Chewsday Review- Digestive Biscuits

Ahh the humble digestive, found in the back corner of pantries all around Australia! But are they really a healthier biscuit option? Or is it just all in the name…

🔹 Ingredients

🔸Wheat Flour (52%) (Wheat Flour, Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Thiamine), Palm Oil, Sugar, Wholemeal Wheat Flour (12%), Partially Inverted Sugar Syrup, Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarbonate), Salt, Acidity Regulator (Malic Acid)

🔸If you scan this ingredients list carefully, you’ll see that ‘wheat flour’ and ‘wholemeal whole wheat flour’ are listed separately. Whilst wholemeal wheat flour makes up 12% of these biscuits, 52% is plain old white flour. Lots of people assume the only flour in these is wholemeal - it’s pretty misleading!

🔸 These biscuits are fortified with several vitamins and minerals, which is interesting to see.

🔸Palm oil isn’t the best oil from a nutritional or environmental standpoint

🔸These biscuits actually have two different kinds of sugar in them, normal table sugar and also invert sugar syrup.

🔸The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard things I would expect to see in a baked product

🔸Common allergens include: wheat

🔹 Positives

🔸These are quite low in sugar for a biscuit, but it still exceeds the healthy guidelines of less than 15g/100g. I’m clutching at straws for a positive here! These contain 16.8g of sugar per 100g. In comparison, a milk arrowroot biscuit has 22g/100g and a standard chocolate chip biscuit has 40g/100g.

🔸Dairy and egg-free, so suitable for anyone with allergies or intolerances to either of these.

🔹 Negatives

🔸The sodium in these biscuits is VERY high – 600mg of sodium per 100g (that’s more than chips!) Given these are a sweet product, this made me do a double take! One biscuit contains around 90mg of sodium For a toddler, this is about 1/3 of their daily recommended intake.

🔸The fibre content of these biscuits is abysmal. With a name like ‘Digestives’, you would hope (and I’m sure many assume!) that these contain some fibre. These have only 0.5g of fibre per biscuit – nothing to write home about! We want to aim for around 3g of fibre per serve in a snack product.

🔸These biscuits contain three times as much saturated fat as is recommended, with 10.3g/100g. This is all coming from palm oil.

🔹 Marketing

🔸‘60% wheat and wholemeal’ – correct, but as we have touched on, this is pretty misleading! Wheat flour = white flour. Not wholemeal! Only 12% of these biscuits is wholemeal flour.

🔸‘No artificial colours or flavours’ – tick

🔸‘No hydrogenated vegetable oil’ – this is true, but the palm oil used instead isn’t any better!

Alternatives

🔸These biscuits are hardly a health food, even though their name makes them seem nutritionally superior to other biscuits.

🔸Something like a handful of Be Natural Mini Bites or Uncle Toby’s Fruity Bites are a better option if you are looking for a sweet, biscuit style-snack, however, for a more nutritious alternative, consider a pikelet or muffin. For bonus points – get busy in the kitchen with your little one and make something homemade together! There are plenty of pikelet and muffin recipes on the Baby Mealtimes website.


Emoji Rating: 😫🕵🏼‍♀️🌾

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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