On the left we have the contents of 2 bags of Sunkist snacks. These "fruit" snacks contain ingredients like corn syrup, modified corn starch, dextrose, sodium citrate, malic acid, mineral oil, carnauba wax, colors red 40, yellow 5, blue 1 and beeswax. I guess they can call them "fruit snacks" because they roughly resemble some shapes that might be considered fruit-like. The orange ones look like orange wedges, the blue ones look like pineapple, the purple ones look like cherries, and the green and yellow ones look like blobs. They pretty much all taste the same. There are 8 pieces in each package (less than 1/4c), totaling 80 calories of pure sugar junk. I paid $2.69 for a box of 10 packages, 8 ounces total. This equals out to be about $0.34 per ounce.
On the right we have Thrive freeze dried fruits. Clockwise from the top are strawberries, mandarin oranges, raspberries, pineapple, blackberries, bananas, and blueberries in the middle. They contain absolutely zero added ingredients - no salt, no sugar, no additives, no preservatives. They are shaped like fruit, they smell like fruit, and they taste like fruit!
You could probably make 10 packages of these real fruit snacks in about five minutes, with as much of each fruit as your child would like. You might even be able to sneak in a few veggies! There is quite a large weight vs volume discrepancy because the Thrive fruits are freeze dried, so it is difficult to do an accurate price comparison. Just for the heck of it, I filled a Sunkist "fruit" snacks bag with Thrive fruits, then weighed it and did the math. It cost me $0.23 to fill that tiny little bag with REAL berries.
Which fruit snacks would you rather pack in your child's lunch box?