Warning: Chances Are, Your Kid Eats Too Much Sodium

| 2 min read

kid pouring salt on french fries
Most people are fully aware that high-sodium diets can lead to increased blood pressure in adults. But did you know that children also suffer similar health issues when they eat too much salt? And unfortunately, most do. According to a recent study, nine out of 10 American kids consume more sodium than they should – about 1/3 more than the recommended amount. And the really bad news is that high blood pressure and heart disease currently affect one in six U.S. children as a result of their dietary habits, setting the stage for more serious health problems later in life.
You might think confiscating the salt shaker will do the trick, but that’s not enough. The biggest problem is the sodium that’s already in packaged and prepared foods. Research shows 43 percent of the sodium consumed by children comes from the 10 foods they eat the most. These are:
  • Pizza
  • Bread and rolls
  • Cold cuts and cured meats
  • Savory snacks
  • Sandwiches
  • Cheese
  • Chicken patties and nuggets
  • Pasta dishes
  • Mexican dishes
  • Soups
Every single one of these items can contain a surprisingly large amount of sodium. And because children eat a lot of these foods, the salt intake quickly adds up.
Now that you know, help your kids establish healthier dietary habits by teaching them to read nutrition labels and request nutrition information at restaurants. And adults should remember to practice these healthy habits, too! Cooking nutritious meals for (or with) your child is a great way to monitor their sodium intake. If you need culinary inspiration, visit the recipes section on our site.
This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan
Photo credit: ClarkandCompany

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.