Chewsday Review- Babybel Cheese
Hands up if you requested a review of Babybel Cheese. There should be about 5000 of you! This is one of the most requested reviews, which tells me Babybel Cheese is very popular. Let’s see how this mini wheel of cheese performs in today’s Chewsday Review…
🔹Milk (98%), salt, bacterial culture. microbial rennet
🔹This is one of the shortest ingredients list I’ve seen for a ‘pre-packaged’ cheese snack.
🔹High calcium content (710mg/100g), which works out to about 3 times as much as yoghurt BUT it comes in a smaller serving so there's less total calcium. One Babybel works out to be 28% of a toddler's calcium requirements and 19% of an older child’s requirements. Regular cheese has a similar calcium content.
🔹Low sugar content as with most cheeses (usually less than 1g/100g).
🔹Double the protein of other pre-packaged cheese like Laughing Cow. This is not a huge deal though, because most Australian children get plenty of protein.
🔹High sodium content (710mg/100g), but most cheddar cheeses are high in sodium at ~700mg/100g.
🔹There is 16g of saturated fat per 100g, which is above healthy guidelines but most cheddar cheeses contain ~21g of saturated fat, so this is actually lower than average.
🔹FOR CONTEXT: cheese is made from the protein and fat components of milk, with the addition of an acidic component and an enzyme called rennet. The solid components are separated and pressed into the final shape. Really, cheese is just concentrated milk, and all cheeses are going to have a relatively high fat and protein content and low sugar content. Salt is integral in the production of cheese, inhibiting bacterial overgrowth and balancing the acidity. The average salt content of cheese is about 620mg/100g, making it a high salt product. It's almost impossible to change these characteristics and still make cheese.
🔹$42/kg which is relatively expensive compared to regular blocks of cheese.
🔹”Natural cheese”. Honestly the obsession with ‘natural’ food is ridiculous and confusing. I’d like to know what unnatural cheese looks like. Cheese doesn’t naturally come out of the cow shaped like this in nice little wax packaging.
🔹”Source of calcium.” Correct.
🔹”Sure to liven up any snack or lunchbox.” I must agree that most kiddies do love them.
🔹These are one of the best ‘pre-packaged’ cheese snacks on the market. Remember that cheese is nutritious, but it is high in salt and saturated fat. As with all foods, I'd recommend offering something like cheese once a day as a maximum. For babies and young toddlers I recommend limiting other typically salty foods on the days you offer cheese.
🔹Regular cheddar cheese (slices, blocks or grated) is much cheaper and nutritionally very similar.
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About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian 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 and Lauren here www.mealtimebuildingblocks.com.au