Chewsday Review - Uncle Tobys Fruity Bites - Wildberry

This week’s Chewsday Review features Uncle Tobys Fruity Bites cereal. Uncle Tobys claim they are 50% wholegrain and the packaging makes it look like they are bursting with fruit… Let’s take a closer look!

🔹 Ingredients

🔸 Whole Grain Cereals (52%) [Wheat (40%), Oats (12%)], Fruit Paste [Concentrated Apple Puree, Berry Puree (2.5%) (Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry), Concentrated Blackcurrant Juice, Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Humectant (Glycerol), Acidity Regulator (Malic Acid), Gelling Agent (Sodium Alginate), Firming Agent (Calcium Lactate), Flavour], Wheat Flour, Sugar, Mineral Salt (Calcium Carbonate), Salt. Vitamins and Minerals: Iron, Vitamins C, Niacin B1, Riboflavin.

🔸 Just over half of this cereal is made of whole grains (52%) but I’d expect that from a cereal. Nice to see it is fortified with iron and some other vitamins, but let's see how much!

🔸 For a “Wildberry” flavoured product, 2.5% berry puree seems a bit lower than we would have hoped for. Apple puree is probably to bulk out the filling and the concentrated blackcurrant juice likely gives it a berry colour and overpowers the apple flavour.

🔸 I spy added sugar. Remember that glucose syrup is just another fancy way of saying sugar.

🔸 Allergens: wheat and gluten.

🔸 May contain other gluten-containing ingredients, milk, soy, tree nuts & lupin.

🔹 Positives

🔸 Iron fortified! At 3 mg per serve, that’s on par with Weet-bix and over 25% of your little one’s iron requirements. This is a huge positive for fussy kids who struggle with typical high iron food like meat.

🔸 While salt does appear on this ingredients list, it is right at the end, and there is only 45 mg per 100 g, well within guidelines and super low for a brekkie cereal.

🔸 Total fat and saturated fat are also within recommendations, but really we should expect this for a cereal.

🔹 Negatives

🔸 Sugar is above recommended amounts at 22.3 g per 100g (aiming for less than 15 g per 100g), and while some of this is from the apple, berries and concentrated juice, I suspect a fair amount is coming from added sugar.

🔸 Only 2.3 g of fibre per serve, and we’re aiming for over 3 g per serve. It’s not terrible, but for a product that claims to be made from wholegrains we could hope for more.

🔸 The fruit puree in these really isn’t enough to consider a serve of fruit. If your little one allows it, adding diced fresh fruit or serving fruit on the side is a good idea if you’re aiming for a serve of fruit with breakfast.

🔹 Marketing

🔸 Source of fibre is such a ‘meh’ claim. Food products can’t be labelled as a good source of fibre unless they have more than 4 g fibre per serve, so they’ve settled with “source of fibre”. This doesn’t mean anything really.

🔸 Uncle Tobys is keen to claim 50% whole grain, but when you think about it and compare… plain rolled oats are 100% whole grains and Weet-bix are 97%...

🔹 Alternatives

🔸 So the things I like are the added iron, low salt and and low saturated fat, but I still want breakfast cereals to be a little lower in added sugar and a little higher in fibre for an everyday choice.

🔸 I like these as a snack food in a lunchbox rather than a brekkie cereal on its own.

🔸 Higher whole grain choices include rolled oats, Weet-bix and Cheerios Original.

🔸 Weet-bix Bites berry flavour, has a similar nutrition profile to these Fruity Bites but is higher in whole grains and dietary fibre, so would be a slightly better choice.


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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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