Chewsday Review – Sweetpea Banana Porridge

Another brekky option for little ones!? Sweetpea Banana Porridge is one of the latest fruity creations from the baby food range. So, is this banana flavoured porridge really worth its hype? Read on for today’s Chewsday Review.

🔹 Ingredients

🔸 Rice Flour, Oat Flour (Gluten), Banana Puree (10%) [Bananas, Food Acids (330, 300)], Mineral (Iron), Antioxidant (Mixed Tocopherols).

🔸 This is essentially a baby rice cereal, but they’ve also used oat flour and added some banana puree.

🔸 It’s great to see this is fortified with iron, much like other baby rice cereals.

🔸 No added sugars or salt.

🔸 Allergens: gluten, soy and milk.

🔹 Positives

🔸 Fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium are within healthy guidelines.

🔸 Per serve this meets 10% of a babies (7-12 mo) recommended daily iron intake.

🔸 The texture is smooth puree without lumps, so is appropriate for babies starting solids.

🔹 Negatives

🔸 Made to instructions these have 1 g of banana per serve. I would still want to mix in some fruit or vegetable puree to help your baby learn about flavour.

🔸 These sachets are $3.90 each, for 12 serves, or $31.20/kg. Not the most expensive of the range of baby rice cereals, but also not the cheapest.

🔸 These sachets are quite low in energy when made with water, but could be made with milk (formula or breastmilk are ideal) instead.

🔸 Rice cereal tends to cause a lot of consternation for parents (unnecessarily in my opinion). In short, it’s a great way to add iron to foods that traditionally don’t have a lot of iron (like fruits and vegetables). Additionally, there's been a bit of hysteria about arsenic levels in all rice products recently. In a quick summary, rice can absorb arsenic (a heavy metal) from soil/water (where arsenic naturally occurs or occurs from pollution). Our Food Standards organisation reviews these levels and has indicated no need for concern if your baby eats a range of foods (and not just rice cereal, rice or rice crackers all day long). So, it’s totally safe to add rice cereal to foods to boost the iron, and as always offer a variety of foods to your baby.

🔹 Marketing

🔸 True to its claim, this product is a source of iron.

🔸 ‘4+ months smooth’. Remember not all babies are ready to start solids at 4 months. Labels like this can make parents and caregivers worry if their baby isn't showing signs of readiness just yet.

🔸 Although these are marketed as a source of Aussie bananas, the amount of banana per serve is next to nothing.

🔸 The packaging and branding is super cute. If you didn’t know, dietitians love food puns!

🔹 Alternatives

🔸 The Sweetpea Banana Porridge is a perfectly fine choice for starting solids. I would recommend mixing it with fruit or vegetable purees to help your baby learn about all sorts of flavours, while getting the iron from the porridge.

🔸 Bubs Organic Baby Rice Cereal is a similar price, with more iron. Bubs Organic also has a banana flavour, but again the amount of banana per serve isn’t really worth it.

🔸 You absolutely don’t need to use rice cereal if you don’t want to. You can offer your baby other sources of iron like pureed meat, lentils, legumes, egg and ground nuts and seeds.


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 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

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