Review: Sultana Bran Buds

In my review, I compare Sultana Bran Buds with gold-standard Weet-Bix. The results surprised the pants off me. OK, prolly not. But I was impressed. And for your chance to win a FREE pack of Sultana Bran Buds, leave a comment below!

Sultana Bran BudsI’m getting more relaxed about the kids’ eating. I don’t get my knickers in a twist over every little thing … except for breakfast cereals. For some reason I’m still a Nazi in the breakfast cereal department. I think because it’s the easiest area of their diet and day in which you can make good choices without it being overly complicated or have a major battle on your hands.

In our house it’s Weet-Bix or wholemeal toast. Or nothing. Unless their dad gets up and is in the mood to cook them a hot breakfast. On those days the kids will get poached eggs on spicy toast (spicy toast is wholemeal toast with Worcester sauce sprinkled on it). Dad can be relied upon to do this once or twice a week. I think it harks back to his youth when his mother would cook a hot breakfast every day for her seven children. Can you imagine?!

We were recently sent a trial pack of Sultana Bran Buds, a new product from Kellogg’s targeting kids and touting the ‘healthy’ message. This was big for us to accept because I’m boycotting Kellogg’s products in my house because of the utter bullshit their TVC trotted out with Monica Trapaga regarding the nutritional properties of their Coco Pops. “With a bowl of milk Coco Pops gives kids x% of their daily requirements of calcium.” You know the ad I mean? Yes, Monica, and if I eat a truckload of broccoli with my Coco Pops I’ll also get my monthly requirement of folate and iron. Why don’t you put THAT on the outside of the flippin’ box?!

Anyhoo, I did actually warn the PR chick when she rang me to offer me the trial pack. “I’m a bit of a cow when it comes to kids’ cereals,” I warned her. “And I won’t pull my punches in my review. Are you sure you want me to do it?”. She confidently answered, yes, yes, we’d love your independent review, Felicity. Ok then, bring it on, I said. Or, more likely, I said, “By all means send me a pack, Darce, that’d be lovely.”

Well, the kids loved the Sultana Bran Buds, but that’s utterly irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. The real test is the nutritional panel. So what did that have to say for itself?

  Weet-Bix/100g Sultana Bran Buds/100g Coco Pops/100g
Sugar 2.9 25.1 36.5
Fat 0.3 0.4 0.2
Sodium 110mg 135mg 564mg
Fibre 11.0 13.2 1.2

Iron

10mg

6.7mg

unavailable

 

Sultana Bran BudsWhat does it all mean? Well, incredibly, the only criteria to separate the Buds from the Weet-Bix is sugar content (probably due to the sultanas which are high in sugars). In all other areas the Buds are almost as good as Weet-Bix. In fact, in fibre and also in iron content they’re better. There’s an argument emerging that we should not be adding iron to food products because we retain the iron and as it builds up in our system it creates long-term health problems.

I’m surprised that salt was so low, actually. According to the CHOICE Food For Kids website, the criteria for a green light on sodium is 120mg, so Sultana Bran Buds, with 135mg falls into the yellow light category. Just. (By the by, if you’re not familiar with the CHOICE Food for Kids website, it’s a must – check it out here).

So, to sum up, I’d give this product a 7/10. If you’re interested in how sugar affects us and why it’s really really bad, go and check out David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison website. His books, Sweet Poison, and the follow-up, The Sweet Poison Quit Plan, outline some scary information regarding sugar and its health impact, and not just from an obesity angle, but in areas such as dementia and depression. Check out my review of Sweet Poison Quit Plan.

If, after reading that, you’re happy for your child to consume a cereal high in sugar, then Sultana Bran Buds are for you. They’re just as sweet as Coco Pops but have the bonus of much more fibre than Coco Pops (and much more fibre than Weet-Bix, actually). I’ll probably consider abandoning my boycott of Kellogg’s cereal products to bring Sultana Bran Buds into the house on school holidays as a treat cereal. I think Kellogg’s has suffered enough.

Sultana Bran Buds are sold in Woolworths and Coles and retail for $4.99 for 340g or $7.99 for 600g.

Postscript: Looking for a YouTube clip of the offending Coco Pops ad, I came across Miranda Devine’s column on that very topic. I didn’t relaise Monica had taken quite a bit of heat over the ad. It never occurred to me to be angry about her appearance. She’s just a TV head and that’s what they do, go on TV for a fee. *shrug* I was always angry at Kellogg’s for its blatant manipulation of facts to present Coco Pops in a better light. To me, that ad is lying and should be subject to scrutiny from a judicial body that monitors television advertising.

WIN WIN WIN: Would you like to win a pack of Sultana Bran Buds to try for yourself? Simply leave a comment below!! It’s that easy!! Go to it!! 

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