Little Bellies – Our Food Values
Our Little Bellies range is for toddlers aged 12 months (Toddlers in Training range) and includes snacks with more adventurous textures, shapes and flavours. As babies’ transition into toddlerhood, our aim is to continue to provide new snacks and meals without unnecessary sugars, salt or additives. Where possible, we follow the philosophy of our Baby Bellies products, where we don’t include any added sugar or salt at all. However, we understand that as children grow, and they learn to enjoy a larger variety of foods and flavours, there are many foods they are exposed to, and some of them do contain added sugars and salt. This is true for both home-made and packaged foods. So, our rule is simple, we only add sugar or salt where the traditional recipe requires it for taste or texture, and we are careful to only add it into our recipes at minimum levels.
Our Food Values
Certified organic nutritionally dense meals and better-for-you snacks.
- No artificial colours, flavours or additives.
- No unnecessary sugar or salt.
- No pseudo-confectionery.
- Just the right tastes, textures, formats and portions to support your child at this stage in their development / progression.
- Certified Organic ingredient suppliers and product manufacturers.
- Highest level of quality control manufacturing processes and facilities.
- Baby Grade ingredients.
Our Little Bellies stance on sugar
ONLY WHEN NECESSARY, AND NEVER CANE SUGAR
- The large majority of our Little Bellies range does not contain any added sugar at all.
- If the traditional recipe of a product uses sugar, then we will also look to add a touch of sweetness to ensure the product has the right taste and texture.
- However, we never use refined cane sugar and we currently only use fruit juices in place of cane sugar if it is required. We always keep the amount of fruit juice at a minimal level and we only do this if we really believe the product needs it.
- In fact, we’re proud that the only products in our Little Bellies range that introduce some ‘sweetness’ are our Animal Biscuits and our Gingerbread Men biscuits. For our biscuits, we’ve used grape juice concentrate to give just a touch of sweetness and to make them perfectly crispy and crunchy – just as biscuits should be.
Our Little Bellies Stance on Salt
ONLY WHEN NECESSARY
- As with sugar, we also don’t add salt to our products unless it is necessary.
- On the odd occasion where we do add salt, it’s actually added indirectly as the salt makes up a component of another ingredient required in the recipe.
- A good example is the cheese powder used for flavouring our Cheese & Herb Fiddlesticks, or the sodium bicarbonate which is required as a raising agent in our Biscuit lines.
- In fact, these are the only three products in the Little Bellies range that contain any added salt.
- Cheese naturally contains salt, but we’re careful about the types and amounts of cheese we put into our recipes, so they still taste great but have controlled levels of salt.
- And as for sodium bicarbonate, it is used because it helps to give the biscuits the right texture and consistency when they’re baked, and again, we keep these levels to a bare minimum.
TRANSPARENCY IN LABELLING: OVER AND ABOVE LABELLING REGULATIONS
- We’ve taken the extra step and have included an ‘added sugars’ line in our NIP panel.
- This is NOT a legal requirement, but we want to be as transparent as possible when it comes to understanding our ingredients.
- You’ll find the ‘Added Sugar’ line on our NIP is at 0 for the majority of our Little Bellies products
- However, where sugar has been added in our biscuits, we’ve made it very clear about the quantity of added sugar and the form it comes in
What Is Organic Baby Grade?
Not just organic. It’s our extra commitment to you that all our organic ingredients, recipes and suppliers have been specially screened and selected to ensure they are appropriate and safe for growing little bellies.
Our aim is to make the best possible foods for babies, toddlers and kids. To do this, we continually search the globe for capable and trusted manufacturers that can make baby snacks and toddler foods to the high specifications we require.
Our foods are made by our partners around the world who are experts in producing foods for babies and toddlers. Many of these suppliers are in Europe where there is strict food safety regulation on the production of foods for infants specifically. These requirements recognise that infants are more fragile than adults and as a result, our foods are developed not only with a baby’s growing needs in mind, but also to ensure they are safe, trusted and age appropriate. Therefore, the majority of our Baby Bellies and Little Bellies products meet the European Baby Grade Standards.
However, there is currently no global ‘baby grade’ food standard. Therefore, we’ve chosen to go the extra mile and create our own policy to reflect the extra care we go to when creating our baby, infant and toddler foods and snacks. We refer to this as ‘Organic Baby Grade’. We’re so serious about this standard that we reference it on all of our packs as part of our Happy Bellies Pledge.
Our Organic Baby Grade standard covers two broad areas. All our products must be:
1) Food safety first – safe for the intended age recommendation.
2) Appropriate and suitable for the intended age recommendation.
SAFE FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS
Our foods are created by experts to ensure textures and formats are safe for our target age range.
ALWAYS CERTIFIED ORGANIC:
Baby Bellies and Little Bellies will always offer organic baby finger food and baby first foods and snacks. By choosing to give your baby organic baby food, you can be sure that you are giving them a great start in life. The foods we produce are made with carefully selected organic ingredients, grown naturally without the use of synthetic pesticides. Our Organic baby grade standard also ensures the lowest levels of potentially harmful toxins such as heavy metals.
