Chewsday Review- Nice & Natural Toasted Oat Bars

These toasted oat bars are a new addition to a line of Nice and Natural Bars, which boast about being a source of fibre and containing only 5g of sugar per bar. Let’s dig deeper in today’s Chewsday Review to find out.


🔶Ingredients:

🔹Cereals and Grains (Toasted Oats (15%), Buckwheat (10%), Wheat Flakes [Wheat, Sugar, Barley Malt Extract, Salt, Emulsifier (471)], Amaranth (1%), Quinoa (1%), Glucose Syrup, Milk Chocolate (12%) [Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Milk Solids, Cocoa Mass, Natural Flavour, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, 476)], Peanut Butter (8%) [Antioxidant (307b from Soy)], Roasted Peanuts, Chicory Fibre, Maltodextrin, Sunflower Oil, Soy Protein Crisp, Glycerine, Salt, Caramelised Sugar Syrup, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin).

🔹To put this simply, there’s grains (30-35ish%), sugar, chocolate (12%), peanut butter (8%) and some other bits and pieces to bind it.

🔹Antioxidant (307b from Soy) is a type of soy derived antioxidant that helps to protect the food from spoiling. Soy lecithin helps to maintain the consistency of the bar.

🔹Common allergens: Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Milk, Gluten and Soy.

🔹May contain: Sesame Seeds and Sulphites.


🔶The positives:

🔹 Decent fibre content of 2.9g per bar. This means that a bar will provide about 20% of a young child’s dietary fibre recommendation and 16% of an older child’s dietary fibre recommendation.

🔹Sugar content of 14.6g/100g which falls slightly below the recommended guidelines of 15g/100g. The sugars found in this bar are mostly from added sugar such as glucose syrup, sugar, barley malt extract and caramelised sugar syrup. However, the sugar content is definitely lower than other snack bars in the market such as Milo dipped snack bars with 24.2g/100g, and Nature Valley Crunchy Bars Oats and Honey 28.3g/100g.


🔶The negatives:

🔹Total fat (14.7g/100g) and saturated fat (3.7g/100g) exceeds the recommended guidelines. This is most likely from cocoa butter which contains a high amount of saturated fat, and the inclusion of nuts and nut butter. I’m not hugely concerned about this.

🔹Contains a long list of common allergens such as peanuts, which are banned in most Australian schools. This means they’re not suitable for most lunchboxes.


🔶The marketing:

🔹“Nice and Natural” The brand indicates that there are no artificial colours, flavours or fillers included in the product, which is great (but fairly standard). However, it is also important to remember that ingredients such as added sugars, sugar alcohols, and additives such as soy lecithin and natural flavour aren’t nasty but they’re not exactly nutritious.

🔹“Only 5g Sugar per Bar*” Yup, 4.5 g of sugar per bar but remember the bars are only 30g in size.

🔹“Source of dietary fibre” When it says ‘source’ it means that there is some fibre in there, but not always a lot. This is a pleasant surprise with 2.9g of dietary fibre per bar.


🔶The alternatives:

🔹 Muesli bars are a tough one to recommend wholeheartedly. The high-ish saturated fat content makes it hard to include this as an everyday food for kids. The sugar is all added sugar too.

🔹As far as muesli bars go though, these aren’t a bad option (and they’re yummy for parents too!)

🔹Here is a homemade recipe to get you started if you want to do your own: https://www.mealtimes.com.au/single-post/2016/1/31/School-snacks-my-muesli-bites

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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