Always seek advice from your Dietitian or Nutritionist.
Many of us consume more salt than we need.
Salt (sodium) is essential for good health, but the amount we need is very small and is naturally present in fresh foods.
Our kidneys control the level of salt in our blood. Eating too much salt can cause the kidneys to work harder and can increase blood pressure, increase thirst and lead to excess fluid.
Your child is required to follow a Reduced Salt Diet. Salt is naturally present in small amounts in fresh foods.
Excess sale comes from salt added in food processing and food preparation. You may be surprised that a large proportion of salt consumed in a child’s diet comes from processed breads and cereals.
To reduce salt intake:
* Always think ‘Fresh is Best’ when deciding what foods to buy
* Don’t add salt to food during cooking or at the dinner table
* Use herbs and spices in cooking instead of salt
* Avoid very salty food
* Read food labels – choose ‘reduced salt’ or ‘no added salt’ products
Read food labels:
* Look in the 100g/serve column
* Choose foods that contain less than 350mg and if possible less than 120mg of Sodium or Na
Choose lower salt foods
|BREAKFAST LOW IN SALT|
|CerealsWeet-bix, Mini-Wheats, porridge, oats, Just Right, muesli, Honey-Wheats, Milo Cereal, Uncle Toby’s Oat Crisps, Freedom Foods Corn Flakes (check the labels to find other low salt cereals in the supermarket)|
|LUNCHES LOW IN SALT|
|Bread to use:* Most flat Lebanese breads are low in salt, except for certain brands e.g. Baazar* Mountain Bread – oat, wheat and rice wraps* Low salt bread such as Potts VitAmeal bread and Moores low salt wholemeal bread (available in supermarkets)
* Make your own bread with Lowen Bread Improver instead of salt (available in supermarkets)
* Sunrise thick rice cakes or Corn Thins instead of bread
|Sandwich fillings:* Fresh meats – choose sliced roast chicken, lamb, beef or turkey breast* Egg* Tuna/salmon in oil or spring water
* ‘No added salt’ baked beans
* Use Vegemite sparingly
* Jam or honey
* ‘No added salt’ peanut butter
* Low salt cheeses such as Ricotta, Swiss, cream cheese and reduced salt cheddar e.g. Nimbin
|SNACKS FOR HOME AND THE LUNCH BOX LOW IN SALT|
|* Milkshakes – flavoured or with fresh fruit* Yoghurt – fruit or plain* Muffins – savoury with tomato and herbs* English muffins with jam or honey
* Home-made pizza sub – on a bread roll, use more tomato than cheese
* Boiled egg
* Nuts with no added salt (for children over 5 years of age)
* Frozen fruit iceblocks
* Fruit – fresh, dried or tinned
* Fruit bars
* 2 minute noodles – use low salt cheese instead of the flavour sachet
* Home-made popcorn
|* Cereal bars* Pikelets* Salad vegetables to crunch on – celery, carrot, cucumber and baby tomato* Low-salt crackers – Vita-Weet, Cruskit, Ryvita rice-cakes, cornthins, crisp breads, cracker breads, rice crackers, Captains Water Crackers
* Plain sweet biscuits -Wagon Wheels Wafer biscuits, Coles Anzac Biscuits, Tim Tams, Arnott’s Choc Creamy, Snack Right, Full’o’Fruit, Milk Coffee, Ginger Nut, Scallywags and Milk Arrowroot
* Drinks – water and milk are the best drinks for kids.
|DINNERS LOW IN SALT|
|Flavouring:Use pepper, onion, herbs and spices, lemon juice, basil, oregano, thyme, chili, curry powder.Sauces:* Use ‘no added salt’ tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, tomato paste and canned tomatoes, mint sauce, mustards, corn relish
* Choose reduced salt soy sauce (ensuring the amount used is minimised, as this product still contains a lot of salt)
* Choose reduced salt stock cubes
* Choose reduced salt oyster and fish sauce when possible
|Cook:* Fresh meat, chicken and fish* Fresh or frozen vegetables* ‘No added salt’ canned vegetables
* Home-made soup (with low salt stock)
* Pasta: avoid pasta in packets with flavouring and bottled sauces. Use ‘no added salt’ tinned tomatoes and tomato paste
* Rice: avoid rice in packets with flavouring
* Nachos with red kidney beans, fresh vegetables mince, Freedom Foods corn chips
|Low salt take-away:* Hamburgers from the take-away shop* Fish and chips – deep fried or grilled (ensure you ask for no salt)* BBQ chicken with cob of corn
* Wraps with chicken breast or roast beef and salad
* Doner Kebabs – ask for extra salad
* Remember: pies, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets and shop pizzas are all high in salt
|Make your own pizzas:* Choose reduced salt cheese* Top with lots of fresh vegetables like tomato, mushroom and capsicum* Add flavour with herbs like oregano, basil and pepper
* Try roasted or char-grilled vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini and capsicum
Limit these take-away foods to once per week as these foods still contain large amounts of salt and are usually high in fat.
Always ask for “no salt, please!”
For further information, contact your Dietitian or Nutritionist.
This information is courtesy of the Queensland Dietitians and Nutritionists, Queensland Health – click here for more details.