Chewsday Review- Uncle Tobys LeSnak Tasty Cheese

Uncle Tobys LeSnak has been a lunchbox staple for years. It says tasty cheese dip and crackers, but let’s take a closer look in today’s Chewsday Review to see how it really stacks up in the nutrition department…

🔶 Ingredients

🔹Cheese Spread [Cheddar Cheese (47%)(milk, salt, starter culture), water, margarine (vegetable oils, water, salt, milk solids, emulsifiers [soy lecithin, 471], antioxidants [304, 307b]), whey powder (milk), flavour (milk), milk mineral, mineral salts (339, 452), preservative (234)]. This basically means that the spread is half cheese, half margarine.

🔹Cracker [wheat flour, vegetable fats and oils (antioxidants [307, 307b]), wholemeal wheat flour, sugar, wheat bran, invert syrup, salt, raising agents (503, 500), poppy seeds, wheat germ].

🔹The emulsifiers within the cheese spread help to keep its texture smooth and consistent

🔹Antioxidants (304, 307, 307b) and a preservative (234) keep the product shelf stable, meaning it does not require refrigeration to stay fresh.

🔹 Common allergens include: milk, soy, wheat. May be present (according to label): egg, tree nuts, peanuts.

🔶 The positives

🔹A decent source of calcium, with 101mg per serve. That’s around 20% of a toddler’s daily requirement and 14% of an older child’s calcium requirement for a day. As a comparison, 1 slice of cheese (20g) has about 150mg calcium.

🔹 Less saturated fat overall than a normal cheddar cheese, but keep in mind that the nutrition information for Le Snak includes both the cheese and biscuits together! Le Snak contains 11.7g saturated fat per 100g whilst cheddar cheese contains ~21g per serve.

 🔹 aaaand that is about it!

🔶 The negatives

🔹Product is low in fibre, only 0.6g per serve. Again, this isn’t necessarily unexpected for a cheese product, but you would hope the crackers had a bit more fibre than this.

🔹Extremely high in sodium, 875mg/100g. This is more than double our healthy salt recommendations.

🔹Uncle Tobys doesn’t have an apostrophe, and Snak doesn’t have a ‘c’. It’s too much.

🔶 The marketing

🔹”No artificial colours or flavours” – True

🔹”Source of calcium” – also true, but this would be expected in a cheese based snack product.

🔹 “Made with real cheese” – true… however the cheese spread is only 47% cheese - that’s less than half ‘real cheese’! The remaining 53% is made up mainly with water and margarine.

🔶 The alternatives

🔹This is pretty much a few Ritz crackers spread with margarine and a small slice of cheese.

🔹Some wholegrain crackers and actual sliced cheese would be a MUCH more nutritious option, however this does require a bit more preparation!

🔹 Laughing Cow ‘Cheez Dippers’ is a very similar product that is lower in total fat, saturated fat and sodium and higher in calcium.


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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