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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Annabel Karmel's ready meals for toddlers are salty and sugary and therefore unsuitable for toddlers

BBC Panorama's What's Really in Our Kids' Food? programme this week revealed that Annabel Karmel's ready meals for toddlers are salty and sugary and that makes them unsuitable for toddlers. See What's Really in Our Kids' Food? on the iPlayer Salty food makes toddlers fat and sugar harms their teeth.

Toddlers' meals should not contain added salt. They need to be protected from salt. When children become fat it is essentially because they are eating salty food. Children are especially vulnerable to salt because of their small size and small blood volume, and because their blood vessels are weaker than those of adults. Salt, and the water it attracts to it, can more easily distend weak blood vessels than fully mature ones. The resulting increase in blood volume and other fluid retention results in weight gain, as well as higher blood pressure and many other undesirable consequences. The smaller the child, the less salt they should have - and a baby, of course, should have no salt at all. - Babies can die if they are fed salty food.

Annabel Karmel sounded foolish to me. Her ready meals accustom the toddlers to salty, over-sweetened food - tastes that will damage their lifetime's health. Even as she considered removing sugar, she was talking about replacing it with sweet fruit juice, seemingly determined that children's food, even the savoury food, must be sweet! And she thinks unsalted food should not be provided for them because it tastes bland. - Mrs Karmel, 'bland' is good for children. They should not be encouraged to develop a taste for salty food.

Children and Obesity

Sodium in foods

Read my Mensa article on Obesity and the Salt Connection