Being concerned about sodium is just as important for kids as it is for adults. Recent surveys show that most British Columbians, including children, are eating too much sodium. Healthy children need only 1000 to 1500 mg of sodium per day.
Just like adults, kids can develop a taste and preference for salty foods high in sodium. Over time and as they enter adulthood this may lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease.
Many of the processed snack foods on the market, popular with kids and convenient for parents, are often loaded with sodium. Snack foods commonly high in sodium include:
- salted pretzels
- instant noodles
- beef jerky and pepperoni sticks
- nachos and cheese sauce
- packaged lunch kits
- spreadable cheese and cracker kits
Low in Sodium is 140 mg or less of sodium per serving.
DID YOU KNOW?
To prevent choking, children should always sit down while eating. Cut foods into small pieces and spread peanut butter thinly.
It is important to get kids used to the taste of foods without salt early by offering them a variety of healthy foods. The good news is that there are lower sodium options to choose from that are still fun for kids and convenient for parents.
Try these ideas:
|Try this...||Instead of this...|
|Low sodium crackers with almond butter||Spreadable cheese and cracker kits|
|Banana, orange, apple or any piece of fruit||Salted pretzels|
|Puffed cereal with milk||Bran and raisin cereal|
|Fruit cups packed in water||Pudding|
|Swiss cheese*, baby carrots and mini bran muffins||Packaged lunch kits|
|Lunch box granola bars||Chocolate chip cookies|
|100% fruit/fruit & vegetable leather or bite snacks||Animal shaped cheese crackers|
|Unsweetened apple/fruit sauce||Breakfast tarts|
|Vanilla yogurt with fruit on the bottom||Cottage cheese and fruit|
|No salt added peanut butter on apple slices||Regular peanut butter on crackers|
|Hard boiled egg||Pepperoni stick|
|Hummus with pita||Nachos and cheese sauce|
* Many cheeses are high in sodium, make sure to read the label and eat in moderation.
Are you concerned about food allergies? Talk to your child's doctor, a registered dietitian, or a public health nurse.
The information on the Healthy Eating pages of the Healthy Families BC website is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a physician or other qualified healthcare professional.