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Is Your Child Getting too Much Salt?

Most kids get too much salt, but you can help set them on a healthier path from the start by learning what the highest sodium foods kids are eating.

  • About 90% of kids eat too much sodium.
  • Kids’ preferences for salt-tasting foods are shaped early in life.
  • Parents and caregivers can help lower sodium by influencing how foods are produced, purchased, prepared, and served.

Foods that add the most sodium to the diet, ages 6-18:

  1. Bread and rolls. Try a half serving in a setting or less servings of bread per day.
  2. Pizza. Try swapping out the pepperoni for veggies.
  3. Sandwiches. Deli meat is very high in sodium. Try half a sandwich with a side salad.
  4. Cold cuts and cured meats. Reduce the meats in your sandwich and add crunchy veggies, creamy avocado, or spicy mustard.
  5. Soup. Find low sodium versions of soup and refrain from adding salt to your soup.
  6. Burritos and tacos. Increase the amount of veggies and decrease the amount of meat.

The sodium kids eat comes from every meal and snack:

  • 14% at breakfast
  • 31% at lunch
  • 39% at dinner
  • 16% at snacktime

Most of the sodium kids eat is already in the foods they get from grocery stores, restaurants, school cafeterias – and NOT from the salt shaker.

Source: American Heart Association