Australian kids don’t eat enough fish. Fact. But maybe these Fishy Nuggets could help? They’re like chicken nuggets but fish shaped and flavoured. Surely a winner for kiddos? Let’s see if they get a tick of approval in today’s Chewsday Review…
🔹Basa (fish), baby corn (4%), carrot (4%), onion, green split peas, fish enhancer (sugar, spices, salt, rice flour, yeast extract, citric acid, flavouring), seafood marinade (maltodextrin, suga, squid, corn starch, salt, shrimp extract, garlic powder, yeast extract, flavouring), salt, crumb (wheat flour, wholemeal wheat, yeast, salt, emulsifiers (450, 500), sugar, bread improver), Batter (wheat flour, cornflour, corn starch, sugar, palm oil), soya oil.
🔹Basa is a cheap fish farmed in Vietnam. There are some concerns about the impact on farmed Basa fish spreading disease to the wild population, but my concern is that these bottom-dwelling fish are farmed in notoriously polluted water in Vietnam. It’s definitely not my pick for a regular fish to eat. The fish contributes 47% of the final nugget.
🔹The vegetables contribute maybe 10% of the final nugget.
🔹Common allergens include: fish, soy, shellfish, wheat/gluten
🔹Sodium intake is reasonably low for a processed/crumbed product at 295mg/100g (although this isn’t a low salt product overall). It is lower than most chicken nuggets.
🔹Low sugar content at 3.6g/100g, but this is mostly added sugar so not a true positive.
🔹Comes in a fish shape which some kids might quite like!
🔹Saturated and total fat content exceed healthy guidelines. Some of this comes from palm oil, which also has environmental implications. Fish can be fatty but not usually high in saturated fat like this.
🔹This product doesn’t claim to contain any n-3 fatty acids (previously known as omega 3 fatty acids), which is a concern for me. These are important fatty acids for heart and brain health, amongst other things, and I’d expect to find them in good fish products. This is the main reason we want to eat more fish! Many other frozen fish products contain decent amounts of n-3 fatty acids, but this one doesn’t appear to.
🔹This nugget is only 47% fish and 10% vegetables, meaning that the other 40% 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.
🔹Lower protein content than most chicken nuggets. Remember though that Australian children's intake often exceeds protein requirements by quite a lot!
🔹’Hidden veggies' As I said earlier, this is hardly very much and a serve of nuggets provides 5g of veggies- which works out to only 0.07 serves of vegetables (which is 3% of daily recommended intake of vegetables for a toddler). So maybe a tad misleading...
🔹4.5 star health rating, which I think is incredibly misleading. I'm not a huge fan of this system, but that's a story for another day!
🔹No artificial colours or flavours. Yep, as is the case with every Chewsday Review thus far!
🔹I'm not a big fan of these from what I’ve seen. The fish isn’t great quality and there’s a lot of added flavouring to cover up the taste. I’d also be recommending a fish product with lower saturated fat content and higher omega 3 levels.
🔹As always, a whole piece of fish is a better alternative. I don’t mind the Jamie Oliver Fish fingers or the Birds Eye Crumbed Whiting fillets for a pre-packaged fish product as an easy dinner on those nights you need something simple.
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About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith and Liz Beaton are paediatric dietitians 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, Liz and Lauren on their website and sign up for their newsletter, and the Facebook page or on the Instagram page.