Saturday, August 25, 2012

Table of Plenty NoNo's Bars Review

I received a couple of boxes of the new NoNo's Bars for my four and a half year old to trial; one box of Cocoa Crush and one of Berry Blast. This product is made by Table of Plenty and is aimed squarely at kids, particularly as an addition to the school lunch box. It says on the front of the box "Better Bars for Kids" and "Take Me To School".

Product Information:
- Under 100 calories per bar
- No preservatives
- All Natural
- contains wholegrain oats and wholegrain rice
- 100% GM free
- Australian Made and Owned
- problematic ingredients such as dairy, wheat, nuts, soy & sulphites are avoided.

The Taste Test

Unfortunately, my notoriously fussy son refused to try either of the NoNo's bars varieties! He loves fruit and bread, but is fussy with vegetables, cheese, meat and dinner options in general, but of course, will eat lollies, chips and chocolate. I thought he might be swayed by the 'chocolatey' bar, but it wasn't plain enough for him. Hubby quite liked both bars, giving me positive feedback. I didn't really like the Cocoa Crush, but did enjoy the taste of the Berry Blast. I appreciate the low calorie count and that they are nutritious. Also, easy to chuck in the handbag for when I'm on the go!

Are They Allergy Safe?

Here's where it can get quite serious if you have a child with allergies. So I'll get detailed.

The back of the box says - 
"Most children don't have allergies, but still need to be careful what they take to school. NoNo's are made with this in mind. They taste great, are wholegrain and we avoid problematic ingredients like DAIRY, WHEAT, NUTS, SOY and SULPHITES (see allergen declaration for details), so you can send them to school"

Allergen Declaration (from side of the box) -
"Contains Gluten. May contain traces of tree nuts, peanuts, dairy and soy due to shared equipment".

The plastic wrap of each individual bar has the above Allergen Declaration printed on the back.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So although the product is marketed as dairy, wheat, nuts, soy and sulphites free, it is still made on shared equipment, meaning it can contain trace amounts of these ingredients. My son isn't allergic to any foods, but that's something that may make a significant difference to a family dealing with severe allergies.

I sent an LCM's Split Stix bar to Kindy in my sons lunchbox one day, thinking it was nut-free and allowed, and it got sent home with a stern notice about it being banned due to allergies. Split Stix are puffed rice and yoghurt bars that don't list nuts as an ingredient, but on closer inspection, the wrapper did say it may contain traces of peanuts/tree nuts. So in (at least) some Kindergartens, the words "may contain traces of nuts" is enough to get a product sent home unopened with a notice to parents. Therefore, had I sent a NoNo's Bar to Kindy for my son, it would have been rejected. 

Schools, on the other hand, seem to not be as strict (depending on the school obviously - I am only going by the Primary School we are sending our son to and what the Principal had to say on the issue). Depending on the school, this might be quite an acceptable snack to pack in your child's lunchbox, as long as you're aware of the allergen declaration.

Disclaimer: These products were provided for consideration. Opinions are my own and are not biased.


  1. Hello, glad to read your review as I've seen them and would like to try. Handy for when the biscuit barrel is empty and the kids need something for school. The story behind Table of Plenty is really interesting and compelling, must try.

    1. Yes, it is interesting how it all started. Thanks for your comment :)


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