Chewsday Review- Annabel Karmel Fish Pie

Following on from our other reviews of Annabel Karmel’s range of frozen toddler meals, today we’ll check out ‘Mummy’s Favourite Fish Pie’. With a name this sweet, how could you go wrong? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this ready-made toddler dinner.

🔶Ingredients:

🔹Potato Carrot Mash (Potato (40%), Carrot (10%), Milk Solids, Cheese, Vegetable Oil, Cheese Powder, Unsalted Butter, Wheat Fibre, Natural Flavour), Sauce (Water, Vegetables (10%) (Onion, Carrot, Sweet Potato, Leek), Fish (9%) (Salmon, Hoki), Cream, Milk Powder, Cornflour, Unsalted Butter, Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Apple Juice Concentrate, Yeast Extract, Lemon Juice, Herbs, Dijon Mustard, Vinegar, Spices).

🔹The potato carrot mash makes up 55% of the meal and the sauce with fish makes up 45%.

🔹Common allergens include: Gluten and milk

🔹I love to see that the first ingredient is a vegetable mash! And all the mamas said amen.

🔶The positives:

🔹The inclusion of salmon in this meal is great, as salmon contains healthy omega-3 fats that aid in brain development for growing kids. However, the amount isn’t huge at only 18g per serve. However, even this little bit of fish meets about half of weekly n-3 fatty acid requirements for young kids (previously called omega 3 fatty acids). Australian children definitely don’t eat enough fish, so every little bit counts!

🔹Sodium content is quite low, and falls within the ‘best choice’ category according to guidelines at less than 120mg/100g. Great for developing kidneys!

🔹The meal is also low in sugar, which is to be expected with savoury dishes.

🔹This meal contains a decent amount of calcium-rich dairy for bone and teeth growth.

🔹200g is a generous portion. But remember, it is totally normal if your kiddo eats more or less than this serving, as their appetite may vary day-to-day.

🔹The convenience factor is definitely on the top of the ‘pros’ list.

🔹This meal is particularly rich in vegetables compared to others in the line. Yet, they have managed to incorporate them in a tasty, kid-friendly way due to the creamy base.

🔶The negatives:

🔹Don’t let them fool you, apple juice concentrate is just another (unnecessary) form of sugar. Fortunately, though, the sugar content remains low for this meal; so is not a cause for concern.

🔹At $4 each, these are expensive compared to frozen meals intended for adults, especially considering the smaller portion size. Ps: They are available for purchase in bulk online at Woolworth’s if you’re looking to save a few dollars.

🔹Gut-loving fibre is not even mentioned on the nutritional panel, which isn’t a good sign. Yet, I would be interested to know the content, as wheat fibre is added to most of these products.

🔹Unfortunately, iron content isn’t listed either, and the small amount of fish used means it's likely to be low in iron. Iron is a key nutrient during this developmental phase, so I’d suggest prioritising iron at other meals.

🔹The saturated fat content is bit higher than I'd like. This will come from the butter, cheese and vegetable oil. When the type of oil isn’t mentioned, it also suggests that it’s a cheaper lower-quality oil. I’m not hugely concerned about saturated fat for young children though, especially when it comes in an overall nutritious meal.

🔶The marketing:

🔹‘Low Sodium’: This is particularly difficult to achieve for frozen meals, as they may lose flavour during this process. Well done!

🔹‘Low in Sugar’: This is true, as one would hope with savoury meals.

🔹‘Tested by Toddlers’: Although this sounds great, individual preferences vary widely within this age group. So, I wouldn’t take this as a guarantee that your kiddo will give it the tick of approval!

🔹‘1 serve of veg’: Actually, this product contains closer to 1.5 serves of veggies. As I mentioned, this is a bonus as the veggies are made pretty tasty due to the creamy base.

🔶The alternatives:

🔹Eating together and sharing meals is SO important in toddlerhood. It’s a huge tool to get out of the fussy eating phase. With that said, I’m never going to recommend a specific toddler food as my preferred option BUT, I totally get that sometimes you need something on the table in 2 minutes flat.

🔹In that case, the AK Fish Pie is a reasonable option when convenience is key, as it contains lots of veggies and isn’t full of unnecessary fillers and additives!

About Toddler Mealtimes

Toddler Mealtimes is an online subscription for parents who want to feel confident about teaching their toddler to enjoy a variety of foods. It's particularly helpful for those who are noticing their toddler becoming increasingly fussy, but they're not quite sure to handle it. The 12 month subscription guides you through managing toddler fussiness with confidence with regular tips and tricks via videos and photos. Sign up here www.toddlermealtimes.com.au

About Baby Mealtimes

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 monthly subscription (or 8 month package) 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

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