The toddler snack that contains more salt than a bag of CRISPS: Shocking study reveals the worrying amounts of …

Health warriors have waged war on toddler snacks that contain nearly as much or more salt per 100g than a packet of crisps.

A new study has revealed the shocking amounts of salt in some ‘healthy’ children’s treats, including some snacks by top toddler food brands such as Kiddylicious and Little Dish.

One snack was even found to contain more salt per 100g than a packet of Ready Salted Walkers crisps.

Now TV presenter Cherry Healey has helped launch a new campaign to help uncover the secret salt content in many children’s treats and call on brands to ensure there is no added sodium in their products. 

Kiddylicious's Veggie Straws contain 1.5g of salt per 100g

Kiddylicious's Veggie Straws contain 1.5g of salt per 100g

The children's treats contain more salt than a packet of Ready Salted Walkers crisps

The children's treats contain more salt than a packet of Ready Salted Walkers crisps

Kiddylicious’s Veggie Straws contain 1.5g of salt per 100g, which is more than a packet of Ready Salted Walkers crisps (right). Up to the age of three, children should only have 2g of salt a day

Cherry, who is working with Organix baby food on the campaign, told FEMAIL: ‘Being a parent is such a tricky juggling act. Although we want to provide the best for our kids, it isn’t always that easy. 

‘It’s really frustrating when you’ve been attracted to a brand which looks healthy and appears to have all the right credentials, feed it to your kids and you realise it has a similar amount of added salt to a pack of adult crisps.

‘I want to help other parents find food they can trust by looking for snacks with: fewer ingredients, simple ingredients, no added unnecessary ingredients and an organic logo.’

Up to a year, babies should have no more than 1g of salt a day, or 0.4g of sodium. Between the ages of one and three, toddlers can have up to 2g a day – which is less than half a teaspoon. 

How much salt is in popular children’s snacks?

THE BAD 

Kiddylicious Cheesy Straws (12g)

Kiddylicious's Cheesy Straws contain 0.98g of salt per 100g

Kiddylicious's Cheesy Straws contain 0.98g of salt per 100g

Little Dish's Original Chickpea Pop Pops contain 1.16g of salt per 100g. Children between one and three should only have 2g of salt a day at most

Little Dish's Original Chickpea Pop Pops contain 1.16g of salt per 100g. Children between one and three should only have 2g of salt a day at most

Kiddylicious’s Cheesy Straws contain 0.98g of salt per 100g. Little Dish’s Original Chickpea Pop Pops contain 1.16g of salt per 100g. Children between one and three should only have 2g of salt a day at most

Salt per 100g: 0.98g

Percentage of RDA for 0-12 months:  12%

Salt per bag: 0.12g

Percentage of RDA for 1-3 years old: 6% 

Little Dish Original Pop Pops (17g)

Salt per 100g: 1.16g

Percentage of RDA for 0-12 months:  20% (however Little Dish states that the product is only suitable for children aged one or older)

Salt per bag: 0.2g

Percentage of RDA for 1-3 years old: 10% 

Kiddylicious Veggie Straws (12g)

Salt per 100g: 1.5g

Percentage of RDA for 0-12 months:  20%

Salt per bag: 0.2g

Percentage of RDA for 1-3 years old: 10% 

THE GOOD

Asda Little Angels Organic Turtle Puffs Sweet Potato and Herb Flavoured (15g)

Asda's Little Angels Turtle Puffs contain no added salt and only have 0.02g of naturally occurring salt per bag

Asda's Little Angels Turtle Puffs contain no added salt and only have 0.02g of naturally occurring salt per bag

Asda’s Little Angels Turtle Puffs contain no added salt and only have 0.02g of naturally occurring salt per bag

Salt per 100g: 0.14g

Percentage of RDA for 0-12 months:  2%

Salt per bag: 0.02g

Percentage of RDA for 1-3 years old: 1% 

Organix Goodies Carrot Stix (15g)

Salt per 100g: 0.1g

Percentage of RDA for 0-12 months:  2%

Salt per bag: 0.02g

Percentage of RDA for 1-3 years old: 1% 

FOR COMPARISON

Walkers Ready Salted Crisps (25g)

Salt per 100g: 1.4g

Percentage of RDA for 0-12 months:  46%

Salt per bag: 0.35g

Percentage of RDA for 1-3 years old: 23% 

This figure includes salt that is naturally present in foods such as bread and cheese, and not just salt which is added to food.

Cherry is urging manufacturers to avoid adding salt to products meant for children aged three and under.

Babies and toddlers need some salt in their diets to keep nerves, cells and muscles healthy.

A small amount of sodium is naturally present in breast milk and a similar amount is also present in baby formula.

Organix Carrot Stix contain just 0.02g of salt per bag, as they have  no added salt

Organix Carrot Stix contain just 0.02g of salt per bag, as they have  no added salt

Organix Carrot Stix contain just 0.02g of salt per bag, as they have  no added salt

But children, especially under the age of 12 months, only need a tiny amount of salt in their diets, with breast milk providing enough to sustain them. 

If toddlers and babies eat too much salt, it can damage their immature kidneys. 

It can also give them a preference for salty foods, which can lead to health problems in adulthood such as high blood pressure and an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Dr Frankie Phillips, nutrition advisor to Organix, said: ‘Children need a diet low in salt. Salty snacks aimed for adults are completely unsuitable for little ones because of the high sodium content, so too are baby finger foods and toddler snacks that contain comparable levels of salt.

‘Sodium is naturally present in some foods but adding salt to food provides far higher levels of sodium than a toddler needs, so there’s no nutritional benefit and it can be harmful. 

‘Over time, if a baby or toddler is given salty foods they develop a preference for salty tastes and this can lead to eating too much salt, with consequences even for their adult health. 

‘There’s no nutritional need to add salt to convenience finger foods and snacks, and neither is it necessary for flavour when herbs, spices and tasty ingredients can be used to give flavour.’ 

A spokesman for Kiddylicious says that the salt content in Veggie Straws has recently been reduced by 40 per cent – despite supermarkets still listing the old information. 

It says its Veggie Straws now contain 0.9g of salt per 100g and just 0.1g in a 12g bag.

She said: ‘For both of our straw products, salt is added at a minimal level to ensure the straw stick is suitably puffed to make it appropriate for a young child. If no salt were added, our straws would be too hard and a potential choking hazard which is clearly unacceptable. Salt is added at a minute amount as a functional ingredient.’ 

A spokesman for Little Dish said: ‘Unlike crisps, our Pop Pops are air-popped and we add a small amount of salt which is necessary for that process, equivalent to 10 per cent of a 1 – 3 year old’s recommended maximum daily intake. 

‘They also come with a handy ‘Zoo Crew’ sticker which enables parents to reseal the bag and offer them over a number of servings, if preferred.

‘Chickpea Pop Pops are a healthier savoury snack, approved by nutritionist and mum Lucy Jones to ensure they provide nutritional benefits for toddlers. Because of their chickpea content, a 17g bag provides a source of protein and is high in fibre; nutrients which help foods release their energy more slowly. Importantly, they – and all the meals and snacks in the Little Dish range – contain 100 per cent natural ingredients and are free from artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.’ 

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