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Who doesn't love a sandwich?

Posted by Happy Tums on

National Sandwich Week

Who doesn’t love a sandwich!? Theresa from Happy Tums went to visit Sandwich in Kent recently to see where the origin of the sandwich began and it really is an interesting place to visit and learn all about the history surrounding this humble food.

Traditionally, a sandwich started as a piece of meat tucked between two pieces of bread. Today however a sandwich is so much more! We have so many breads now available on the market, serving as a vehicle to hold together so many delicious fillings. Everything from a French baguette to a tortilla wrap, a sourdough to a naan, the sandwich appears just about everywhere you go.

But, if we are looking at sandwiches when weaning, what do we need to know? We know babies shouldn’t have more than 1g of salt a day and so we really need to consider the salt content of any sandwich we are making. To do this, there are three main things to think about and they are:

1: The salt content of the bread used to make a sandwich.

2: The butter used in the sandwich

3: The filling used in the sandwich

Salt content of bread.

We need salt to make bread as it has a role in tightening the gluten which gives bread it’s structure. If you do have a bread maker machine, it is possible to make your own salt free bread, however you should bear in mind that the gluten will be much softer and the bread may collapse.

It is worth looking at the salt content of a variety of breads available in the UK. Below is a table showing the salt contents of common breads which we see in UK shops and supermarkets today.

Type of bread Salt content per slice/ portion Salt content per 100g
Hovis soft white sliced 0.36g per slice 0.90g
Warburtons soft white sliced 0.23g per slice 0.98g
Hovis wholemeal bread sliced 0.36g per slice 0.90g
Warburtons wholemeal bread sliced 0.43g per slice 0.95g
Warburtons seeded batch loaf 0.44g per slice 0.95g
Kingsmill 50/50 bread 0.4g 0.98g
Mission Deli plain wrap 0.93g per wrap 1.53g
Mission Deli seeded wrap 0.5g per wrap 0.90g
Plain small baguette 0.9g per half a baguette 0.9g
Pataks plain chapattis 0.57g per chapattis 0.95g
Warburtons white bread rolls 0.54g per roll 0.98g
Warburtons wholemeal rolls 0.55g per roll 0.98g
New York plain bagel 0.7g per bagel 0.8g
Sharwoods plain mini naan bread 0.46g per naan 0.71g
Warburtons malted grain sourdough 0.53g per slice 0.89g

So, as you can see, there isn’t much in it in terms of salt content. Bear in mind that although there is salt in bread, our babies won’t be eating too much when weaning as they may only chomp on a corner of a piece of toast, suck on a plain naan bread or eat a quarter of the sandwich you lovingly prepared so don’t get too caught up in the salt content at this point in time. Instead, choosing fillings wisely is very important.

The butter used in the sandwich

It is always advisable to use unsalted butter when preparing foods for children. This can really help to reduce the overall salt content of the sandwich or any foods. There are many butter brands available which are unsalted so check your local supermarket.

The filling used to make a sandwich

When we are thinking about what to fill our sandwich with when weaning, again, we are primarily looking at the salt content of that filling. So, we want to avoid processed meats such as hams, salamis and bacon and stick to things like chicken, nut butters, avocado, houmous, prawns, fish, cream cheese, egg or roasted veg to name a few! It is fine to mix some of these with plain Greek yogurt which would give some moisture to the filling and means there is no need for salty mayo for our little ones!

The sandwich is an institution! We should definitely be celebrating it during National Sandwich Week and at Happy Tums, we love to come up with new fillings to “sandwich” between two pieces of bread. My favourite however will always be chicken and avocado on warm ciabatta – what is your favourite?

For more info on salt within the foods we eat, click here: https://www.happytums.co.uk/post/2017/01/11/salt-why-do-we-bang-on-about-it