Safe salt levels for kids – ask the experts in live webchat


London: Do you worry about what goes into your kid’s food? Do you find it difficult to know which foods are high in additives? Children are very sensitive to what they eat, particularly when it comes to salt intake. Eating a high salt diet in childhood can significantly push blood pressure up meaning children who have an excess of salt in their diet have a higher blood pressure than those who eat the right amount.

To celebrate Salt Awareness Week which takes place from the 28th of January to the 4th of February we’ve got nutritionist Jo Butten coming into the studio. She’s popping in to give you some professional guidance on how to keep your child’s salt intake down. She will also be showing you which foods have a high salt content and which foods are okay to serve up on a regular basis.

Being an expert on the effects certain foods can have on the body Jo will also be able to answer any questions you have on the long-term impact of high salt impact on you and your children. If your child’s diet is an issue that concerns you why not come along and submit a question? Knowing that you are doing everything you can for your child’s health will not only give you peace of mind but will also get you and the rest of the family into better eating practices.

Jo Butten joins us live online at on Monday 28th January at 15:00 (GMT-1) to discuss salt intake for children

If you would like to post a question in advance you can do so online here:”

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Food additives do make children behave badly – new study

London: The UK Government’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed fears that artificial colours in children’s foods can make them behave badly.

The FSA tested a range of E-numbers on two groups of children and discovered that youngsters found it more difficult to sit still and concentrate, had problems reading and became loud and impulsive. The additives tested are commonly used in the sweets, biscuits, soft drinks and ice cream consumed by millions of British children. But the FSA will not order a ban on them.

The research was carried out by scientists from the UK’s Southampton University and involved almost 300 children published in the medical journal The Lancet.

The children in the six-week Southampton trial were split into two groups – one of 153 three-year-olds and the other of 144 eight and nine-year-olds.

The additives tested were tartrazine (E102), ponceau 4R (E124), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), quinoline yellow (E104) and allura red AC (E129). and the preservative sodium benzoate, commonly found in soft drinks.

Initially, all the children were changed to diets that did not include artificial additives to set a benchmark.

They were then given daily fruit juice drinks, In some weeks, these contained a mixture of additives, in others they were pure.

The children’s behaviour was monitored by parents, teachers and independent observers.

None of the participants in the study knew what drinks the children were receiving, to ensure the results were not skewed.

In both groups, children were more hyperactive in the weeks they consumed a cocktail of additives.

One of the additive mixes, designed to mimic what a child might be expected to consume in one day, produced what the scientists believe was a ‘significant’ change in behaviour in the older children.

The other mix produced a more profound response in the younger group.

Professor Jim Stevenson, who led the research, said: “We now have clear evidence that mixtures of certain food colours and benzoate preservative can adversely influence the behaviour of children.”