Chewsday Review- Freedom Rice Puffs

Puffed rice is almost always popular with kids. But is it a nutritious breakfast option? This Chewsday Review features the Freedom Foods brand of Rice Puffs. They’re free form the main allergens (whereas Rice Bubbles still contain gluten). Are these any better? Let’s see..

🔶Ingredients:

🔹Rice flour (79%), resistant dextrin, sugar, salt, sunflower lecithin.

🔹Resistant dextrin is a pre-biotic fibre that resists digestion and provides a beneficial effect for colon health.

🔹Common allergens include: nil

🔶The positives:

🔹Low fat and saturated fat content, well within healthy guidelines.

🔹High fibre content of 4g per serve. This is significantly more than Kelloggs Rice Bubbles (0.8g/serve). One 30g serve would meet about 29% of a toddler's fibre requirements and 22% of an older child's requirements.

🔹Lower sodium (salt) content than regular Rice Bubbles at 250mg/100g 👍🏼

🔹Low sugar content at 5.5g/100g. This is a bit less than Kelloggs Rice Bubbles (8.7g/100g).

🔹At $12 a kilo on special but regularly $16 a kilo, the Rice Puffs are actually about the same price as Kelloggs Rice Bubbles in the same sized pack.

🔶The negatives:

🔹No added iron. Traditional Rice Bubbles are fortified with iron. This means that iron has been added during the production to boost the naturally occurring levels. This is a good thing for particularly fussy eaters who tend to have difficulty getting enough iron in their diets. One serve of Kelloggs Rice Bubbles meets about 1/3 of iron requirements for young children, whereas these don’t.

🔶The marketing:

🔹”Free from gluten, nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs and soy“ True, and this is important for kids with food allergies.

🔹”With the goodness of 3 grains.” This is confusing to me! Definitely the goodness of rice, but I’m not sure what the other grains are. The dextrin is a soluble fibre derived from corn so maybe at a stretch I’d pay ‘2 grains’. Bonus points to whoever can identify what the third one is…

🔹”4.5 Health Stars“ Yep, fair play.

🔶The alternatives:

🔹Good fibre content with low sugar levels. Overall this is a reasonable option. If you’ve got a particularly fussy eater then I’d suggest including some cereals fortified with iron too, because they often don’t get enough. You could tryWeet-Bix (kids or regular) or Cheerios (low sugar or regular).

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.

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