From kindergartners to high school seniors, kids in the US have soaring intakes of sodium. A September 2014 report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 90% of children 6–18 years old consume an average of 1,000 mg more than the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium daily. Dietary sodium can contribute to health conditions, especially high blood pressure. In fact, nearly 17% of 8- to 17-year-olds have elevated blood pressure.
Almost 3/4 of daily sodium is consumed at lunch and dinner. The main guilty parties are:
- Bread and rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats
- Salty snacks
Try purchasing low-sodium foods and replacing salty snacks with healthier fruits and vegetables. Be an informed consumer; check the ingredients label for sodium content. When eating out, skip seasonings. Work with your child’s school to de-salt the cafeteria menu.