Chewsday Review- Ikea Meatballs

Strawberries and chocolate, fish and chips, flatpacks and meatballs….. classic combos that are iconic and delicious. There really is nothing like an IKEA meatball to momentarily distract you from the thought of hours of flatpacks when you get home. But what EXACTLY goes into these meatballs and why do kids love them so much? Let’s have a look in today’s Chewsday review!

🔹 Ingredients:

🔸 Beef, Pork, Water, Seasoning (Bread Crumbs [Bleached White Flour, Dextrose, Yeast, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Salt], Dextrose, Corn Syrup Solids, Salt, Parmesan Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Spices, Garlic Powder, Parsley Flakes, Dried Onion), Textured Soy Flour, Soy Protein Concentrate

Allergens: Milk, Wheat, Soy

🔸 It’s nice to see that the first two ingredients in these meatballs are actually meat! These contain 84% meat content in total, with the other 16% being binding ingredients and spices.

🔸 There are three (!) different sources of salt in these meatballs – the breadcrumbs, the parmesan and regular salt.

🔹 Positives

🔸 As these are made predominantly from beef, they are a good source of iron.

🔸 The frozen version of these are super convenient – they come pre-frozen and you just pan fry as many or as few as you need at a time and can pop the rest back in the freezer for later.

🔸 Low sugar content (as you would expect!)

🔸 At $14/kg, these are really reasonably priced for a source of red meat

🔹 Negatives

🔸 The fat content of these meatballs is quite high. These contain 18g of fat per 100g, with one third of this being saturated fat. This is probably from using a fattier cut of meat in the meatballs themselves.

🔸 These meatballs are high in sodium – 6 meatballs contain 400mg, which is above healthy guidelines. That’s your toddler’s entire daily recommended sodium intake in one hit! These are definitely too high in salt for babies under 12 months.

🔹 Marketing

🔸 There isn’t really a whole lot of marketing on these, except for this…. ‘It is everyone’s right to a fine meal of meatballs’ – I’ll leave the definition of ‘fine meal of meatballs’ up to you...

🔹 Alternatives

🔸 As always, homemade is best! You can find a recipe for delish Danish (not Swedish) Meatballs on the Baby Mealtimes website.

🔸 Whilst these are pretty high in sodium, this is pretty standard in a pre-made meatball. Just keep in mind if you are having these at the IKEA Foodhall, the sauce and sides will add more sodium!

🔸 For a convenient red meat option that is lower in fat, I would recommend the Peppercorns Extra Lean Beef Sausages.


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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