Counting Carbs: Canned Fruit

by Leighann on June 4, 2010

My daughter loves canned fruit. She would eat it at every single meal.

Unfortunately most fruit comes packed in heavy or light syrup and fruit packed in juice is a little more rare.

Even before diagnosis, I always bought the fruit packed in juice. And since I never gave my kids juice, I always poured it off.

Not a big deal unless you have to figure out the carbs!

Most of the canned fruit packed in juice we purchase have “about 3.5 servings.” I hate when the serving size is “about.”

If you serve your child the juice, you can just weigh out 3.5 equal servings and each is 15 grams of carbs. But if you don’t serve the juice, how many carbs are there in just the fruit?!

Here’s the only way I have figured out how to calculate it, and if you have a better/easier way, please give me suggestions.

  1. Pour the juice into a measuring cup.
  2. Divide the fruit equally by weight among 2-3 bowls.
  3. Figure out the total carbs for the entire can by multiplying the number of servings per can by the number of carbs per serving.
  4. Subtract the estimated number of carbs for the juice from the total. (I estimate the juice at 15 grams of carbs per half cup.)
  5. Divide the net number of carbs by the number of servings.

All this math just for a bowl of canned fruit!

Today my daughter wanted pear halves for her snack.

Del Monte 100% Juice Pear Halves

Del Monte 100% Juice Pear Halves: Serving canned fruit is not so simple.

Del Monte 100% Juice Pear Halves

about 3.5 servings, 15 grams carbs per serving

3/4 cup discarded juice

3.5 x 15 = 52.5 total carbs

52.5 – 22.5 (carbs in 3/4 c juice) = 30gC

2 servings of fruit only = 15gC each serving.

Why can’t they make our lives easy and pack fruit in water?

The last few times she’s wanted canned fruit, I just included the juice. Too much math, too little time!

Del Monte gets poor marks because I could not find nutrition data on their website.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carrie June 4, 2010 at 7:55 am

Never even crossed my mind about the carbs in the juice….How is it possible that I never even thought about that?? If I have to buy canned fruit in light syrup I put the fruit in a strainer and rinse with water….well I do that for all canned fruit. My mom always did that for my T1 brothers so I have always done that for my family. But now that I have a T1 daughter it has become even more important. Thank you!!


2 Leighann June 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Theoretically if you divide it up evenly and include the juice then the carbs are correct. I just always poured off the juice and then had no idea how many carbs I had just poured off! To make it simpler, I’m just serving it with the juice now, but my daughter likes it better when the juice is poured off. Ugh!


3 mayberry June 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

I have such a hard time even finding the fruit packed in juice. It’s all syrup, or artificially sweetened water–UGH.


4 Leighann June 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I know. I stand in front of the shelves of fruit and squint to find the juice ones.

Meijer’s store brand has lots of juice options. But I rarely go to Meijer. When I do, I stock up!

And it drives me crazy that the larger cheaper-per-ounce cans of fruit are always in the syrup.


5 Monique June 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Okay, now that just totally sucks. Thank goodness our D-kid doesn’t like canned fruit 🙂

But, honestly, I run up against the same mathematical nightmare when I cool from scratch, which I try to do as much as possible. I’m not a big fan of pre-packaged food-like substances, but sometimes I just can’t handle the complexities of figuring out the carbs in one serving of a home-made cassarole-like dish. Especially when he picks out all the veggies.

Carb counting. Can’t live with it. Our kids can’t live without it. – Mo


6 Leighann June 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Mo- I can totally relate. I fall into the trap of using prepared or packaged food just because it’s so much easier to count carbs. When I cook I add the total carbs for the recipe and either divide that by the number of servings or figure out the carbs per gram or ounce…either way you look at it, too much math!

I may have to use that line, it was so true!


7 Cindy June 8, 2010 at 9:03 am

This made me laugh. Whenever my parents come to visit and they see me doing calculations like this they remind me how lucky I am that I majored in math! Diabetes has certainly brought all those algebraic equations back into relevance.
Personally, for most fruit if we arent eating fresh we buy frozen. Pack it in the lunchbox still frozen and by snack time it is defrosted and perfect- no juice.
Pears, which I think have an awful consistency from frozen, I can myself when they are in season. Pack your sterilized jars with peeled pears, pour over boiling liquid(I can mine in plain water flavored with a vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick and a squirt of lemon and honey. ) Process in a hot water bath. Yumalicious! If you are not a canner you can do this same process and just keep the jar in your fridge for 1 -2 weeks. And, since you are not canning you can just recycle an old mayo jar. You can even do right into lunch box snack containers.
It is a great dessert and good for snack with cottage cheese or yogurt.


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