Surprising results from our investigation into salty lunch box snacks
Surprising results from our investigation into salty lunch box snacks

19 dangerously salty snacks in your kid’s lunch box

EXCLUSIVE: In a bizarre twist, school lunch box sweet treats have been exposed as containing record levels of salt.

They contain so much salt that a child would exceed their entire sodium intake for the day by eating a single choc chip muffin.

Obesity campaigners LiveLighter checked the salt content of 20 popular lunch box snacks and have revealed the top 10 saltiest lunch box snacks on the market.

It seems counterintuitive but the worst of the salty offenders actually turned out to be a sweet treat - Woolworths Select Double Choc Chip muffin with 607 mg of sodium per serve.

This exceeds the daily salt intake recommended for children aged 4-8 - and is two thirds of the daily salt intake of a child aged 9-13.

Coles banana bread slice with 393mg of sodium per serve had the second highest salt content among the lunch box snacks tested.

Sweet school lunch treats have been revealed to have high levels of salt. Picture: Thinkstock
Sweet school lunch treats have been revealed to have high levels of salt. Picture: Thinkstock

LiveLighter Campaign Manager Alison McAleese said the salt in the sweet treats was high because they contained two different types of baking soda and they were also large portion sizes.

To make matters worse the muffins were also packed with sugar and saturated fat making them even more unhealthy, she said.

The next worst offenders were 'fake cheese' flavoured crisps, crackers and dippers with the highest sodium content per 100g among all the products.

LiveLighter is urging parents to steer clear of Cheezels (1200mg of sodium per 100g), Woolworths Crispbread & Cheese Cheddar Dip (1100mg sodium per 100g) and Coles Cheese Spread & Crispbread Snacks (1100mg sodium per 100g).

 

Some snacks have more than the recommended daily salt intake for the entire day. Picture: Thinkstock
Some snacks have more than the recommended daily salt intake for the entire day. Picture: Thinkstock

Each of these products contain nearly a third of the recommended daily sodium intake for 9-13 year-olds and it was only the small pack sizes (25g) that meant they were not as bad as the muffins and banana bread.

Foods with healthy salt levels contain less than 120mg of sodium per 100g and some of cheesy snacks had 10 times that level, the survey found.

"Some of these snacks serve up nearly half the recommended sodium intake a child should eat in one day, not to mention the other processed ingredients," Ms McAleese said.

"This much salt in a child's diet puts them at risk of high blood pressure and can lead to chronic diseases in the long run, she said.

Children learn their taste preferences at a young age and would develop lifelong preferences for salty food if they were fed high salt options as youngsters, she said.

Preparing a healthy lunch box was easy if you included yoghurt, fruit or dips with crackers or veggie sticks to for healthy snacks, she said.

The sodium warnings come as an Australian father has created a new app to help parents decipher the current food labelling system after the little used health star ratings system was heavily criticised.

 

One Australian father has created an app to help parents decipher the food labelling system.
One Australian father has created an app to help parents decipher the food labelling system.

 

Tim MacDonald's Init app combines data from the Nutri-Score system selected by the French government to rate healthy foods with data from the Nova score system that rates whether a food is minimally processed or ultraprocessed.

Mr MacDonald, a former journalist who has no nutrition training, said the app was based on peer reviewed internationally recognised rating systems and also had information on food additives and whether food was organic.

The free app covers over 800,000 products and provides a four stage colour-coded rating system of 'bad', 'mediocre', 'good' and 'excellent' independently based on global nutrition guidelines.

 

 

HOW MUCH SALT IS IN YOUR LUNCHBOX?

 

 

 

Woolworths Double Choc Chip Muffin – 4 pack
Woolworths Double Choc Chip Muffin – 4 pack

 

 

Product: Woolworths Select Double Choc Chip Muffin 4pk

Serving size (g): 105g (1 muffin)

Product Size (g): 420g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 607

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 578

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 101%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 76%

 

 

Coles Banana Bread single slice
Coles Banana Bread single slice

 

Product: Coles Banana Bread Slice

Serving size (g): 100g

Product Size (g): 100g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 393

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 393

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 65.50%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 50%

 

 

 

Coles – Double Chocolate Muffins
Coles – Double Chocolate Muffins

 

Product: Coles Double Chocolate Muffins 4 Pack

Serving size (g): 120g

Product Size (g): 480g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 365

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 304

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 60%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 46%

 

Woolworths Banana Bread, single slice.
Woolworths Banana Bread, single slice.

