02.Daily dose of salt
A salty start to the day
If you think breakfast
cereals are an odd
source of salt, you
may be surprised
to learn Kellogg’s Crispix Honey
Cereal, Coles Rice Puffs, Woolworths
Homebrand Rice Pops and Aldi
Goldenvale Breakfast Bubbles are all
high in sodium. A further 22 of the
36 cereals we looked at have moderate
sodium levels, including a few Kellogg’s
favourites – Rice Bubbles, Coco Pops
and Froot Loops. For a detailed
analysis of children’s cereals see our children's cereals review.
Salt in snacks
Of the 64 savoury snacks
we looked at:
- 1 product (Heinz Little
Kids Tomato Mini Corn Cakes)
has low sodium
of snacks are high in sodium.
products, such as Rice Wheels
and Wholegrain Corn Tubes
in chicken and nacho flavours
from Healtheries Kidscare, are
high in sodium yet marketed as
healthy. Woolworths Mini Macro
Organic Cheese Corn Chips deserve a mention for their saltiness, despite
advertising that focuses on otherwise
“healthy” aspects of the product, such as
the use of organic corn and no artificial
colours, flavours or preservatives.
Cheese and crackers
Pre-packaged cheese dips and crackers,
which are targeted at kids’ lunchboxes,
are some of the worst offenders in the
category. Kraft Cheese Snackabouts in
original and chicken flavours, and the
Coles French onion snack packs, have
more than 1200mg of sodium per 100g
(that’s double what we consider to be
high). Woolworths Homebrand Cheese
Dip and Crispbread, Kraft Cheesybite
Snackabouts and Uncle Tobys Le Snak
all have more than 1000mg/100g.
Of the nine cheese snacks we looked
- 9 were high in salt
- 4 have more than double the sodium of regular Bega cheddar cheese.
The Kraft products
– Cheestiks, Cheestick Wedges, Pods
Girlz and Pods Bots – were the worst
performers in this category.
Biscuits and lunchbox bars
Is it really
necessary for salt to creep into sweet snacks aimed at children? In the
category of biscuits and sweet lunchbox
- 4 products (Lolly Gobble Bliss
Bombs caramel popcorn, Mini Oreo biscuits, and Mr Munchies My Little
Pony and Scooby Doo cookies) have more sodium per 100g than
Parkers Pretzels, which are studded
with salt crystals.
- 57 of 70 products
we chose have moderate salt levels.
While not directly aimed at
children, spreads often end up on
their sandwiches. We checked the
salt levels in these spreads and found
some big differences between similar
products. Sanitarium Natural Peanut
Butter has 8mg/100g sodium compared
with the Kraft crunchy option, which
has more than 80 times this amount at
647mg/100g, while Woolworths Choc
Hazelnut Spread has three times more
sodium per 100g than Nutella.
Meanwhile, Vegemite is about three
times saltier than sea water.
An increasing number of pre-prepared
kids’ dinners are appearing on
supermarket shelves. Of the 62
products we reviewed:
- 3 are high in sodium
- 39 have moderate
- 20 are low in sodium.
Woolworths Yummy Meals
Spaghetti with Cannon Balls has
821mg of sodium per serve, just shy
of the upper daily intake limit for a three year old, and more than half
the upper daily recommendation for
children four to eight years old. Latina
Kids Cheese & Vegetable Mini Ravioli
has moderate sodium levels, but
the Latina sauce it’s recommended that you serve with it contains more
than 1000mg sodium
per serve. A serve of
Hormels Kid’s Kitchen
Spaghetti & Mini
Meatballs in Tomato
Sauce provides a four-to-eight-year-old with
almost all their daily upper
level of salt intake.
Enjoying a few backyard barbecue
favourites can also lead children to
indulge in more salt than their daily
recommended upper limit in just one
meal. A serve of Woolworths Mini Macro
Organic Beef Mini Sausages, two slices of
white bread and a dash of tomato sauce
comes in at 1134mg sodium.
Maggi 2 Minute Noodles, a popular
after-school snack or dinner option, also
happens to be one of the worst offenders.
A packet of the classic chicken flavour
provides 1254mg, more than an eight year
old’s recommended daily intake.
Too much salt in one day?