Chewsday Review- Veggie Hero Nutra Organics

Is it a food? Is a supplement? Is it the world’s most expensive vegetable powder?! Nutra Organics’ Veggie Hero claims to be a solution to fussy eating (Uh-oh, I might be out of a job!) but just how does it fare when placed under the microscope. Let's see in today's Chewsday Review!

Ingredients 🔸 Carrot* (24 %), Pumpkin*, Prebiotic Fibres (Psyllium Husk, Green Banana Starch*), Apple*, Mango, Lucuma*, Broccoli, Rice Extract*, Tomato, Barley Grass*, Wheat Grass*, Alfalfa*, Organic Wholefood Vitamin & Mineral Extracts* (Broccoli*, Spinach*, Kale*, Pumpkin*, Sweet Potato*, Sunflower Seeds*, Kelp*, Chlorella*, Maitake Mushroom*, Shiitake Mushroom*). 🔸 Allergens: None 🔸 For a ‘superfood powder’, this contains a whole lot of regular ol’ carrot and pumpkin 🔸 The website states that this full of ‘premium fruit and vegetables that are gently refractance window dried’ - basically just a lot of fruit and vegetables that have been dried and then ground into a powder. 🔸 All of the ingredients here with an asterisk mean that the ingredient is organic, but this says more about how an ingredient was grown than how nutritious it is. 🔹 The Positives 🔸 Honestly, I don’t have any positives about this one. In fact, I don’t have a whole lot of love for these kinds of products. It preys on parental fear (most of which is unfounded). Health isn’t found in a powder. If your child is very restrictive/fussy with eating then this product won’t ‘correct’ any deficiencies. 🔹 The Negatives 🔸 One of the benefits of vegetables is the fibre content and by drying them into this powder most of the fibre content gets lost. A 20g serve of this powder contains less than a gram of fibre – not enough to replace vegetables in a meal. 🔸 These have got to be the most expensive dried vegetables I’ve ever seen – especially consider ¼ of the tin is carrot. This tin will set you back $39.95 for a 200g tin – that’s almost $200 a kilo! 🔸 These kinds of products that encourage parents to ‘hide vegetables’ in food aren’t a solution to fussy eating and don’t give kids the chance to learn to like vegetables. I never recommend hiding vegetables as tricking kids doesn’t set them up well for a lifetime of healthy eating (and it often doesn’t work!) 🔹 Marketing 🔸 ‘Great source of energy’ – Technically speaking, this doesn’t actually provide a whole lot of energy with only 67 kJ per serve (for reference, that’s about a quarter of an apple). 🔸 ‘Helps improve growth and immunity’ – There isn’t much energy in here, so it isn’t going to do much for growth. This powder does contain some vitamins and minerals, but this isn’t always good thing. Kids don’t need ‘extra’ vitamins. More minerals is not better. This won’t help your child not get sick at daycare (and it won’t improve immunity). To give some context, the amount of folate in a serve of this powder is equivalent to ⅓ of an apple. The amount of vitamin C is about half of an apple. So essentially, if your child eats a bit of fruit then this isn’t really giving them anything extra. If your child is iron deficient (something that can affect their immunity) then they need a therapeutic iron supplement, not dried carrot. 🔸 ‘Made from certified organic ingredients’ – True, doesn’t mean it is any more nutritious. 🔹 Alternatives 🔸 I always recommend a ‘food first’ approach over supplement products like these. A child eating a variety of foods (or working towards eating a variety of foods) is likely to be getting everything they need from their food without needing any supplements. 🔸 If you are concerned about a nutrient deficiency or if your little one only eats a few select foods, I would recommend having a chat with your GP or a paediatric dietitian to give you some guidance instead of reaching for a product like this.🔸 If you currently use this product then I’m confident it’s not harmful (other than to your wallet) but I’m less confident that it’s actually helpful.

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 www.toddlermealtimes.com.au

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 www.babymealtimes.com.au

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 www.mealtimebuildingblocks.com.au

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