Today’s Chewsday Review features a snack product that hasn’t been on the market very long- and it’s shaped like… a vegetable. Of course it is! So are Harvest Snaps Baked Pea Crisps any better than the other veggie flavoured chips out there? Let’s see…
🔹Green peas, vegetable oil, rice, original salt seasoning (made up of sugar, salt, maltodextrin, yeast extract, vegetable oil, flavour enhancer 635, anti caking agent 551 and food acid 330), stabiliser 170.
🔹Flavour enhancer 635 is Disodium 5’-ribonucleotide (sounds scary but it's not) which is the same flavour enhancer used in foods like 2 minute noodles. It is NOT MSG. Some anecdotal evidence suggests it can exacerbate asthma symptoms in susceptible children, so something just to be aware of.
🔹The anti-caking agent prevents food particles from clumping together and is generally well-tolerated by most people. Food acid 330 is citric acid (also well tolerated) and stabiliser 170 (calcium carbonate) are not of concern.
🔹Common allergens include: nil. The package states that gluten is not detected.
🔹The snaps are made mainly from peas, which gives them a reasonable fibre content or 8.3g/100g. Because the finished product is quite light, this only works out to 1.3g/packet, which meets 9% of a toddler’s daily fibre requirements and 7% of a pre-schoolers fibre requirements.
🔹I like that these are green and actually look a bit like a pea pod- meaning they’re closer to looking like a vegetable than other ‘veggie chips’.
🔹The bite and dissolve texture is very useful for teaching biting and chewing skills. This food is used by feeding therapists because the shape helps children to learn to chew using their back teeth, and the peas dissolve away after an initial bite.
🔹The fat content (23.2g/100g) exceeds healthy guidelines (10g/100g). This is about the same as Red Rock Deli chips and 30% less than Smith’s original chips. This is more than other snack foods like Potato Stix. Interestingly, the product doesn’t clarify which type of vegetable oil they use, meaning it’s probably a fairly cheap product like palm oil (no health benefits and negative environmental impacts). The two comparison chips use sunflower oil or canola oil (much better quality).
🔹The saturated fat (bad fat) is extremely high at 10.3g/100g which is more than 3 times the recommended limit. This is also three times the amount of saturated fat as in most regular potato chips!!
🔹High sodium (salt) content (451mg/100g), which is slightly less than both Red Rock Deli and Smith's Original chips. All of these products exceed the healthy recommendations though.
🔹At $44 a kilo for the ‘lunchbox sizes’, these are pretty expensive and double the price of most chips.
🔹These chips are made in Thailand, so are not supporting our own food industry.
🔹”Tasty baked original salted harvest snaps have less fat, less sodium, more fibre and are gluten free *compared to regular potato chips” Oh wow. I beg to differ. As I’ve shown you, these chips have equivalent or less fat, but significantly MORE saturated fat (which is the one we’re most concerned about anyway). They also have only slightly less sodium and are still a high salt food. They have a bit of fibre but not a heap. And like most original/salt only flavoured chips, they’re gluten free. I think this is really misleading and I wonder which potato chips they were actually compared to!
🔹 “The nutrient packed wholesomeness of nature’s perfect package.” Ugh, pass me a bucket.
🔹”Baked not fried“. Yep, but baking in oil doesn’t make them any better than frying in oil.
🔹These peas have a lower fat content than most potato chips (but possibly use a cheaper/more refined oil) but they have a higher saturated fat content. They have a bit of fibre and look more like a vegetable than potato chips, but they really don't have any nutritional value.
🔹They’re actually delicious, don’t get me wrong. But they’re essentially potato chips. I’m not saying don’t ever buy them, just don’t buy them thinking they’re a nutritious choice.
🔹As a crispy, savoury snack I always recommend Rice or Corn Thins with less than 420mg of sodium as an alternative for foods like this.
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.