Grain waves have been around for nearly 10 years now. I remember when they first came out, they were all the rave as an alternative to chips. But are they really all they’re cracked up to be? Let’s find out....
🔹Ingredients: Wholegrain Cereals (63%) (Corn, Wheat, Oats), Vegetable Oil, Rice, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Milk Powder, Salt, Onion Powder, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavours (Soy), Mineral Salt (Potassium Chloride), Cheese Powder (Milk), Food Acids (Citric Acid, Lactic Acid), Herb (Parsley), Natural Colour (Paprika Extract).
🔹Interestingly, they haven’t mentioned the type of vegetable oil they used in this product, which usually means that some form of cheap and non-nutritious oil was used (like palm oil).
🔹Common allergens include: gluten, milk, soy.
🔹The content of saturated fat and sugar are both within the healthy guidelines.
🔹The sodium/salt content is also within the healthy guidelines at 386mg/100g, which is a lot lower than most other chips out there.
🔹One serve of these chips (~12 chips) gives a child ~ 8% of their daily fibre requirements (a lot better than most other chips out there that come in at 0 g of fibre per serve!). We can give a good old thank you to the wholegrain cereals used to make the chips for this!
🔹This product has a great crunch! For kids who like plain and crunchy foods (lots of fussy eaters!), this can help not only satisfy their desire for crunchiness but also introduce them to a new flavour profile!
🔹The shape of these chips is also quite fun which could make them quite visually engaging for children.
🔹Interestingly, I spotted that this product (210 g) is actually CHEAPER ($19 per kg) than most of the other chips products out there that get sold in similar sizes! This includes brands like Doritos and Smiths (both of which are ~ $19.5 per kg) as well as Red Rock Deli and Kettle (both of which are ~ $27 per kg)! 😮
🔹The fat content of the chips is more than double the amount recommended by the healthy guidelines and it doesn’t come from a great oil source. This isn’t the best news BUT the saturated fat content (otherwise known as the “bad” fat) is less than the amount recommended by the healthy guidelines. So in my opinion, if we look at this from the bigger picture, the higher fat content isn’t a huge issue.
🔹“Sour cream and Chives flavoured crackers” This is a bit interesting because I don’t see the words sour cream or chives in the ingredients list! 🤔 The sour cream and chive flavour would probably come from the “natural flavour” ingredient but it’s a bit odd that they didn’t say this anywhere. One would expect there to be some way to identify the source of the sour cream and chive flavour in the ingredients list, especially as the front of the packet has chopped chives and a bowl of sour cream on it! In saying this though, companies don’t usually put out a complete list of all the flavours in their products because a) the ingredient list would end up being very long and b) they have to protect their “secret food formulas.” As long as the flavours used in the product are all natural, they are allowed to just call it “natural flavour” in their ingredient lists.
🔹“The goodness of Australian corn, wheat & oats” Comparing it to other chip products, I’m definitely liking the fibre “goodness” coming from the wholegrain cereals in this product! It is good to note though that the term “goodness” can be used to describe the contents of any food product in any quantity. So even if this product contained 1% corn, wheat and oats, instead of the 63% that it does, the company would still be allowed to say “the goodness of Australian corn, wheat & oats.”
🔹30% less fat than crinkle cut potato chips (contains on average, 30% less fat than Smith's Crinkle Cut Potato Chips)” Whilst this may be true, the overall fat content of the chips is still quite high.
🔹“60% wholegrain, 100% delicious” The first part of this speaks true but the second part is a bit harder to mathematically confirm so I would be hard pressed to argue against it 😋
🔹“Sunbites snacks you can feel good about” Once again, this is a bit hard to measure but I reckon that snacking on these, or any food item for that matter, shouldn’t make you feel bad!
🔹Whilst these chips have an overall high fat content, they have a lower saturated fat,
sugar and sodium content as well as a higher fibre content than most other chips on the market. They are also slightly cheaper! This makes it quite a “chip-chip-hooray” type product in my eyes 😄
🔹Whilst I wouldn’t classify this as an everyday food, if you’re looking for a conveniently pre-packaged snack, this is a pretty reasonable choice! Serving it up alongside some guacamole or veggie dip could even make for a more filling meal!
🔹Overall, I would say this is a pretty decent savoury snack option.
🔹Suitable alternatives include foods like Rice or Corn Thins that have less than 420mg of sodium per 100g.
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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 here www.mealtimes.com.au