Chewsday Review- Little Bellies Organic Gingerbread Men

Everyone loves a gingerbread man, but they’re not exactly known for being a healthy choice. Today’s Chewsday Review features Little Bellies gingerbread men marketed to toddlers. Let’s see how they stack up.

🔶Ingredients:

🔹Organic Wholegrain Wheat Flour (31%), Organic Wheat Flour, Organic Grape Juice Concentrate (29%), Organic Sustainable Palm Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Ginger (0.3%), Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarbonate).

🔹Grape juice concentrate is basically just the sugar from grapes, without the nutrients and fibre (all the good stuff).

🔹 “Organic” means that the ingredients are grown in a non-toxic environment and dangerous fertilisers are not used for cultivation 🌿. This does NOT improve the nutrient content of the foods grown.

🔹Common allergens: Gluten. The package says it might contain small traces of Egg, Milk, Soy, and Tree Nuts.


🔶The positives:

🔹As printed on the packet there are no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives in the ingredients. But remember that this doesn’t mean that the whole product is nutritious.

🔹The sodium content is less than half the maximum allowed limit at 150mg/100g, which is a positive! ⭐

🔹The fat content is slightly higher than the recommendation but I’m not hugely concerned about this.


🔶The negatives:

🔹Although wholegrain flour and wheat flour are the two major ingredients in the biscuits, the fibre content is low at only 1 gram for 5 biscuits 👎

🔹 Saturated fat is higher than recommended (at 3.8 grams/100 g) but this is less than others on the market like “Little bellies organic animal biscuits” (4.4g/100g) and other sweet biscuits such as “Arnott’s family assorted” (8g/100g).

🔹The sugar content is high. The grape juice concentrate (aka sugar) comprises almost 30% of the total ingredients!!! This is almost equal to the proportion of the wholegrain flour and wheat flour. Remember grape concentrate is sugar, NOT fruit. However, when compared to other sweet biscuit products on the supermarket shelf such as Arnott’s and whole kids, these biscuits are lower in terms of sugar content.

🔹These are pretty pricey bickies. The price of a 130 g box is almost $4.80 which means a dollar for every 10 tiny biscuits 💸

🔹The texture of the biscuits isn’t the best. It’s pretty chewy and gets easily stuck on teeth.


🔶Marketing:

🔹The marketing seems a little cheeky 😲. The constant mentioning of “wholegrains” and “sweetened with grape juice” can be confused as high in fibre or low in sugar.

🔹 “Goodness from wholegrain”- with this kind of phrase you would expect a fibre rich snack. Nope!

🔹 “.. grape juice concentrate for a touch of sweetness..” Well, the biscuits don’t taste too sweet but definitely have a lot of sugar in them.

🔹 “Baby grade organic” This term does not have a specific industry definition.


🔶Alternatives:

🔹These biscuits aren’t the worst choice but they’re not particularly nutritious either. Just like most of the other “fun” looking biscuits they have higher than recommended sugar content and low fibre. The best alternative would be to make your own biscuits at home using a gingerbread cookie cutter.

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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