The salt content of common lunchbox snacks has been found to be up to 10 times higher than what is considered healthy for a child.
Banana bread, chocolate muffins, cheese snacks and chips were among the items found by obesity campaigner LiveLighter to have sodium levels that easily exceeded a child's daily intake.
The group outlined the 10 worst lunchbox snacks and recommended a few of the better examples to choose from.
The amount of salt inside common lunchbox snacks has been found to be up to ten times higher than what is considered healthy for a child
What is the maximum amount of salt for a child per day?
A child aged four to eight should not have more than 600mg.
While a child aged nine to 13 can have up to 800mg.
The worst offender was Woolworths Select Double Choc Chip muffin with 607 mg of sodium per serve, which by itself exceeded the daily intake of a child aged between four and eight.
Ms McAleese added that the amount of sugar and saturated fats in sweet items was also concerning but made them 'easier to spot' for parents looking for better options.
Items such as Coles branded banana bread contained 393mg of sodium per serve with the Woolworths branded version coming in slightly lower at 299mg
Snacks with the highest salt concentration per serving
- Woolworths Select Double Choc Chip Muffin four pack - 607mg
- Coles Banana Bread Slice - 393
- Coles Double Chocolate Muffins four pack - 365mg
- Woolworths Banana Bread Slice - 299mg
- Cheezels Multipack six pack - 288mg
- Woolworths Crispbread & Cheese Cheddar Dip 12 pack - 275mg
- Coles Cheese Spread & Crispbread Snacks 12 pack - 275mg
- Uncle Tobys Le Snak Tasty Cheese Dip & Crackers six pack - 195mg
- Twisties – cheese flavour, six pack - 160mg
- Smith's Chips Multipack Salt & Vinegar six pack - 151mg
The Coles branded banana bread came in second and contained 393mg of sodium per serve with the Woolworths version coming in fourth with a slightly lower 299mg.
Coles own branded version of the choc chip muffins was the third worst and contained almost half of the Woolworths product which was still an alarming 365mg of sodium.
Cheese flavoured crisps, crackers and dippers are a common lunch box item and ranked lower when considered in terms of serving size but were found to have the highest amount of sodium per 100 grams.
Woolworths Crispbread & Cheese Cheddar Dip contained 1100mg of sodium per 100 grams with Uncle Toby's LeSnak found to have slightly less at 875.
LiveLighter also warned against Cheezles which packed even more salt in at 1200mg per 100 grams.
Woolworths Crispbread & Cheese Cheddar Dip contained 1100mg of sodium per 100 grams with Uncle Toby's LeSnak found to have slightly less at 875
Ms McAleese said a healthy item should have no more than 120 mg of sodium per 100 grams but many items exceeded that by up to 10 times.
The items were packaged into 25 gram serving sizes but they were still half the daily intake of a child aged between four and eight years old.
Ms McAleese warned children could go on to develop bad eating habits as adults if they gained a taste for salt when they were young.
'We are the most worried about the long term taste preferences that children develop when exposed to salty foods,' she said.
LiveLighter also warned against Cheezles which packed even more salt in at 1200mg per 100 grams
'The more they are given them the more likely the are to eat them and develop cancer, heart disease and diabetes,' she said.
Ms AcAleese said there are still plenty of foods to choose from that are both convenient and healthy for children to eat.
'Just grab a quick piece of fruit, yoghurt is another good option and you can find ones with a low salt content,' she said.
She is recommended just packing an extra sandwich to make sure they stay full with nutritional food.