Today's parent request for a Chewsday Review was for a product I hadn't actually seen before 😱 It's a coconut, banana and acai smoothie, by Only Organic. It's got all of the superfood buzzwords, but is it any good? Let's see...
🔹Acai is a fruit, often sold as a pulp, juice or powder. There have been many claims about the antioxidant content of acai, although there is very limited evidence that it has any specific health benefits. Existing studies are often funded by acai companies (bringing the results into question!) or done in test tubes in the lab (which doesn't replicate what happens in the body. If anything, it's just a very expensive fruit.
🔹Fat, sugar and salt content are within healthy guidelines. However, if we treat this as a drink (rather than a puréed food) then it doesn't meet the guidelines for sugar content. This product contains 12.9g of sugar per 100g and healthy drink guidelines suggest aiming for less than 7.5g/100g. However, there is no added sugar in this product, so all of the sugar can be attributed to the fruit content (60%) of the product.
🔹None of the ingredients are particularly unhealthy or unnecessary in this product (like in some of our recent reviews).
🔹No calcium content on the nutrition information panel. This is one of my main problems with the term 'smoothie' because usually a smoothie provides calcium for growing bones. This one doesn't.
🔹No description of fibre content, which suggests it's not significant (and I'd expect that from a fruit product)
🔹$2.70 per sachet, making it considerably more expensive than other fruit purées or yoghurt squeezies.
🔹Low protein content, at about 1/3 of yoghurt protein content.
🔹Comes in a squeezie pouch, which doesn't help kids to develop their biting and chewing skills.
🔹This smoothie is marketed as part of the Only Organics 'Kindy' range, but the suggested age is 1-5years. My guess is that this is an attempt to extend their target audience by marketing a traditional baby food to older kids.
🔹'Only organic' ingredients (apart from the water, food acid and antioxidant!) Remember that organic doesn't mean more nutritious.
🔹This product is basically watered down puréed fruit, with a bit of coconut milk to round it out. The price certainly doesn't reflect the ingredients.
🔹I'd prefer a sachet (or even better- a tub) of yoghurt, or a 100% fruit purée. At least that way you get some calcium or fruit and fibre!
About Mealtime Building Blocks
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 sign up for her newsletter, and her Facebook page or on her Instagram page.