Chewsday Review - Only Organic Pasta Bolognese

I'm back with another Chewsday Review, and this week I'm following on from the pasta theme from last month. Today I'm taking a closer look at Only Organic Pasta Bolognese, which is a shelf-stable, "fork mash" textured, baby food, so let's see if it deserves to be on your pantry shelf...

🔹Ingredients

🔸Water, Vegetables (Carrot, Onion, Celery) (34%), Beef (9%), Tomato Paste (6%), Pasta (Wheat) (4%), Wheat Flour, Olive Oil, Parsley.

🔸All ingredients are those which you would use to make a homemade version.

🔸The first ingredient is water. Ingredients have to be listed in descending order of weight (i.e. the ingredient of most quantity is listed first and it decreases from there) so this product is at least a third water.

🔸All certified organic ingredients. Remember, organic doesn’t mean healthier. It only tells us about how the ingredients are grown and produced.

🔸Allergens: Wheat (Gluten)

🔹Positives

🔸Very low sodium (salt) content for a product like this, at 45 mg/100 g it's well under the recommended healthy guidelines.

🔸Fat, saturated fat and sugar content all well within healthy guidelines.

🔸Exciting to see a shelf stable product that is a “fork mash” texture.

🔸Convenient for busy days! You can keep it on hand for when you need something ready in minutes.

🔹Negatives

🔸Again, this product is quite watered down, with more than one third of the product being water. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with water, but it’s a cheap filler ingredient.

🔸No mention of fibre or iron content on the label, which is disappointing. This makes it hard to compare to other products. The beef content (9%) is not bad compared to the standard amounts, but this would likely provide less than 10% of a 7-12 month old’s daily iron requirements.

🔸This 170g pouch will cost you $2.90, which isn't cheap. About the same price as a standard 500g pack of dry pasta and roughly twice the cost of homemade Bolognese per gram.

🔸Baby food with a long shelf life is traditionally heat treated in processing to prevent it from spoiling. This may reduce vitamin and mineral content slightly more than traditional home cooking methods.

🔹Marketing

🔸“No artificial flavours or colours, No preservatives, Non-BPA packaging.” True, but also quite standard.

🔸Don’t be fooled, the brand “Only Organic” doesn’t make this product healthier, nor does the green packaging.

🔸“8 months+”. Remember that all babies develop at different rates. Labels like this can cause unnecessary worry if your baby hasn’t progressed to this texture yet.

🔹Alternatives

🔸I don't think that babies, toddlers or children need special ‘kid foods’ in their normal diet. Serving the same food to the whole family is also a much cheaper option, but this is a fine choice for when you need something quick and convenient.

🔸For convenient, ready-made meals I prefer frozen products to those that have been heat treated like this one. Usually the process of cooking and freezing, retains more of the heat sensitive nutrients. In saying that a mashed texture frozen meal is hard to come by.

 

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School Mealtimes is an online platform for parents, teachers and health professionals to work together and access resources to create safe school food environments for our children. The Mealtimes team have developed letter templates, newsletter inserts, examples of policy language and more. With more content coming soon, join the movement here https://mealtimes.com.au/schools/


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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 www.toddlermealtimes.com.au


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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 www.babymealtimes.com.au


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


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