Chewsday Review- Kiddylicious Veggie Straws

They’re Veggie Straws, or are they baby chips?


🔷Veggie straws (Potato starch, dried potato (30%), salt, tomato powder, kale powder, spinach powder, red beet, firming agent (calcium chloride), turmeric,) AND vegetable oil.

🔷The way this ingredient list is written makes my ‘bulls@#t radar’ fire up. It is formatted so that veggie straws are one ‘ingredient’ and vegetable oil is the second ‘ingredient’. In the brackets after veggie straws it includes the ingredients of the actual straws. This makes me suspicious, because ingredients have to be listed in order from the ingredient in the greatest amount to the ingredient in the smallest amount. I suspect that if they hadn’t grouped the veggie straw ingredients together, the first ingredient (in the greatest amount) would be oil!

🔷Common allergens include: may contain traces of soy.

🔶The positives:

🔷 Saturated fat content within healthy guidelines at 2.1g/100g (aim for less than 3g) BUT this is high for a product like this. It suggests that the ‘vegetable oil’ contains a fair amount of saturated fat which usually indicates with a cheap and poor quality oil. This is actually more fat and saturated fat than Red Rock Deli chips.

🔷Sodium content is within healthy guidelines at 360mg/100g. But, remember that this is creeping up towards our upper limit. One packet of these (only 12g) provides 20% of a baby’s daily salt limit.

🔷 Awesome texture for babies practicing biting and chewing skills. The ‘bite and dissolve’ nature of these straws is really helpful, especially if your little one has been slow to take to finger foods.

🔷 Convenient!

🔶The negatives:

🔷 High fat content of 29.3g/100g (general guidelines suggest aiming for less than 10g/100g). This isn’t a huge concern for kiddos, but comes totally from the vegetable oil.

🔷No description of fibre content, and that’s most likely because it’s low. The main ingredient of potato starch (which is a very refined starch) isn’t going to be particularly high in fibre (unlike actual whole potato).

🔷”Veggie” straws are a bit of a stretch. Again, this is clever marketing because by calling them ‘veggie’ straws they don’t technically have to disclose how much of each vegetable (ie/ the kale) is in the product. Instead they can just disclose that 30% comes from potato powder.

🔷At $150/kg, these are EXPENSIVE!

🔶The marketing:

🔷”Tomato, Kale and Spinach flavoured potato snacks” Flavoured, yes. Containing actual vegetables? Hardly.

🔷”Ideal finger food”. It’s definitely helpful for learning biting and chewing skills, especially for those little ones who have had some setbacks and are needing some kind of feeding therapy or support.

🔶The alternatives:

🔷These are very expensive puffed air with a bit of oil. They have a nutritional profile fairly similar to regular potato chips, but with a bit less salt. They’re not a necessity for babies. They’re also not a source of vegetables!

🔷 Instead, young babies can use real foods, like steamed potato wedges, for a much cheaper and more nutritious option.


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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