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During a recent meeting with our health visitor she suggested that I try my daughter on some rice pudding. I thought that this was a great idea as I myself love rice pudding. So whilst doing my shopping I searched (and searched!) for some pudding rice. Unfortunately they didn't have any however they did have the Cow and Gate Baby Balance Banana and Mango Rice Pudding. I thought that I would get this as this was specifically designed for babies, rather than a tin of Ambrosia, due to salt and sugar levels etc.
The ingredients per pot are as follow:
*3/4 apple (61%)
*1/4 banana (20%)
*A small slice of Mango (17%)
*1/2 teaspoon of ground rice (2.5%)
Sounds non offensive enough.
The Cow and Gate Baby Balance Banana and Mango Rice Pudding comes in a cardboard wrap containing four 100g pots. The pudding is designed for 4 - 36 month old babies and one pot claims to contain one portion of fruit. There is no added sugar and apparently a third of a babies daily Vitamin C. It all sounds great. So I paid the £1.67 and took them away to try.
The pots are easy to open. There is simply a foil top that peels off. The contents of the pot were not what I was expecting. To look at it is bright orange in colour and does not contain any visable rice. The rice pudding is completely smooth.
The smell is very strong and smells quite artifical and so I thought I would try some first before giving it to my little one. Bleurgh! It was horrid! It was gloopy and so so sweet. There is a strong taste of over ripe bananas and a little bit gone off mango. But I thought I best not show my disgust to my daughter you know, just in case. The first mouthful she looked at me in the same way she did when I gave her plum that was not as ripe as I thought (hence I try all of er new food first now!) Bleurgh! Oh dear. But not to be deterred I thought I would try her with a second mouthful just in case. This one was spat over me and her little hands began to scrape (well maybe just rub then!) at her mouth. I was not going to try her any more as she clearly didn't like it. And to be fair I couldn't blame her.
The pudding tastes so artifical and sweet (on closer inspection each pot contains 10.9g of sugar) and nothing like banana or mango or in fact rice pudding. It also has no rice bits, although it does claim to have half a teaspoon of ground rice per pot. I was very disappointed. I like to give my daughter a lot of fruit and she loves it, she is not a fussy eater at all. I would therefore not recommend this.However if I did like them they have a very long shelf life on them, these puddings that I bought today would actually last until august next year! EEK! As it is though the packet is sat in the bin what a waste of money!
The Cow & Gate Baby Balance range of puddings has been a bit of a god-send for me these last 5 months!
I regularly make up a batch on stewed apples and pears to puree and freeze for my son. However, I wanted him to try different fruits that I would not necessarily buy without knowing that he would like them, mainly due to the expense.
My son loves banana and eats some most days so when I saw the Banana & Mango Rice Pudding I thought it would be worth a shot. They come in a pack of 4 pots, with 1 pot being equal to 1 fruit portion, with added sugar and 1/3 of the recommend daily Vitamin C. There in fact 61% apple in this... which is odd as apple is not mentioned in the title nor is it pictured on the wrapper - just banana and mango. Still, the ingredients are apple, banana, mango, ground rice and Vitamin C, so it seems that there are no artificial nasties in these pots.
~~ THE SMELL, APPEARANCE AND TASTE TEST ~~
Once opened these pots smell deliciously fruity. To me the only fruit that stands out is banana but I guess that is because bananas have a particularly strong and recogniseable smell, whilst the other two fruits contained in this are less so.
The pot contains a brown - yellow coloured puree, completely smooth with no bits. This looks just like a fruit puree to me, with no identifying features of rice pudding!
The taste is ... wonderful. I would be more than happy to eat this myself. Again, the banana is the stringest ingredient in here and I can taste mango, but no apple. Bizarre. It is a very nice combination, and perhaps adding the apple to the other two fruits makes them work better together. Again, no identifying features of rice pudding here!
My son gobbles these up and seems to really enjoy the flavours.
We tend to keep these in to throw in a bag for when we are out and about, as they can be stored at ambient temperature. They can also be kept in the fridge for 48 hours after opening. Ours never get that far. We use them from time to time at home, although I feel guilty doing that as they are costly, much more so than making a basic puree.
A pack of four is normally around £1.69 (Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Boots) however they are more often than not on offer at either Boots or one of the above supermarkets. Recently I have seen Asda running them at 2 packs for £3.00 and both Tesco and Boots at 3 packs for £3.50. When I see them at Boots on this offer I always stock up (more points value at Boots than at Tesco!).
So.... they are not cheap but a great way of adding variety and really handy for carrying around with you for when your child may be a little peckish - just remember a spoon or it could get messy.