Mellow Mummy: The Sunday Review - Quaker Paw Ridge Blueberry Porridge : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 14 November 2010

The Sunday Review - Quaker Paw Ridge Blueberry Porridge

Lara is a blueberry fiend.

Lara's grandparents encourage her addiction.

Lara also love porridge. Porridge is something about which I am quite passionate. In fact, one of my very early blog posts was about Plum Baby's weaning porridge. Porridge is a healthy, natural, filling way to start the day and, if you mix it with milk then it can be a good way of getting your child to meet their daily recommended calcium intake.

Over the past few months I have been feeding Lara Quaker Paw Ridge children's porridge. Their natural, non-flavoured porridge is a hit in our household as it is a little more adventurous in texture than Ready Brek but not quite as lumpy as plain old porridge oats. Even Mellow Mummy and Daddy eat it as it is quicker to prepare in the mornings before work than most porridges we have tried.

For all of these reasons, I jumped at the chance to review the new Paw Ridge blueberry porridge. Unfortunately this didn't go well. When I opened the packet, the smell of 'blueberry flavour' nearly knocked me out (actually it doesn't taste as strong as it smells). Lara wouldn't even let a single spoonful pass her lips. I tried on several different occasions and each time I ended up trying to eat it instead. In fact, most of it went in the bin as I didn't really enjoy it.

To try and understand why Lara wouldn't eat the porridge, I took a look at the packet. As with the plain Paw Ridge porridge, the box boasts that it contains "100% Natural Ingredients". So, expecting to find that the contents of a blueberry flavoured porridge were er... porridge and blueberries, I was a little taken aback to find that (a) there was no mention of blueberries and (b) there was added sugar. Argh. Why?

The Paw Ridge blueberry flavoured porridge is only 87% oats. The flavour comes from 'natural flavouring' which really could mean anything and certainly doesn't guarantee that it has ever been within touching distance of an actual blueberry. Looking closer at the nutritional information showed me that the porridge was 12.2% sugar!!! For a children's porridge, I find this unacceptable. The non-flavoured equivalent contains 100% oats and has 1.1% naturally occurring sugars. I just do not understand why it is necessary to add sugar to a children's food and it annoys me. Children are perfectly capable of enjoying food without added sugar and if I feel that my child would prefer something a little sweeter - I want to be the person who makes that decision and sweeten it myself - after all, thats what I do with my own porridge.

My final gripe with the blueberry Paw Ridge is that I have only managed to find it in my local supermarkets in the sachet form. I think that they only sell their flavoured versions of the porridge in sachets which works out at about 60p more expensive per 100 grammes than the box of loose plain Paw Ridge that we love.

All in all, we're not that impressed.
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