 

Product: Woolworths Banana Bread Slice

Serving size (g): 100g

Product Size (g): 100g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 299

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 299

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 49%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 37%

 

 

6 pack of Cheezels
6 pack of Cheezels

 

Product: Cheezels Multipack 6pk

Serving size (g): 19g

Product Size (g): 114g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 288

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 1200

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 48%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 36%

 

 

Woolworths, 12 pack Cheddar Cheese Snack on the go
Woolworths, 12 pack Cheddar Cheese Snack on the go

 

Product: Woolworths Crispbread & Cheese Cheddar Dip 12 pack

Serving size (g): 25g

Product Size (g): 300g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 275

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 1100

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 45%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 34%

 

 

Coles Cheddar Cheese Snackpacks
Coles Cheddar Cheese Snackpacks

Product: Coles Cheese Spread & Crispbread Snacks 12 Pack

Serving size (g): 25g

Product Size (g): 300g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 275

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 1100

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 45%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 34%

 

 

The Laughing Cow – Cheez Dippers
The Laughing Cow – Cheez Dippers

 

Product: The Laughing Cow Creamy Cheese Dip And Crunchy Breadsticks 4 pack

Serving size (g): 35g

Product Size (g): 140g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 230

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 690

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 38%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 28%

 

 

Woolworths – Mini Choc Chip Muffins
Woolworths – Mini Choc Chip Muffins

 

Product: Woolworths Mini Choc Chip Muffin 8 pack

Serving size (g): 40g (1 muffin)

Product Size (g): 320g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 206

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 515

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 34%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 25%

 

 

Red Rock Deli – Sweet Chilli and Sour Cream, 5 Pack
Red Rock Deli – Sweet Chilli and Sour Cream, 5 Pack

 

Product: Red Rock Deli Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream 5 pack

Serving size (g): 28g

Product Size (g): 165g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 192

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 687

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 32%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 24%

 

 

Uncle Tobys LeSnak Tasty Cheese Dip and Crackers
Uncle Tobys LeSnak Tasty Cheese Dip and Crackers

 

Product: Uncle Tobys Le Snak Tasty Cheese Dip & Crackers 6 pack

Serving size (g): 22g

Product Size (g): 132g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 195

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 875

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 32.50%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 20%

 

 

Twisties, 6 pack, cheese flavoured
Twisties, 6 pack, cheese flavoured

 

Product: Twisties - cheese flavour, 6 pack

Serving size (g): 19g

Product Size (g): 114g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 160

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 842

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 26%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 20%

 

 

Smith's 6 Pack – Salt and Vinegar chips
Smith's 6 Pack – Salt and Vinegar chips

 

Product: Smith's Chips Multipack Salt & Vinegar 6 pack

Serving size (g): 19g

Product Size (g): 114g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 151

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 795

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 25%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 18%

 

 

Parker's Original Pretzel Snacks
Parker's Original Pretzel Snacks

 

Product: Parker's Multi Pack Pretzels Lightly Salted 6 pack

Serving size (g): 25g

Product Size (g): 150g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 140

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 559

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 23%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 17.50%

 

 

Arnott's Mini Jatz, 8 pack.
Arnott's Mini Jatz, 8 pack.

 

Product: Arnotts Jatz Mini Multipack

Serving size (g): 23g

Product Size (g): 184g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 138

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 600

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 23%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 17%

 

 

French Fries – Original Chips, 6 Pack
French Fries – Original Chips, 6 Pack

 

Product: French Fries Multipack Original 6 pack

Serving size (g): 18.5g

Product Size (g): 111g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 133

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 717

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 22%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 16%

 

 

Healtheries kidscare Potato Stix
Healtheries kidscare Potato Stix

 

Product: Potato Chips Stix - Healtheries Kidscare Chicken 8pk

Serving size (g): 20g

Product Size (g): 160g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 131

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 656

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 22%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 16%

 

Coles – Chocolate Chip, Mini Muffins
Coles – Chocolate Chip, Mini Muffins

 

Product: Coles Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins 9 Pack

Serving size (g): 35g

Product Size (g): 315g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 118

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 336

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 19.60%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 15%

 

 

Arnott's 8 pack of Chicken Crimpy Shapes
Arnott's 8 pack of Chicken Crimpy Shapes

 

Product: Arnott's Shapes Mini Chicken Crimpy 8 pack

Serving size (g): 25g

Product Size (g): 200g

Sodium content per serve (mg): 216

Sodium content per 100g (mg): 666

% of sodium recommendation per serve (4-8 y.o): 36%

% of sodium recommendation per serve (9-13 y.o): 2%

 



Gloves up: Warwick fights for farmers

premium_icon Gloves up: Warwick fights for farmers

FROM best mates to brothers, see who fought it out in the ring tonight at Father...

Australia's best news deal:  Just $1 for the first 28 days

premium_icon Australia's best news deal: Just $1 for the first 28 days

Get the latest local news first from just $1 for the first 28 days

New craft creations at the Killarney Show

premium_icon New craft creations at the Killarney Show

A cancelled section of the show paved the way for a new crafty category.