(An updated post with questions answered regarding Salba)

We have put HappyBaby™ puffs and baby food pouches to the test by numerous mom/baby testers in the past and the results were always the same:  Love to the last mouthful!  So, when we were asked to put Happy Tot, Stage 4 baby food pouches through our high-standard testing we agreed to give them a try.

These HappyTot pouches were a success with my 16 month old daughter. She is a picky eater but had no trouble getting her to eat these, she actually would pick them out over a cupboard full of other snacks. Each variety smelled great and I knew she was eating well. These worked great as a snack on the go and something quick to grab before dinner. I loved seeing grain mixed through these pouches, and being able to see what the grain offers on  the package itself is a huge plus.

This “grain” is Salba®.  Salba®, THE Super Grain, is nature’s most nutritious grain.  It is the best whole food source of Omega 3’s and fiber. Salba is high in protein, fiber and antioxidants. A great source of vitamins and minerals, it is also certified Non-GMO, Vegan, Kosher, and Gluten-Free.  There are 6 different varieties of Salba pouches in HappyBaby’s Level 4 BPA-free pouches.  The recommended age for these pouches is  6+ months although the bigger quantity is for older kids.  We are going to give you insight on those 6 pouches here today as we additionally rave about the nutritional values of Salba®.

And as you may have guessed from the perfect track record of happy mom and baby testers giving us feedback on HappyBaby Pouches, Happy Tot BPA-free pouches is the newest winner of our MACT (Mom Approved- Child Tested) Excellence Award!

The Nutritional Value Of Salba®

One serving of Salba® is equal to:

  • 8x more Omega-3’s than salmon
  • 25% more dietary fiber than flax
  • 30% more antioxidents than blueberries
  • 15x more magnesium than broccoli
  • 7x more antioxidants than an orange
  • 6x more calcium than milk
  • 3x more iron than spinach
  • 1.1x more fiber than all bran

Wow, after know all of these amazing health benefits, I am really inspired to learn how to incorporate this super grain into my entire family’s diet!

MACT Excellent Award Winner

Safbaby.com Seal of ApprovalThe HappyTot Stage 4 pouches are another clear MACT (Mom Approved – Child Tested) Winner! Not only are these pouches incredibly nutritious, organic and delicious but they are also convenient and packaged consciously.  They are also BPA-free.

While this pouch material isn’t currently recyclable, many cities do accept the #2 plastics used for the re-sealable caps. And HappyBaby™ is proud to say that their pouches have a better overall environmental rating than glass jar alternatives. An independent Life Cycle analysis revealed that the pouches take less energy and fewer materials to make and produce less air pollution than glass, tetra pak or PET plastic bottles.  Even better, because they’re so lightweight, these pouches outperform other alternatives by adding far less waste to landfills and saving fuel when they’re being delivered to stores.

We additionally respect HappyBaby’s committed to continuing to work with their suppliers to find even greener, more innovative, and more recyclable alternatives. They believe it’s what our children deserve, and we dig that too.

One of our testing mama’s described the packaging and the products like this,  “Wonderfully packaged with bright happy colors who wouldn’t want to pick this over another plain boring snack. Not just that, but each package was well worded with stuff us moms like to know, as in proteins and vitamins our children are getting from every serving right on the front. A wonderful food for beginner self feeders and a high rated food in our household.”

Stage 4 HappyTot Pouches With Salba Reviews

Greenbean, pear, & peas:
-wonderful dinner side
-has sweet flavor from the pears with the veggies which daughter loved

Spinach, mango, & pear:
-wonderful sweet smell
-actually see spinach flakes throughout each bite

Butternut Squash & apple:
-hearty smell
-daughter gobbled it up

Bananas, peach, & mango:
-smells very sweet and fresh
-great flavor and daughters favorite

Sweet Potato, carrot, & apple cinnamon:
-great veggie smell with hint of spice
-chunky mix with visible grain

Q & A Regarding Salba Nutrition and Health

“Is Salba safe for babies and children?”  We recently received some questions from a mommy regarding her questions about Salba and chia.  So below is some wonderful information for all to learn from.  Thanks for your questions, we all become more informed because of them.

