Chewsday Review- Nature Valley Crunchy Oats & Honey Bar

We’re on a bit of a muesli bar theme here, and today’s Chewsday Review features Nature Valley Crunchy Oats & Honey bar. How does it compare to the Carman’s and Mother Earth varieties? Let’s see..

🔶Ingredients: whole grain rolled oats (63%), sugar, sunflower oil, honey (3%), salt, molasses, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin), raising agent (sodium bicarbonate).

🔹Sunflower lecithin is a fatty substance derived from sunflower seeds, which acts as an emulsifier to keep the texture of the bar smooth.

🔹Common allergens include: oats (not suitable for coeliacs)

🔶The positives:

🔹Reasonable fibre content. Works out to 2.6g per bar. This works out to 18.9% of a young child’s fibre recommendation, and 14.4% of an older child’s daily fibre recommendations.

🔹The saturated fat content is within healthy guidelines at 2.2g/100g.

🔶The negatives:

🔹These bars have a high fat content of 18g/100g. Usually total fat isn’t a huge concern, but I’m not impressed by this when there aren’t any added nuts or seeds to account for the fat. All of it comes from the sunflower oil. This is also a lot higher than many other muesli bars.

🔹The sugar content of Oaty Slices is also extremely high at 27.9g per 100g, especially considering this is ALL from added sugar. This sugar comes from a variety of sources including the sugar, honey and molasses.

🔹The sodium content of these bars also seem to be unnecessarily high at 260mg of sodium per 100g. This is below the general recommendations, but is very high for a sweet product.

🔶The marketing:

🔹“100% wholegrain oats” As is all of the oats added are wholegrains (yet it’s impossible for an oat not to be a wholegrain). The bar itself only contains 63% oats.

🔹”NATURAL oats and honey” as opposed to unnatural oats and honey (and the added white sugar?) Natural does not necessarily equal good for you.

🔹”Lactose free.” This is super strange given that muesli bars would have no lactose (unless they’re yoghurt topped and even then the amount would be tiny.)

🔶The alternatives:

🔹These are a sugar, fat and salt filled snack marketed as a wholesome oat bar. Hang on, we’ve seen these before in another brand- they’re almost exactly the same as the Mother Earth Oaty bars. Don’t be fooled.

🔹If you want a 'muesli-style' bar then I'd prefer Carman's fruit & nut bars or some of the Uncle Toby's muesli bars with a lower saturated fat, sugar and sodium content. More reviews of these coming up!


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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

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