Chewsday Review- Only Organic Carrots, Red Lentils & Cheddar Pureé
Last week's Chewsday Review struck a chord for many of you, and I've had lots of requests to look at some more of the purées. Today's version is Only Organic carrots, red lentils & cheddar. It's part of the Baby Savoury range, and most parents seem to be looking for savoury/vegetable options (with not much luck!)
🔹Carrot (27%), pumpkin, water, apple, cheese (5%), lentil (4%), ground rice.
🔹Common allergens include: milk
🔹Low in saturated fat, sugar and sodium.
🔹Fork mash texture instead of silky smooth purée. This can be helpful for babies learning about different textures and feels in their mouth.
🔹Serving instructions encourage use of a spoon and bowl which is better than sucking from a squeezie pouch (see negative below).
🔹Despite being a 'savoury' product, this contains significant amounts of both pumpkin and apple (neither of which are mentioned in the name of the pouch) making it much sweeter than a traditional vegetable and lentil mix. Pumpkin and apple are both nutritious foods, but we don't want bubs to get hooked on sweet tastes only and not be exposed to other savoury options.
🔹Water makes up at least 16% of this product, if not more (I've explained this further below in the marketing section). That is a very cheap filler, especially given that the product is $2.00 per pouch or $16.70/kg (much more expensive than any of the ingredients).
🔹Squeezie packs are convenient and less messy than spoons, and retain some of the more heat-sensitive nutrients when compared to jars/cans. BUT they really don't help babies to develop biting and chewing skills that they need for other foods. This would be best decanted into a bowl and eaten with a spoon/dipper.
🔹Ok here's where you need your detective hat on. Ingredients listed in the name of the product (carrot, lentil and cheese) have to have their percentage by weight listed on the ingredient list on the back of the pack. Overall these three ingredients make up 36% of the product. This means that 64% of the product comes from pumpkin, water, apple and ground rice. So, only 1/3 of this purée is what is actually listed on the front of the pack!! Misleading much?
🔹Detective game number 2. Ingredients have to be listed in descending order of weight (ie/ the ingredient in the most quantity is listed first, and it decreases from there). This means that the pumpkin component can only be 27% at the maximum. It also means that ground rice makes up definitely no more than 4% of the product. If we do the maths, that means at the VERY LEAST 1/3 of this product comes from water or apple. That either means it's been somewhat diluted or sweetened. And that's not what you're buying it for!
🔹On their website, Only Organic claims to have better taste, better nutrition and be better for baby. This is NOT founded on evidence.
🔹There's nothing 'wrong' with this product, but I don't think the content is the same as the marketing. So don't be fooled if you're looking for a vegetable purée. Also keep in mind that the lentil content is so low, that this is NOT a complete meal in terms of protein and iron content- it's really just a fruit and vegetable puree!
🔹Where possible, homemade purée with these ingredients is a much cheaper option, and you can control how much comes from veggies. Remember to offer both sweet and savoury options to your baby to help them get used to different tastes.
About the author of this 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 sign up to her newsletter, and her Facebook page or on Instagram
You can also email her.