\"I could see where it would be useful for those people who are health-conscious and aware or trying to manage their portion sizes,'' said registered dietitian Shannon Crocker.
\"I could also see where it wouldn't work for everybody. My teenager would blow through all (three) sections (of a box) with no trouble,'' added the mother of two boys, aged 11 and 13.
\"I think it could be a good instructional tool for parents ... to help teach kids how we can enjoy treats in moderation. We know from research that restricting foods that kids love as a strategy to force healthy eating backfires.''
Crocker and O'Brien both remind consumers that candy is not nutritious and should not be eaten regularly. Canada's Food Guide advises limiting foods and beverages that are high in calories, fat, sugar or salt.
O'Brien said Nestle Canada, which also makes ice cream, pizza, frozen meals, beverages and items for special diets, is re-examining its portion sizes and the nutritional information on products, particularly those geared toward children. Smarties is considered a children's brand globally, although in Canada it's consumed more by teens and adults, according to the company.
The company also said its products not meeting recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine will no longer be sold, such as Sundae Smarties and the 750-gram size of Nesquick.
The new Smarties packages are in select stores, and the company expects to roll them out across the country by the end of March.