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