Today's Chewsday Review comes to you from the frozen section of the supermarket. A couple of brands have recently come out with fish and veggie nuggets to rival the standard chicken option. Today's nugget is a Bird's Eye variety with 'hidden' veggies.
🔹Hoki (fish), vegetables (potato, corn, carrot, peas, onion), wholemeal wheat flour, water, canola oil, wheat flour, wheat bran, wheat starch, tapioca starch, wheat gluten, salt, yeast, sugar, potato starch, glucose, acidity regulators, chia flour, black pepper.
🔹Hoki is a fish used widely in manufactured fish products, and is the fish used in McDonalds Fillet of Fish. The fish contributes 28% of the final nugget.
🔹The vegetables contribute 21% of the final nugget. Bird's Eye have been a bit tricky here by listing the ingredient as 'vegetables' rather than as each individual vegetable. By law, ingredients have to be listed from the ingredient in the highest quantity by weight, to the ingredient of the lowest quantity by weight. So, although 'vegetables' contribute 21% overall, this may actually be 20% from potato and 1% from the corn, carrot, peas and onion combined. See...tricky!
🔹This product contains n-3 fatty acids (previously known as omega 3 fatty acids). These are important fatty acids for heart and brain health, amongst other things. Here the 46mg per serve meets general recommendations for daily n-3 intake for 1-3 year olds.
🔹Sodium intake is reasonably low for a processed/crumbed product at 268mg/100g. This is much lower than most chicken nuggets.
🔹Saturated and total fat content meet healthy guidelines.
🔹Low sugar content at 3.2g/100g.
🔹Comes in a fish shape which some kids might quite like!
🔹This nugget is only 49% fish and vegetables (most likely potato), meaning that the other half is primarily from starchy or floury fillers. This just means that you're not getting a lot of high quality ingredients for what you pay for. Having said that, a packet contains 5 servings for only $5.60 total.
🔹Lower protein content than most chicken nuggets, and almost half of some brands. Remember though that Australian children's intake often exceeds protein requirements by quite a lot!
🔹'hidden veggies' As I said earlier, this is likely to be mostly from potatoes and only provides 0.2 of a serve of vegetables (which is 8% of daily recommended intake of vegetables for a toddler). So maybe a tad misleading...
🔹'in a wholemeal crumb' They do use more wholemeal wheat flour than regular wheat flour, and the fibre content is higher than most other nuggets (without necessarily being 'high' in fibre). One serve provides almost 10% of fibre needed by a 1-3 year old.
🔹4 star health rating- I'm not a huge fan of this system, but that's a story for another day!
🔹No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Yep, as is the case with every Chewsday Review thus far!
🔹I'm actually quite surprised that these fish nuggets aren't higher in saturated fat and sodium. Don't get me wrong, they're certainly not the best option in the supermarket- but they're also far from the worst! Maybe also a good option to keep in the freezer for days where you just don't have time to cook.
🔹As always, a whole piece of fish is a better alternative. But, these nuggets might be a useful stepping stone from chicken nuggets to fish fillets for more fussy kids.
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.