Today's Chewsday Review is of the Heinz Little Kids range, which is marketed as a step up from the purée options for kids older than 12 months. The mum who requested this review would like to know if it's an ok option for emergencies or days when you're really strapped for time. The Bolognese & Veg with Spiral Pasta label promises big things, so let's see...
🔹Vegetables (52%) (tomatoes 34%, onion, carrots, celery, green capsicum, pumpkin, zucchini), pasta (32%), beef (11%), apple, maize thickener, Parmesan cheese, potato starch, olive oil, herbs, beef extract, natural flavours, spice, roast garlic.
🔹Common allergens include: gluten, egg, milk
🔹Fat, saturated fat and sugar content all within healthy guidelines.
🔹Very low sodium (salt) content 45mg/100g for a product like this, and it's well under healthy sodium guidelines.
🔹Half the product comes from vegetables, meaning the fibre intake is reasonably high (3.4g/serve). This meets 24% of toddler fibre requirements and 19% of school aged fibre requirements.
🔹The beef content is quite low in this product (11%), and this is the food that provides the majority of the iron content. According to the nutrition information panel, this meal provides 2mg of iron, which meets 22% of a toddlers daily requirements. I'd be hoping for a bit more given that this is a main meal. Interestingly, the packet claims that it meets 33% of a child's iron requirements (which is incorrect).
🔹I'm not keen on foods specific for toddlers. It creates a culture of cooking separate meals for different family members, when really we want to have everyone eating the same thin
🔹This next point fits into the marketing section below, but it's really upset me so I'm including it here too! 😡The packet states that it contains 2.5 serves of vegetables, but then links (with an asterisk) to a secret sentence about how they count one 'toddler' serve of veggies as 40g. In fact, a serve of vegetables is 75g and this is a national standard. So actually, this product contains 1.4 serves of vegetables, which meets 55% of a toddlers daily requirements. This is quite a good feature of this meal, but I can't stand the way they've tried to spin the facts.
🔹 This packaging claims to be 'very high in wholegrain'. This would mean that the product contains at least 24g of wholegrain, yet the nutrition panel states that it contains 7% wholegrain and that only works out to 14g! 😡again!
🔹2.5 serves of vegetables is incorrect. 33% of recommended dietary intake for iron is incorrect. Very high in whole grains is incorrect. These are massive errors to have on packaging, and I will be contacting Heinz.
🔹'Steam cooked with no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives.' This may or may not be true, who knows anymore?! 🤷🏼
🔹In the scheme of things, this isn't a bad option in terms of fitting within healthy guidelines. A home cooked bolognaise is probably going to contain more beef (and therefore more iron) but probably wouldn't be made up of 50% vegetables. There are also going to be some nutrient losses associated with processing to ensure a 2 year shelf life. So, perhaps an ok option when you need something super quick and convenient.
About Mealtime Building Blocks:
Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla and Lauren on their website and sign up for their newsletter, and the Facebook page or on the Instagram page.
You can also email them.