So many requests lately for a review of the Messy Monkeys Fruit bars. Your wish is my command! Today’s Chewsday Review features the Messy Monkeys Strawberry and Apple Snack Bar. How do these compare to other snack or fruit bars? Let’s see…
🔹Dried Fruit (44%), Soluble Corn Fibre, Navy Bean Flour, Pepitas, Canola Oil.
🔹The dried fruit contains Apple (24%), Raisins and Strawberries (2.6%)
🔹This product is definitely gluten free, but may contain: Lupin, Milk, Peanuts, Sesame Seeds, Soy and Tree Nuts.
🔶 The positives:
🔹Excellent fibre content, with 4.6g per bar, which is good for little tummies. This is also really helpful for kiddos who don’t eat a lot of fibre in vegetables or have issues with constipation. This amount of fibre works out to 33% of a young child’s fibre recommendation, and 26% of an older child’s daily fibre recommendations. Interestingly, this is almost 8 times more fibre than the Rafferty’s garden fruit snack bars from last week’s review.
🔹Very low sodium (salt) content.
🔹The overall fat content is within healthy guidelines at 8.9g/100g (from the seeds and canola oil which are both good fats). The saturated fat content comes in under healthy guidelines at 1.3g/100g.
🔹No nuts so they’re lunchbox safe.
🔹These bars are 69c/bar (full price) and cost less than most muesli bars (they are only 20g though).
🔹The sugar content comes in at 33.6g per 100g, which is technically double the recommended limit, but all of this is naturally occurring sugar from the fruit with ZERO added sugar. Interestingly, Rafferty’s Garden fruit snack bars have more sugar and almost 30% of that comes from added sugar. So the Messy Monkeys is definitely a better option.
On a side note, I’d just like to clarify a couple of things about dried fruit. I often hear people say ‘oh, dried fruit is full of sugar’. Essentially, dried fruit is just normal fruit that has had all of the water removed. No extra sugar is added. But, because the fruit is much smaller than fresh fruit (think of a sultana compared to a grape), you tend to eat more dried fruit (and therefore eat more sugar). This is not a bad sugar, and it does contain fibre, but it’s just easy to overdo it. It also gets stuck in kids’ teeth much more easily than fresh fruit. Essentially, it’s a nutritious food but not something you want to offer at every meal or snack.
🔶 The marketing:
🔹”Voted product of the year” in 2019 Consumer Survey of Product Innovation (whatever that is!)
🔹“Source of fibre” Yes this is true, and a good source at that!
🔹”Made with real fruit, and have no artificial flavours, colours or sugars – no nasties!” Ugh nasties- you all know how I feel about that term!
🔹This product is a reasonable choice in a snack aisle often filled with foods containing very high levels of sugar, fat and salt. Compared to other snack bars it does really well; I’d just be careful about offering dried fruit too often (especially for little teeth).
🔹The Messy Monkeys banana bread and apple pie bars don’t have as much fibre (there’s more puffed rice and milk powder) but they’re still high in fibre and I’d consider them a nutritious option.
About Toddler Mealtimes
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Baby Mealtimes is an online subscription for parents with babies aged 4-12 months. It’s your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about introducing solid food to your baby. The 12 month subscription guides you through what to offer and when, with meal ideas and a photo gallery of over 120 finger foods organised by age. Sign up here www.babymealtimes.com.au
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 here www.mealtimes.com.au