A ham and cheese bread roll, a packet of Shultz Mini Pretzels, and a packet of Select Little Families Biscuits. This is the kind of lunch box many parents may pack for their kids every school day. So what’s the problem? Salt – and lots of it.

The amount of salt in this lunch box exceeds the recommended maximum daily limit for a five- to six-year-old. It’s not just the littlies you need to consider. This lunch box contains more than 90 percent of an 11- to 13-year-old’s daily limit.

Salt is sodium chloride, and it’s the sodium that can be bad for you (see Why slash the salt?). Bread, processed meats, processed grain products (such as crackers and cereals) and takeaways are the biggest contributors to kids’ sodium intake.

Many lunch box favourites also pack a hefty sodium punch. Worryingly, it’s often the foods manufacturers market as lunch box fillers in convenient single-serve packets covered with cartoon characters and fun giveaways. But with a few switches you can slash the salt and still have food your kids will actually eat.