Chewsday Review- Barilla Chickpea Casarecce

Each week in my memberships (Baby Mealtimes and Toddler Mealtimes) we have a ‘challenge’ food to offer our kids. It’s all about inspo and variety. Last week we had pulse pasta and lots of people had seen it but weren’t sure if it was any good. Here’s my thoughts on Barilla Chickpea Casarecce for this week’s Chewsday Review.

🔶Ingredients: Chickpea flour (100%)

🔹Common allergens include: nil

🔶The positives:

🔹Excellent fibre content. This is 4.5 times more fibre than in regular Barilla casarecce. Assuming your child ate the equivalent of 1/2 a cup of uncooked pasta, this works out to 7g of fibre which is 50% of a young child’s fibre recommendation, and 40% of an older child’s daily fibre recommendations.

🔹Excellent low sodium content at 5mg/100g. As a comparison, regular casarecce has the same low amount.

🔹Low sugar content of 2.9g/100g (none added, all naturally occurring).

🔹High protein content of 21g/100g which is 1.75x that of regular Barilla Casarecce. Having said that, most Australian kids get plenty of protein so this isn’t necessarily a huge benefit.

🔶The negatives:

🔹This pasta is pretty expensive, at 3 times the price of regular wheat pasta. It comes in a smaller box too, which is annoying for bigger families.

🔹The pulse pasta does have a slightly different texture to wheat pasta, which can take some warming up to. I found this one fine with sauce on it, but my toddler didn’t like it plain (to be fair, she didn’t like the shape more than anything 🤷🏼‍♀️)

🔶The marketing:

🔹“Good source of plant-based protein” It will naturally have some iron too!!

🔹”Gluten Free” True, but remember this doesn’t always mean healthier. Gluten is only a problem for those with coeliac disease.

🔹”Made with one simple ingredient- chickpeas” Hurrah!

🔶The alternatives:

🔹This pulse pasta gets a huge Chewsday round of applause from me. Serve it to your family! If you have a toddler or very hesitant eater, choose a familiar shape and present it alongside other safe foods. It’s always risky pretending it’s normal pasta, and this destroys trust if your little one is already on the suspicious side.

🔹But, just to be clear, there’s absolutely nothing “wrong” with regular pasta, this is just another way to add variety.


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

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

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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