For Baby

Reading an Infant Food Label

Here are some of the most useful things to look out for on a Wattie’s baby food product label.

All Wattie’s infant foods comply with the requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) including regulations for food labelling, composition and safety. The Code has a specific standard for Foods for Infants.

Ingredients in the ingredients list are listed in descending order of quantity. Therefore, the first ingredient in the ingredients listis the one present in the largest amount. Then, at the end of the list, you’ll find those ingredients that are only present in small amounts like herbs and spices. Water is included in some ingredient lists, as just like cooking at home, water is added for cooking and to ensure the appropriate texture.

The allergens milk, egg, soybeans, fish, crustacea, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, lupin and cereals containing gluten are declared within the ingredient list if they are present as an ingredient, component of an ingredient, present in a food additive or processing aid. If you have an infant with an allergy, it is important that you carefully check the ingredient list each time you purchase a food as sometimes a product may be reformulated and an ingredient list may be updated without notice. If you have any questions our consumer careline is available to help on 0800 55 66 66.

There are 6 components that must be shown on an infant product Nutrition Information panel – Energy; Protein; Fat, total; Carbohydrate; Sugars and Sodium. Other nutrients may also be listed if present such as iron or vitamin C. Food products suitable from 12 months onwards must also include saturated fat in the nutrition information panel. 

As part of the food labelling requirements, the nutrition information panel is required to include a specified serving size and the number of servings in the package of food. The nutrient levels are displayed in two columns, an average quantity of nutrients per 100g and per serving. The average quantity per 100g column can be used to compare the nutrient quantities in different foods. The average quantity per serving column provides the nutrients per the specified serving size. However, it’s important to remember that the serving size is just a guide and that the appropriate portion size will vary for individual babies, depending on factors such as age (i.e. teaspoons in the beginning), stage of development and appetite. For more information on how much to feed your baby please contact our consumer careline on 0800 55 66 66 or your health professional.

Energy is provided in kJ and is the energy the product will provide from the main components including protein, fat, carbohydrate and dietary fibre.

Protein is provided in grams and is important for growing muscles as part of a healthy varied diet. Foods which are higher in protein include meat, chicken, fish, egg, beans and dairy products. 

Fat is the total fat including saturated, trans, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and is provided in grams. A small amount of good fat is important for energy and growth in an infant’s diet.

Carbohydrate is provided in grams and includes the total of starches and sugars in a food. Carbohydrates are found in many foods including grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. 

Sugars in the nutrition information panel are a component of carbohydrate.The ‘sugars’ value in a nutrition information panel represents all the sugars found in the product, either through naturally occurring sugars found in some ingredients such as fruit or through added sucrose or other refined sugars. The sugars represented in most of Wattie’s baby food labels are from naturally occurring sugars mainly from fruit, vegetable and milk ingredients. The only exception in the Wattie’s baby food range is custards, which contain a small amount of sucrose (table sugar) for taste. For more information on fruit sugars see here.

Sodium in mg is a calculation of the amount of sodium in a food which can be naturally occurring or from added salt. The infant food regulations have strict criteria limiting the amount of sodium in infant foods. Wattie’s baby foods do not have any added salt, except in rusks that require salt to make them hard or when cheese is included in a recipe. 

Wattie’s infant foods also have a clear age stage and texture on the front of pack, for example:

Stage 2, 6+ months, mashed.
Wattie's Stage 2, 6+ months, mashed

This will help identify which product is suitable for your infant’s age and development. Each food stage has a variety of age appropriate ingredients, flavours and textures.

More information on labelling can be found on the FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) website.

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