SAFbaby reader:  I was reading about some of your products and I would like to add some information about “Salba.” I have been using Chia seeds for several years and have educated myself quite a bit on this subject. Salba is a company name for white Chia seeds, they are the same as dark seeds.

Happy Baby Food:  Salba is the name given to the only two registered varieties of Salvia hispanica L. or chia in the world out of over 80 different generic strains of chia.  Further it is a registered trademark, with a patent pending, and the only form of chia with positive published clinical results in various publications around the world including Diabetes Care, The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and FASEB (the largest Scientific Community in the World).  Salba is only the two registered varieties of the seed and is white, but one should know that there are other white chia seeds in the Salvia hispanica L. or chia family as well.  The other white seeds and the black ones are considered generic strains.  To become a registered variety the grower (our partners) had to show a significant difference from the rest of the generic strains, which our partners have done.  That difference is that Salba has shown nutritional consistency and nutritional superiority over all of the other strains.  These are facts that cannot be disputed as they have been granted registered varieties by governmental bodies and supported by the research.  In the beginning, when our partners were growing chia for the chia pet project and it failed, they began to study this plant species and took some of their chia to the University of Toronto St. Michaels Medical Center for study.  They were told by the University of Toronto that chia had many good qualities of nutrition, but that every lot number they brought them the nutrition was different nutritionally.  At that time our partners did their own research and after 15+ years of separating out the different generic strains and studying each strain for nutritional consistency and high nutrition, they were able to separate two strains which are Sahi Alba 911 and Sahi Alba 912 which became registered and were given the name Salba.  At that time the University of Toronto and other research communities began to study Salba, and have published their very positive findings.  On the other hand, chia has attempted to duplicate our findings only to fail.  This information can be found on our website at www.salbasmart.com/salbachia.html .  We have never said chia is a bad product, only that it is different and lacks nutritional consistency crop after crop.  One can also find on various chia websites disclaimers that the nutritional values can vary from crop to crop.  Further, when one buys Salba they are buying direct from the grower and not a trader as in many cases of chia.

SAFbaby reader:  Salba is not actually a type of seed.

Happy Baby Food:  I hope I have adequately addressed this comment above, but if one needs more elaboration I will be glad to do so.  Simply put the person with concerns making this statement is miss-informed.

SAFbaby reader:  Chia is almost a perfect food, but I would suggest you let customers know there are warnings with Chia, especially with children. The seeds will soak up fluid from the intestine if several glasses of water are not consumed. They can cause constipation, even though they are loaded with fiber. The seeds can remain in the mouth, gums and teeth of small children, collecting saliva and causing a small gel coated seed.

Happy Baby Food:  I would dispute the first sentence of this comment as first chia has been shown not to be nutritionally consistent.  While we believe chia is good product due to the many good nutritional values it has, we feel Salba has proven to be the best form of Salvia hispanica L or chia on the planet and that is supported by the research.  It is true that all chia seeds (including Salba) soak up water, and/or fluid in the intestine, and/or can cause constipation.  The main thing that the person with concern failed to mention is the serving size and of course all good things in moderation.  Every human body is different and reacts differently to different things.  At Salba we say an adult serving size is one level tablespoon.  This was arrived at after the studies and recommendation of the University of Toronto.  We have also said that younger individuals should take less.  While that is said many take more and many take less depending on their body chemistry.  Further, all chia is meant to be consumed with other food as one is really just adding nutrition into their daily food regimen and enhancing diets often lacking many nutrients that our overall population does not always consume on a daily basis, but needs to sustain good health.  The comment about the seeds getting caught in the teeth, gums, and mouths of small children is true and can really be said about sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. which is why I say all good things in moderation and is best incorporated into foods on the table.  You might also want to know that through testing by a major global company, Salba versus chia has been found to be softer and also will dissipate quicker into foods than chia.  We know from the many products made with Salba that it will dissipate into the food where you cannot even see the seeds in many applications.  An example of this is bread when incorporated into the dough prior to baking.  Further, Happy Baby has done everything right incorporating Salba into their Happy Tots and has used the correct ratio of Salba to the rest of the meal where this would be impossible to create any of the conditions the writer described, while creating a unique value added meal for tots giving them better nutrition than one can find anywhere else with a natural organic product grown from the earth and not made in a laboratory and then added.  The Happy Tot line of products uses Premium Ground Salba so the other comments are certainly not of concern to consumers.

