Is Your Child Consuming Too Much Salt?


Animals’ taste systems are specialized for the niche they occupy in the environment. That includes us. As hunters and foragers of the dry savannah, our earliest forebears evolved a taste for important but scarce nutrients: salt and high-energy fats and sugars. That, in a nutshell, explains the widespread popularity of junk food.   — Mary Roach

Stacy D. Fehlinger
Certified Health Coach
Owner ofHealthy 4 Life, LLC(678) 719-2283
LongevityCoachStacy@gmail.comRegister for a complimentary 30 minute consultation with Stacy at Healthy Habits Strategy Session.


Is Your Child Consuming Too Much Salt?

You may not be worried about how much salt your child is consuming, but a child can be diagnosed with high blood pressure just as us adults.  In fact, one in nine children has already been diagnosed with high blood pressure.  I don’t know about you, but I think that is a pretty scary statistic and we as parents should be concerned with how much salt our kids are consuming on a daily basis.

Recommended Daily Sodium Intake
The recommended daily limit for sodium ranges from 1,900 milligrams a day for younger kids and up to 2,300 a day for older kids and adults. A 2012 study conducted by National Health and Nutrition found that the average sodium intake for kids 6-10 years old is 3,051 milligrams daily, 3,117 for children aged 11-13 years and 3,565 for children aged 14-18 years.  Given those numbers, it is no wonder why our children are suffering from high blood pressure at younger ages.

Top 10 Sodium Sources

  1. Pizza
  2. Mexican-mixed dishes
  3. Sandwiches
  4. Breads and rolls
  5. Cold cuts and cured meats
  6. Soups
  7. Savory snacks
  8. Cheese
  9. Plain milk
  10. Poultry

Out of this list the only source of naturally occurring salt is found in the plain milk.  All of the other sodium sources listed are added during the processing of the food. You wouldn’t typically think of a slice of bread as being a salty food, but some varieties of bread can vary from 80 to 230 milligrams of sodium per slice.  Two slices of bread and some salty cold cuts make quite the salty sandwich. Add chips to this meal and you or your child is well on their way to exceeding the daily recommended salt intake.

What Can Parents Do to Limit Your Child’s Sodium Intake?

  1. I’m going to sound like a broken record on this with several of my blogs, but No. 1 thing you can do is READ THE NUTRITION LABELS AT THE GROCERY STORE. If a particular processed food has high sodium content, just don’t buy it and look for a better alternative.
  2. Choose packaged foods labeled “low sodium, or “no salt added” when possible.
  3. Purchase fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables with no salt or sauce added.
  4. When buying prepared meals, look for those with less than 600 milligrams of sodium per meal.  This is the amount the FDA recommends for a “healthy” prepared item.
  5. When cooking your meal at home, use salt-free spices such as Mrs. Dash instead of adding salt.
  6. Prepare healthy meals and snacks in advance by chopping and pre-portioning fruits and vegetables to eat during the week and prepare your own dressings, marinades and sauces from scratch. This is a huge sodium saver and it also doesn’t take that much time to make your own.
  7. Encourage your kids to eat healthful, lower sodium foods by letting them help you freeze fresh fruit for popsicles, creating a low-fat nonfat yogurt and herb dip for vegetables or make a trail mix using unsalted nuts, dried fruit and whole grain cereal.
  8. When you are eating out, ask for the nutrition information before you order, then select a lower sodium meal. You can also split a meal with your child to save not only half the sodium, but fat and calories as well.
  9. Try to keep takeout and fast food to an occasional treat.

The suggestions in this article are simple ways to reduce your child’s and your sodium intake for that matter.  As with everything moderation is key.

Healthy Regards,


Source: What We Eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012.

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  • Introduction to traffic light eating
  • Learn how to read a food nutrition label
A pantry makeover takes approximately an hour to complete and costs $45
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 Healthy 4 Life
Healthy Condiment of the Month
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

This homemade ranch dressing has half the amount of sodium (and calories for that matter) than the typical store brought popular brand!


1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon, basil or dill


Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, champagne (or white-wine) vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in herbs

16 servings
Ready In 5 minutes

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