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Parents Warned of High Sodium Levels in Pre-Packaged Kids Meals

As far as we’re concerned, a world without salty treats is no world at all, but even we know that too much sodium, like anything else, can be a bad thing. Especially for kids.

CBS News reports that a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers have found that about 75% of pre-packaged toddler meals and snacks tested were packed with tons of sodium.

Lead researcher, Joyce Maalouf, a fellow at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC, said, “Our concern is the possible long-term health risks of introducing high levels of sodium in a child’s diet, because high blood pressure, as well as preference for salty foods may develop early in life.”

Basically, training kids from childhood to enjoy too much sodium essentially gives them a high-sodium craving that they’ll carry into their adult diet. And while researchers aren’t suggesting cutting out salt altogether, like everything else, moderation is key. “The less sodium in an infant’s or toddler’s diet, the less he or she may want it when older,” said Joyce.

The preliminary study involved 1,115 foods for babies and toddlers, including pre-packaged meals and snacks. The toddler meals were found to have much more sodium than the baby meals, some containing as much as 630 milligrams per serving. Considering the American Heart Association suggests people consume less than 1,500 milligrams per day, 630 milligrams per serving is extremely high!

One pediatric dietician from the Cleveland Clinic, Andrea Rumsclag, said that if you’re going to feed your kids pre-packaged foods, you should try to stay away from any that contain more than 100 milligrams of sodium.

Instead, Andrea suggests trying quick low-sodium snacks like fresh veggies or frozen or fresh fruit. Basically, anything that doesn’t contain too many additives.

Source: CBS News

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03.23.2013 / 04:54 AM EDT by Jo Aaron
Related: Moms, Health

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