumpy Bums also gives parents the opportunity to conveniently and quickly bake fresh snacks for their kids, while engaging them in the joy of baking and also educating them on health and wellness.

“During our product testing and research, it was clear that many parents still wanted to bake for their kids, but needed convenience and speed as well,” adds Ms. Leontiades.

“We added freeze-dried fruit into our packaging so parents only need common ingredients such as eggs, oil and water to whip up a batch of muffins or cookies.

“The flavour range is based on tastes that children love, and I regularly receive feedback that the moment our muffins or cookies come out of the oven, kids demolish them.”

On average, Grumpy Bums muffins and cookies contain three-quarters of a teaspoon of naturally occurring sugar, compared to store-bought muffins, which typically contain two teaspoons of refined sugar. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends reducing free sugars to less than five teaspoons a day for health purposes.

The Grumpy Bums range is now available to purchase through selected IGA SupaMart stores, and online via Woolworths, Healthy Life, Nourishing Bubs, and the Grumpy Bums website.