As part of Salt Awareness Week, DW Fitness Clubs has found that children could be getting a third of their recommended salt allowance before they even get to school.
There is a shocking amount of sugar and salt in kid’s breakfasts. I’ve got two children aged 4-6 and our NHS recommends no more than 3g of salt per day. But a serving of 30g of the nation’s favourite cereals can contain:
- Kelloggs Krave = 12% of your child’s recommended salt intake (6% for adults)
- Rice Krispies = 12% of your child’s recommended salt intake (6% for adults)
- Cheerios = 10% of your child’s recommended salt intake (5% for adults)
- Coco Krispies = 8% of your child’s recommended salt intake (4% for adults)
Manufacturers list salt content per 30g, but that’s a very modest portion size, for a hungry child (and aren’t they all!) it would be very easy to eat two or three times that for breakfast. I am guilty of this too. It reminds me of the variety packs that you get from Kelloggs which actually contain the recommended serving per pack. It always seems quite meagre in comparison.
So, for example, if a child had a large bowl of Rice Krispies (100g) that would be 1.13g of salt, over a third of their daily allowance.
To make matters worse, parents that are mistakenly giving their children orange juice as a healthy morning drink may be surprised to know that they are doing more harm than good.
Children aged 4-6 years should only be getting 19g of a sugar a day (5 cubes)
Juices like Tropicana contains 13.4g of sugar per serving and an Innocent Orange Juice Smoothie contains 12g per serving. That’s 70% and 63% of a child’s sugar allowance. Include treats and sugary drinks, it’s obvious that our children are consuming way too much sugar.
So what are the alternatives?
“A lot of people skip breakfast because of time constraints, but this really isn’t an excuse. You can make a healthy breakfast in no time at all – you don’t have to be fancy! Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and prepare yourself one of these simple, yet highly nutritious meals.”
– Carly Yue, a qualified DW personal trainer, nutritionist and published fitness author.
Porridge made with oats, almond milk and one banana
“Be careful when you buy your porridge, as some brands will cram a lot of sugar in there. Porridge is a good breakfast option as it is renowned for releasing energy slowly, which means kids can get to lunch time without suffering from an energy lull. A great source of fibre, potassium and vitamins, bananas are always a good accompaniment to your morning oats.”
Two slices of wholemeal toast with two teaspoons of peanut butter
“So fast and easy to make, yet so effective. Peanut butter is a good source of “healthy fats”, as well as protein and Vitamin E among other nutrients, a liberal spreading of peanut butter can set you up for the day. Great for a busy school run.”
Fat-free Greek yoghurt, a handful of berries and almonds.
“Greek yoghurt is widely labelled as a “superfood”, such are the vast nutritional benefits that it offers. A good source of potassium, protein, calcium and essential vitamins, this food forms an ideal base for a healthy breakfast for growing kids.”
For more posts like Shocking Amount of Sugar and Salt in Kid’s Breakfasts check out my other fitness posts