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Chewsday Review- SunRice Mini Bites

Happy Chewsday everyone! Today I'm reviewing another monster themed snack, which can be found in the health food aisle of your nearest supermarket. This one is SunRice Wholegrain Brown Rice Mini Bites, in a scary salt and vinegar flavour (their description not mine!)

 🔶Ingredients: 

🔹Wholegrain brown rice, sunflower oil, seasoning (maltodextrin, acidity regulator (262- sodium acetate, 330- citric acid), salt, sugar, mineral salt, yeast extract, maize starch, vegetable oil, natural flavour

🔹The product is made of of 85% rice and 15% flavouring. 

🔹Common allergens include: may contain traces of milk and soy (likely related to equipment use)

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🔶The positives: 

🔹Low in sugar (as you would expect for a savoury snack)

🔹Saturated fat content within healthy guidelines at 1.5% (recommended is less than 3%). This is 90% less saturated fat than regular potato chips. 

🔹Gluten free for coeliac kiddies

🔹Equivalent in size to snack pack potato chips, but double the price (win/loss!). 

 

🔶The negatives:

🔹Not a particularly high fibre content, especially considering they're promoting the Wholegrain content. A 20g pack provides 0.7g of fibre, which is about 5% of a toddler's requirements, and almost 4% of primary school aged requirements. Comparatively, 20g of regular rice cakes provides 1g of fibre and 20g of corn cakes provides 2g of fibre. 

🔹Relatively expensive at 68c per 20g pack, which works out to about $34/kilo. Comparatively rice cakes are about $13/kilo. 

🔹High sodium content at 540mg/100g which exceeds healthy guidelines.  Although, this is 35% less sodium than potato chips. 

 

🔶The marketing:

🔹"A yummy and healthy lunchbox snack" Yummy:yes. Healthy:debatable. They're not particularly unhealthy, nor are they particularly healthy. 

🔹"Made with Wholegrain brown rice." This is a fact. 

🔹"No artificial colours or flavours." Like most other products. 

🔹"Gluten free." Good for some allergic kiddies. 

🔹"A crispy alternative to chips." Definitely a better option than chips. 

🔹Healthy School Canteen Strategy- Amber Compliant. This strategy defines amber foods as those that may contain some valuable nutrients (e.g. Carbohydrates) but may be too high in saturated fat (no), sugar (no) and sodium (yes) to be categorised as green foods (everyday foods). Basically, they're a 'sometimes' food. 

 

🔶The alternatives:

🔹Corn cakes or rice cakes or homemade popcorn with a sodium content less than 400mg/100g. This usually means the plain options. They're much cheaper and higher in fibre too. 

🔹In the scheme of things, these are definitely a better option than potato chips- which may be a worthy swap for some families.

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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