Tuesday 9 March 2010

Paw Ridge "No Lumps" Porridge

When I was asked to test Quakers new child-friendly porridge, I was expecting the usual sugar-laden, excrutiatingly sweet breakfast offering. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. It's totally natural and contains just "100% Quaker Finely Rolled Wholegrain Oats". (We were testing the Original variety - the Honey flavoured one does contain sugar and natural flavouring along with 87.7% oats and is much sweeter.)

So why is it kid-friendly ? "Here on The Ridge we know some of your little humans just don’t like lumps. Neither do we. That’s why we decided to start milling our oats more finely to make deliciously smooth porridge. We really smash them up to make them super fine so there’s never any grumbling about bumpy bits. Packed with the natural goodness of oats and without any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, Paw Ridge can help provide a wholesome start to the day." Sounds as healthy as a Jamie Oliver school dinner.

Preparation wise, it really couldn't be easier. You rip open one individual sachet - yes, you can rip it open, unlike some porridge sachets that are impossible to open without rooting around bleary-eyed in the kitchen for the scissors ! - empty it into a bowl, use the sachet to measure out the right quantity of milk (genius idea - no extra washing up !), give it a stir, zap it in the microwave for 90 seconds and it's ready. I've been testing and reviewing other porridges recently (Dorset Cereals and Rude Health) but to get the consistency I want, I always have to microwave them for about 5 minutes so it was great to get the same result in just 90 seconds. It might not sound much of a difference but in the early morning rush, every second counts (as Paul Daniels used to say !).

So does it pass the taste test ? Well, I actually like my porridge lumpy so I used half a sachet of milk to give it the almost "dry" consistency (like rice pudding) that I like and ate it with a sprinkling of Demerera sugar on the top for a little bit of crunch. It was nice and tasted as good as the other brands of porridge that I have tried, although to get the real wow factor I'd have to add some extras like dried fruit or banana. I followed the suggested quantity of milk (1 sachet full, which gives you about a 2 to 1 ratio of milk to porridge, as the sachet is only about half full of porridge). This gives a very milky, semi-liquid porridge so be prepared to play around with the proportions to get the exact consistency you like. Sophie ate about half of her bowlful (but she's off sick with shingles and feeling poorly) and said she liked it, especially the lovely warm feeling in her tummy when she'd finished eating. It's certainly smoother than the other porridges I've tried so if your kids hate the lumps, they'll like it much better.

I love the kid-friendly packaging. Sophie had great fun reading the "extraordinary facts" on the packs and told me that I had to tell you in this review that she found it amazing that an ostrich's brain is smaller than its eyes ! The cartoon animal-bedecked box will go down well with young kids, but it seems a bit babyish for the intended 8-12 target audience. I'd have said 8 or 9 would be the upper age range to be attracted to this style of packaging. Similarly, for young kids up to the age of about 8 or 9, there's a very cute website full of fun and educational games (Sophie loves it but I can see older kids finding it too babyish). I love the name too - even though I didn't realise until I said it out loud that Paw Ridge sounded like Porridge - I know, just call me dense !

Even if, as an adult (especially one who likes the lumps in porridge !), I have to admit that I still favour the luxury gourmet porridges with added fruit and toppings that I've been sampling lately, I am impressed with the Paw Ridge as a product for kids and think it's a great alternative to some of the sugar and additive-packed cereals on the market.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £1.99 for a box of 8 sachets (but if you're quick, you can grab some for £1 a box at Poundland at the moment !)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good, I saw this product but never before tasted, Im going to listen to you and Im going to give them a try.


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