Great, another worrying food report says we’re feeding our children too much salt – and it’s not coming from crisps or snacks.

The only way of avoiding this overload is to prepare each meal from scratch using natural products. How practical is that for many families – and how many children would tolerate it without meal times becoming a battleground?

This report claims that much of our children’s salt intake comes from cereals, bread and dairy products. So by the time our offspring have had breakfast, they’ve consumed almost half of their daily salt allowance of 6g.

I find this kind of message difficult to deal with as it highlights a major problem in our society – the hidden ingredients in processed foods.

My family has been aware of the risks associated with too much salt for many years. My dad had high blood pressure and we cut salt out of our diet overnight. Suddenly, much of our food tasted really bland.

Yet the truth was, we were probably still eating too much salt and didn’t know it. My mum, who didn’t work, always prepared a fresh tea every day in the 1970s but even then we had bread, breakfast cereals and processed dairy products.

The onus is on the food industry to get better and smarter. Over decades we’ve been lulled into buying convenience foods, and many companies have got very rich because of it. I have no problem with that – but we are now paying the health price.

So come on food industry – you’ve made life easier, now help us make it healthier.

The report was published in Hypertension, a publication run by the American Heart Association. The data was gathered from food diaries kept by 350 children from London over a 24-hour period.

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