SAFbaby reader:  Chia works great when ground up, but it needs refrigeration or it looses its nutrition, and goes rancid.

Happy Baby Food:  All forms of chia will work when ground up.  If the consumer is doing the grinding then they should use almost immediately even if refrigerated as it will go rancid.  This concern is correct with most chia and methods of grinding, but at Salba we do not actually grind the seeds.  Instead Salba is milled in a patented proprietary cold process which eliminates the issue of rancidity giving us 18 months shelf life from date of manufacture.  When the consumer grinds themselves they must remember that this is an oily seed and due to its nature can go rancid very quickly due to a lack of sophistication in their own personal equipment.

SAfbaby reader:  I cook with Chia, but make a gel with it first. I would not let me 2 year old grandson eat foods with it for fear it would bind up in his intestine. It works great with several glasses of water.

Happy Baby Food:  Making a gel first is a fine way to use all forms of chia.  The person with concerns does not state at what percentage they are adding to their other foods which I suspect could be a cause of a lot of their pain for both adults and children and/or grandson.  At Salba we recommend that it is added from 3% to 5% total by weight of the serving dish, but never more that 7% (which is considered high).  The reason for this is that using this ratio the individual is getting much of their daily requirement of nutrients.  If the person with concern is adding chia to their food regimen at more than 5% then they should definitely cut back and I suspect many of their issues will go away.  As we have stated on our website chia is a little higher in fiber than Salba due to its lack of other nutrients compared to Salba and this indeed may be the cause of their constipation.  One can be assured there will be a different result if you are just consuming chia by itself in any form whether dry or in gel form versus mixed into a meal like a bowl of cereal, a smoothie, a vegetable casserole, etc.

SAFbaby reader:  I think you should specify that Salba are Chia seeds ( maybe I did not see that.) Also, it is important to make sure there is a warning to make parents aware their children need increased liquids when consuming Chia Seeds.

I hope by now I have established that Salba is in the same family as chia and is chia, but is definitely different and are the only two registered varieties of Salvia hispanica L. or chia in the world.  I also believe that the person below with concerns should note that after receiving clarification from the FDA, Happy Baby has changed their packaging to reflect the word chia in their ingredients statement with a * noting Salba and the registered varieties.  As far as noting to parents or making a warning that their children need increased liquids when consuming chia seeds I would take issue to several points in the statement.  First, we all as humans need to take increased liquids whenever we consume any food whether an adult, child, toddler, or infant.  This is just part of good parenting in my mind.  Second, I do believe that from the way the comments and recommendations were written below the person making this statement needs to re-evaluate how they are using chia or maybe switch to Salba and use less for better and more consistent nutritional results.  Third, since Happy Baby is using Salba correctly and since inception has not had one issue of this nature brought to them after millions of individual units have been sold and consumed that this recommendation is an overstatement of the person with concerns lack of real knowledge regarding Salba, chia or Salvia hispanica L.. and/or proper usage.

Thanks for the clarification Happy Baby!  As SAFbaby mama’s always looking for the safest alternatives, it looks to us like HappyBaby Food offers high quality nutrition based on a wonderful foundation of knowledge and understanding.  Thanks again!

If you missed our other HappyBaby™ rave reviews, please read the Puffs and Melts review here, and the Stage 1-3 reviews here.  These reviews answer many wonderful questions about packaged baby food and HappyBaby™ organic baby food.