We will visit and review each and every single one of our suppliers before we agree to partner with them. We meet their team, discuss our requirements, learn from their expertise and take time to form meaningful and lasting relationships. They become a part of our wider team as we bring them on our Little Bellies journey with us.
AVOIDANCE OF ALLERGENS:
We strive to keep things as simple as possible. Babies and toddlers have more fragile and delicate systems, so we work with our suppliers to eliminate, or at least absolutely minimise the presence of any commonly-known allergens as much as possible throughout the entire manufacturing process. We recognise the diversity of dietary requirements and preferences, so we provide an array of baby snacks and toddler foods to cater to this.
TEXTURES AND FORMATS SAFE FOR THE TARGET AGE RANGE:
Our Baby Bellies Tasty Textures range for 7+ months offers baby first foods and snacks that melt easily in the mouth. They come in large shapes that encourage babies to suck and gnaw (as opposed to smaller, whole pieces that could be dangerous for little mouths).
Our Baby Bellies More to Explore range for 10+ months offers baby finger foods that all melt easily in the mouth for safe feeding, but are slightly smaller than the Tasty Textures range to reflect transition into the next developmental stage.
Our Little Bellies Toddlers in Training for 12+ months introduces toddler foods with crisp textures and shapes to encourage independent chewing and swallowing, and familiarise more adventurous flavours.
APPROPRIATE FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS
Food safety is one thing but making sure our foods are suitable and appropriate for the intended age-range is just as important.
Our range of Baby Bellies and Little Bellies snacks and foods are not only made to meet nutritional targets appropriate for growing bellies but they are also made without the use of unnecessary ingredients. We will only use ingredients that you can recognise. We won’t bulk our foods out with starches, we never use any artificial ingredients and we won’t add refined sugars. We promise not to add salt as an ingredient. However, sometimes salt is present as a component of another ingredient that is necessary to our recipe.
For example, in our Little Bellies range for 12+ months, salt is a necessary ingredient to the cheese powder used in our Cheese & Herb Fiddlesticks.
In our Baby Bellies range for 7+ months, we do not add any salt as we are mindful that babies have a fragile system and too much salt from sources other than foods like veggies and fruits, breast milk and/or formula isn’t good for a babies delicate system.1,2,3,4
- No pseudo-confectionery: Across our Baby Bellies finger foods, you won’t find any added sugar or salt. And we don’t just mean no added cane sugar, we also mean we don’t add other free (also known as ‘simple’) sugars such as rice syrup, honey, concentrated fruit juices and maltodextrin. Instead we simply use dried organic fruit and vegetable powders to flavour our snacks.
Across our Little Bellies range of snack foods, we only add sugar or salt only when we feel it is necessary and where a traditional recipe may require sugar or salt to ensure the right taste and texture. If we feel a little sugar is required, then we choose to only use fruit juices in place of cane sugar and keep to absolute minimal levels necessary.
- Minimal ingredients: Every ingredient has a role. If it’s in there, it must be there for a reason, such as to provide flavour or function.
- Wholesome ingredients: Our products are centred on plant-based ingredients such as organic wheat and corn flour, fruit and vegetable juices, dried fruit and vegetables and vegetable oils.
- Light, simple and subtle flavours: Our baby snacks are subtle in flavour and low in sweetness because we understand that babies and toddlers’ palates are still developing and are not yet ready for intense flavours.
- Sweet and savoury flavours: We are conscious to ensure we offer a broad range of flavours to include both sweet and savoury tastes to keep variety.
ALL OUR BABY AND TODDLER FOODS AND SNACKS ARE BAKED,NOT FRIED
No super sizing or getting used to large snack sizes early on.
DESIGNED TO HELP SUPPORT NATURAL DEVELOPMENT & PROGRESSION:
We dedicate a lot of time and effort to considering the shapes and textures of our first foods, finger foods and baby snacks to make sure they can play a role in helping to support independent self-feeding and fine motor skill progression, such as pincer grasp, hand-eye coordination, chewing and swallowing. The Bellies range allows progression throughout a range of developmental milestones, introducing new and age-appropriate flavour experiences as each infant moves into a new range.
Our Baby Bellies Tasty Textures range for 7+ months introduces new texture experiences in large, soft shapes that little fingers can hold.
Our Baby Bellies More to Explore range for 10+ months offers smaller shapes and introduces new texture experiences to help promote independence.
Our Little Bellies Toddlers in Training for 12+ months brings more adventurous textures, shapes and flavours.
1. National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-
3. Nutrition Australia (2009) Salt And Hypertension: http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/frequently-asked-questions/salt-and-hypertension
4. WASH World Action on Salt and Health – Salt and Children. Queen Mary University of London: http://www.worldactiononsalt.com/salthealth/children/