Are yummy dino buddies healthy?

Yummy dino buddies are a popular snack food marketed towards children in the shape of cute dinosaur characters. But are these processed, sugar-laden treats actually a healthy option for kids? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value of yummy dino buddies to find out.

What are the ingredients in yummy dino buddies?

The main ingredients in yummy dino buddies are sugar, enriched flour, vegetable oil, and cocoa. The full ingredient list includes:

  • Sugar
  • Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Vegetable oil (palm, canola, soybean, cottonseed)
  • Cocoa (processed with alkali)
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Salt
  • Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate)
  • Soy lecithin (emulsifier)
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Cardboard (used to shape)

As you can see, the main ingredients are all refined carbohydrates and sugar. There is very little nutritional value in this snack.

Nutritional profile of yummy dino buddies

Here is the nutritional profile for a standard serving size of 5 dino buddies (25g):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 130
Total Fat 4.5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 85mg
Total Carbohydrates 23g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 14g
Protein 1g

As you can see from the nutritional information, yummy dino buddies are high in refined carbohydrates and sugar. There is very little protein or fiber, which are important for satiety and prolonged energy.

High in calories and sugar

With 130 calories and 14g of sugar per serving, yummy dino buddies pack a lot of empty calories and added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 6 teaspoons (25g) per day for children 2-18 years old. Just one serving of dino buddies provides over half of this daily limit.

Lack of protein and fiber

Yummy dino buddies contain only 1g of protein and 0g of fiber per serving. Protein and fiber help children feel full and provide sustained energy. The lack of these nutrients means that kids are likely to experience a blood sugar crash soon after eating these treats.

High in refined grains, low in nutrients

Enriched white flour is the primary ingredient in yummy dino buddies. This refined grain has had the nutritious bran and germ removed during processing, stripping away beneficial nutrients like fiber, iron, and B vitamins. The result is a treat full of empty calories and added sugars with very little nutritional value.

Health risks of yummy dino buddies

Feeding children too many yummy dino buddies may contribute to obesity, cavities, and nutrient deficiencies down the line. Here are some of the health risks associated with overconsumption of foods like yummy dino buddies:


Regularly consuming calorie-dense snacks with minimal nutrition can lead to weight gain over time. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for serious health problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Dental cavities

The sugar content in yummy dino buddies can wreak havoc on developing teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that erode tooth enamel. Good dental hygiene and limiting sugary treats can help protect kids’ teeth.

Nutrient deficiencies

When highly processed, sugary snacks displace healthier whole foods in a child’s diet, it can lead to deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals over time. This may impact growth, development, and wellbeing.

Healthier snack alternatives

While yummy dino buddies don’t make for the healthiest snack choice, there are plenty of kid-friendly alternatives that pack more nutrition in fewer calories. Here are some healthier snack ideas:

Fresh fruit

Fruit like apple slices, grapes, banana chunks, or orange wedges make portable, nutritious snacks.aim for a variety to provide a range of vitamins and minerals.

Dried fruit and nut packs

Pair dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or apricots with unsalted nuts like almonds, cashews, or pistachios for a more sustaining snack mix.

Veggies and hummus

Kids tend to love dipping foods, so give them low-fat hummus or Greek yogurt dip to pair with fresh veggie sticks like carrots, cucumbers, or peppers.

Cottage cheese and fruit

Top cottage cheese with fresh or canned fruit like peach slices or mandarin oranges for an easy snack that provides protein.

Air popped popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain that kids love. Air popped or lightly buttered popcorn makes a healthy, crunchy snack.

Bean and cheese quesadillas

Load up a whole wheat tortilla with refried beans and low-fat shredded cheese, then bake or microwave until crispy.

Whole grain cereal and milk

Choose a low-sugar whole grain cereal like Cheerios or Grape Nuts and pair it with plain low-fat or fat-free milk for a balanced snack.

The verdict: Only occasionally in small portions

While yummy dino buddies and similar snack foods are appealing to kids, the high sugar content, refined carbohydrates, and lack of protein or fiber make them more of a treat than a regular snack. These processed snacks should only be served occasionally and in small portions.

For better nutrition, offer a variety of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and lean proteins as everyday snacks instead. This provides kids with energy, nutrition, and satisfaction from quality carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Limit overly processed snacks like dino buddies to once in a while and in moderation.


Yummy dino buddies and similar sugary snacks are best reserved for an occasional treat. While kids may love the fun shapes and sweet flavors, these processed snacks offer very limited nutritional value. Regularly serving foods high in sugar, refined carbs, and calories like dino buddies can contribute to obesity, cavities, and nutrient deficiencies in children. Offer wholesome snacks like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and dairy more often to provide good nutrition for growth and development.

When treats like dino buddies are served, accompany them with more balanced snacks, limit portions to small sizes, and aim to provide no more than one serving a day at maximum. While not necessarily “bad” foods, heavily processed snacks with minimal nutrition should compose only a very small part of a healthy, balanced diet, especially for growing kids.

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