Chewsday Review- Mamia Mini Rice Cakes

Ah the humble rice cake… or not so humble? Let’s take a look. Today’s Chewsday review features the organic apple and raspberry mini rice cakes from the ‘Mamia’ baby range found at Aldi supermarkets.

🔹 Ingredients:

🔸 Organic White Rice (83.8%), Organic Apple Juice Concentrate (13.1%), Organic Raspberry Juice Concentrate (3%), Mineral (Iron), Vitamin (Thiamin).

🔸 Organic Apple Juice Concentrate and Organic Raspberry Juice Concentrate come from fruit, but with all the good bits removed… so it’s still just another type of sugar making up 16% of the biscuit (no better or worse than regular sugar).

🔸 Common allergens include: none. May contain: milk, sesame seeds and soy.

🔸 All ingredients are certified organic. Remember, this tells us about how the ingredients are grown and has nothing to do with the nutrient content.

🔹 The positives:

🔸 With added iron these provide 31% of a toddler’s daily iron requirements per serving (about 25% for 7-12 months) – this is pretty decent for a small 8g serve! Given that iron is the main nutritional reason we start solid foods at 6 months this gets a huge tick.

🔸 Very low sodium (salt) content with less than 5mg per 100g. This is similar to most plain rice cakes, but much lower than savoury flavoured rice cakes which often contain upwards of 800mg per 100g!

🔸 Fat and saturated fat content is almost negligible, which obviously fits within healthy guidelines.

🔸 The sugar content is within healthy guidelines (just).

🔹 The negatives:

🔸 At $2.50 a pack or $62 per kilo these are NOT cheap. Especially when compared to ‘adult’ (*eye roll*) plain rice cakes, which are around $12 per kilo.

🔸I don’t love the use of juice concentrate to sweeten these. But in the scheme of things, they’re a better option than many other sweet biscuits designed for toddlers.

🔹 The marketing:

🔸 “Organic” is plastered all over the pack. Again, organic doesn’t mean healthier or more nutritious.

🔸 “Gluten free” this is important if you or your child has coeliac disease, but it doesn’t make it a better option for anyone else.

🔸 “No artificial colours or flavours”, “No preservatives”, “No thickeners” – True.

🔹 The alternatives:

🔸 Regular rice cakes that cost a fraction of the price and contain about 50% less sugar.

🔸 The redeeming factor of the added iron may be worth the price tag if you’ve got a resistant eater who likes plain, white and crunchy foods.

🔸 As far as mini rice cake varieties go these are almost identical to the ‘Only Organic’ brand found at Woolworths and Coles. I would select either of these over the ‘Little Quacker’ rice cakes because of the added iron and lower sodium content.

🔸 If you are feeling a bit creative, I would suggest topping plain rice cakes with a home-made fruit jam or vegetable puree.

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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