Best breakfast cereals for kids? Chewsday Reviews
Uncle Toby's low sugar Cheerios
Excellent request for a Chewsday review of the Low Sugar Cheerios. You might have seen them on the shelf and wondered if 'low sugar' is code for 'high fat', or maybe the sugar has just been replaced with another sort of sugar and called something different (lots of products out there doing this!) So, without further ado, I review Uncle Toby's Low Sugar Cheerios.
🔶Ingredients: 🔹Wholegrain cereals make up 78% of this product. The fact that they're 'whole', as opposed to 'parts' of the grain is a real positive. Health benefits of wholegrain consumption are many, 🔹Remaining ingredients are wheat starch, sunflower oil, salt, colours and an acidity regulator. These ingredients help the wholegrain bond together to form the circular Cheerio shape, otherwise this product would just be cereal flakes (a bit like Weeties). 🔹Added vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc and folate. 🔶The positives: 🔹Low sugar content. Only 1.5% of this product is sugar, and none of that is added during processing. The small amount of sugar exists naturally in wholegrains. In comparison, Weetbix contains 3.3% sugar and Coco Pops contains 36.5% sugar. Regular Cheerios contain 14.7% sugar in the form of regular sugar and golden syrup. 🔹Reasonable fibre content. Ideally you want to aim for 3g of fibre per SERVE, and this cereal contains 2.5g of fibre per serve. In comparison, Weetbix contains 3.3g of fibre per serve and Coco Pops provides 0.5g of fibre per serve. 🔹Low fat and saturated fat content. Most breakfast cereals are low in fat, unless they contain nuts or are 'toasted' like muesli. Cheerios meet all guidelines for fat, with 4.5g total fat per 100g and 0.7g of saturated fat per 100g. 🔹Low Sugar Cheerios are fortified with vitamins and minerals, which basically means extra nutrition has been added to the cereal during production. These vitamins and minerals are usually not as easily absorbed as naturally occurring sources, but they definitely do count. For example, most of my clients are struggling to get enough iron in their diet (usually from meat sources) and a serve of Cheerios would give them a big boost of iron- up to 1/3 of their daily requirements. (Also check out my homemade chicken nuggets using these Low Sugar Cheerios in the bread crumb- here) 🔹Relatively low sodium content compared to most breakfast cereals. This product contains 295mg of sodium per 100g. In comparison, Weetbix contains 270mg of sodium per 100g and Coco Pops contains 425mg per 100g. 🔶The negatives: 🔹Nutritionally, these Low Sugar Cheerios perform pretty well. I'd be hard pressed to pick out a big negative. 🔹In terms of taste, I would liken these Cheerios to cardboard. They're pretty bland, with a bit of crunch. Having said that, most of my fussy clients love plain, boring and crunchy foods, and most of my clients seem to love this product. So, I guess that's a win for kids and parents alike!
🔶The marketing: 🔹This product really cashes in on the 'sugar fear' that I'm seeing on a daily basis. Parents are terrified of their kids eating sugar, because they've been told all sorts of outrageous things about what sugar does. Don't get me started on the one where sugar lights up your brain like cocaine does...ugh. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating for Froot Loops here (party because the spelling of Froot really bugs me!), but I truly believe that the hype around sugar is WAY out of control. A lovely client of mine has recently asked for a blog post about my views on sugar so watch this space! 🔹As always, no artificial colours or flavours. Additionally, no artificial sweeteners (which means they haven't replaced sugar with a different sweetener). 🔹4.5 health starts, which I think is a good reflection of the nutritional content (often health stars can be a bit misleading!) 🔶The alternatives: 🔹I think these are a pretty good option 🔹Similar foods like low-processed cereals including Weetbix, Weeties and oats.
Today's Chewsday Review comes to you from the Aldi shelves, and features a product called GoldeVale Wheat Biscuits. Essentially, they're an Aldi version of Weet-Bix. So, how do they rate against Australia's favourite cereal?
🔹wholegrain wheat (97%), sugar, salt, barley malt extract, vitamins B1, B2 and B3.
🔹barley malt extract is a sweetener, made from sprouted grains. Essentially it's another form of sugar. This is also used in Weet-Bix.
🔹Common allergens include: wheat and barley
🔹Low sugar content at only 2.8g per 100g. This is slightly lower than Weet-Bix for Kids (2.9g/100g) and regular Weet-Bix (3.3g/100g).
🔹Low fat and saturated fat content, well within healthy guidelines and almost exactly the same as regular Weet-Bix.
🔹Reasonable sodium content of 250mg/100g making it comparable to regular Weet-Bix (270mg/100g). However, this is a lot more than Weet-Bix for Kids (45mg/100g).
🔹An great source of fibre at 3.1g per serve, which is slightly less than both regular Weet-Bix and Weet-Bix for Kids (3.3g/100g) . Anything above 3 grams per serve is a high fibre food.
🔹Very reasonably priced at 29c per 100g, which is comparable to Weet-Bix (33c per 100g for the big pack). Weet-Bix for Kids only comes in the small packet at the moment, making it more expensive (88c per 100g)
🔹This cereal is NOT iron-fortified, like Weet-Bix for Kids and regular Weet-Bix. This means that extra iron has not been added to the product during processing. If your child eats a wide variety of iron rich foods (beef, lamb, egg, chicken, nuts, beans) then this isn't a big problem. If you've got a fussier eater, then iron might be more important to you. Iron is an important nutrient for growth and brain development in kids and bout 8% of Australian children up to the age of 4 are thought to be iron deficient.
🔹5 Health stars. Well-deserved.
🔹Source of fibre ✔️
🔹Good source of vitamins Thiamin, Niacin and Riboflavin ✔️
🔹Low sugar ✔️
🔹This is a great product, but I'd love it more for my clients if it was iron-fortified. In every other way it's almost exactly the same as regular Weet-Bix. I think Weet-Bix for Kids is a better choice overall though.