Chewsday Review- Bega Stringers Original

Fun and Stringy- what else could you ask for in a cheese? Let's see if it's any good...

 🔶Ingredients: 

🔹Milk, salt, enzyme (non-animal rennet), culture

🔹Common allergens include: milk

 

🔶The positives: 

🔹Almost no sugar (less than 1g/100g) as with most cheeses. 

🔹reasonably high calcium content (585mg/100g). One Bega stringer works out to be almost 24% of a toddler's calcium requirements. Regular cheese has a bit more calcium at ~700mg calcium/100g. 

🔹Good source of protein, which makes up a quarter of the cheese by weight. This is equivalent to cheese blocks. 

🔹Significantly less total and saturated fat than regular cheese. Stringers contain 14.7g of saturated fat/100g while cheddar cheese contains about 23.2g/100g. Remember that cheese is made from concentrated milk, and it will therefore have a relatively high saturated fat content. Lower saturated fat content is a benefit, even though it still exceeds general fat guidelines. 

🔹Kids love the strings in Stringers. It's fun!

 

🔶The negatives:

🔹high sodium content (650mg/100g) and again, most cheddar cheeses have high sodium levels. Remember from our previous cheese reviews that salt has an integral role in the production of cheese, inhibiting bacterial overgrowth and balancing the acidity. The average salt content of cheese is about 620mg/100g, making it a high salt product. It's almost impossible to change these characteristics and still make cheese. 

🔹$30/kg which is relatively expensive compared to regular blocks of cheese. This works out to about 60c per Stringer. 

 

🔶The marketing:

🔹Dairy calcium for strong teeth and bones- yes I'm happy with that. 

🔹 Four natural ingredients. This is just appealing to the worries we have about 'unnatural' food. I don't think this 'fact' makes it any better than other cheese. 

🔹No artificial colours or flavours, as with every other review this year. 

🔹Easy for kids to open- definitely an important factor for kids with lunchboxes. 

🔹Fun to string and eat- true!

🔹Proudly Australian owned and made ✔

 

🔶The alternatives:

🔹This isn't much different to cheddar cheese- but it does have a lower saturated fat content and slightly lower calcium content. It is definitely more expensive, but also has a novelty factor with the strings. If your kids like this product, then perhaps serve as a snack with low sodium foods like fruit. Remember, it's nutritious like regular cheese, but is high in saturated fat and salt, so isn't an 'always food.'

 

About the author of this blog post:

Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. She has a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla on her website and her Facebook page or on her Instagram page.

You can also email her.

 

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