Another baby rusk for this week's Chewsday Review, although this time it's a dissolvable rusk rather than a hard rusk. I've chosen Baby Mum-Mum First Rice Rusks in a vegetable flavour. It's allergen free and a food that feeding therapists use regularly to teach self-feeding skills.
🔹Japonica rice (67%), potato starch, pear juice, kale powder (0.45%), carrot powder (0.33%), cabbage powder (0.33%), spinach powder (0.25%)
🔹Japonica rice is one of two major categories of rice (the other being Indica rice) and includes a variety of short and medium grain rice.
🔹Common allergens include: nil. This product states that it is free from common allergens and manufactured in a nut free environment.
🔹Fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium (salt) content within healthy guidelines.
🔹Bite and dissolve consistency, which means they dissolve if sucked, but also teach babies to bite without requiring much chewing. Supervision with finger foods is always important though.
🔹The sugar content is 10.3g/100g, which is heading up towards the guideline of less than 15g/100g (and is significantly more than other rusks with no added sugar.) This comes primarily from the added pear juice. But, given each rusk is only 2.1g, this works out to minimal total sugar.
🔹These rusks don't provide any real nutrition other than a little bit of carbohydrate, and lack the iron content of other rusks. However, they also don't exceed any nutritional guidelines and are useful for teaching self-feeding skills. So not a complete negative.
🔹Firstly, labelling these as "Vegetable Rusks" is a complete and utter joke. The kale content of each rusk is 0.009g. The spinach content is 0.005g. Seriously, this is only done so the packaging can include pictures of vegetables to fool busy parents. The blurb on the back says "simply made with rice & real fruits & vegetables to introduce your baby to new tastes while providing wholesome nutrition". This is blatantly misleading. Even my most sensitive of fussy eaters would not taste 0.005g of spinach. They probably would taste the pear juice, which is in a much higher concentration!
🔹"No artificial colours or flavours." True.
🔹"Dissolves easily, no mess." Also true.
🔹I think Baby Mum-Mums can be useful to teach bub self-feeding skills, but I find the 'vegetable trickery' incredibly frustrating. Do not buy these for their nutritional content. They're also not a food that need to be offered as your Bub gets older.
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.