This post is sponsored by Uncle Toby's
I'm sure most mums will agree that school lunch boxes are the bane of their existence! It's an ongoing struggle between packing heathy food and packing food that the kids will actually eat! It's a battle that I fight every day with my teenagers- I've said before that they basically live on a white food diet and the same goes for their school lunch.
They pretty much only eat processed food plus some sort of a sandwich or roll for lunch (although my 16 year old son has now dismissed even that and is having cold pizza instead). They are well past the age where I can dictate what they eat so I have to try and find something that they will eat that has a least some nutritional value.
Muesli bars are something they eat but I've never been hugely keen on them because I didn't think there was anything really that good in them. I thought of them as highly processed sugar treats disguised with some oats- so when I was invited to come along to Uncle Toby's to hear about how they have changed their muesli bars to comply with the government's new 5 star food rating system I was interested in hearing what they had to say.
The Government has introduced the new Health Star food ratings so that shoppers can see at a glance which is the healthier option. It's a voluntary program for companies and Nestle/ Uncle Toby's is getting on board and taking on the challenge to improve the nutrition of their products. We learned that the current muesli bars such as the standard choc chip or apricot ones, as well as the yogurt covered ones only sit at a health star rating of 2.5 because they are too high in sugar and salt and not high enough in whole grains and fibre.
With this in mind Uncle Toby's has invested $7m in its reformulation and new machinery to bringing it's products up to scratch. It's new muesli bar recipes have reduced the sugar and salt and increased the whole grains and fibre- which now brings their bars to a 4 star rating!
I thought this was all great news and that I can finally stop feeling guilty for buying muesli bars for lunch but the part of the day I enjoyed the most was actually seeing the choc chip muesli bars being made. I don't know about you but when I read the back of the box of packaged foods I don't even know what half the stuff is! So when the Food Technologist lay the ingredients out in front of us and then mixed the muesli bars up, right in front of us on a little Kitchen Aid just like the one I have at home I felt like I finally knew just what it was made from- and almost everything in it I just have at home in my kitchen so now I don't feel like they are completely manufactured with fake food just because they are made in a processing factory rather than in my kitchen.
You can get the brand new Uncle Toby's Muesli Bars in your local supermarket- just look out for the shiny new packaging with the 4 stars on it!
For more information visit www.uncletobys.com.au