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Kids’ ‘lunchbox baddies’ named and shamed

Children's foods loaded with sugar and salt

Child with a lunchbox

Prepare lunch boxes the night before school

Your child’s lunchbox could contain more than 12 teaspoons of sugar, according to a new report in Which? magazine.

Which? experts assessed the nutrition content of items targeted at children’s lunchboxes and found the healthy impression they gave was far from reality.

Lunchbox foods high in salt and sugar

Which? bought brand-leading items that fit into children’s lunchboxes and assessed their nutritional content in September 2009. Those found to be high in salt and sugar include:

  • Dairylea Lunchables Ham ‘n’ Cheese Crackers – one pack contains 1.8g of salt, more than half the daily allowance of a 4 – 6 year old.
  • Fruit Shoot Orange Juice Drink, each 200ml bottle is made up of 23g of sugar – almost 5 teaspoons.
  • Frosties Cereal Milk Bars – made up of seven different sugars, the 25g bar is almost a third (8g) sugar.
  • Munch Bunch Double Up Fromage Frais contains more than two teaspoons (12.4g) of sugar but only 2.25g of fruit purée.

Check out our food and health section for .

Food labelling

To help families to pick out healthier food, Which? wants robust rules on when products can make health and nutrition claims. This would stop manufacturers from making items that contain large amounts of sugar, fat and salt from appearing healthier than they are. Find out more about our .

Martyn Hocking, Editor, Which? magazine, says: ‘Parents should be able to pick out healthy products for their kids’ lunchboxes, but what you see isn’t always what you get. Some products give the impression of being healthy but are full of salt and sugar.

‘The best way to beat the lunchbox baddies is by checking the nutrition and ingredient information. We’d also like to see the rules on health and nutrition claims made tougher so that there’s less confusion on the supermarket shelves.’

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