Most parents watch out for sugar intake but they may not be aware that kids are getting a high amount of salt in their diets which is equally bad.
What problems can salt cause?
- High blood pressure, which can cause heart damage and even stroke later in life
- Obesity, since salty products are often high in fat and calories
- Kidney stones, too much salt can cause painful stone formation in a child’s body combined with insufficient drinking water
How much salt should be in your child’s diet?
The children’s nutrition specialists tend to recommend between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of sodium to children daily. This is approximately half a teaspoon of salt every day. Children who regularly eat more than that are at risk for health problems.
Foods high in salt include:
- Instant noodles
- Pre-packaged snacks like potato chips
- Shrimps and clams
- Nuts and sunflower seeds
- Can food and processed meat
Help your child eat healthy
Even if your child is unable to let go of salty foods, you can teach them to make healthier food choices and clever swaps. Give your child lightly salted rice crackers instead of potato chips and look for low-sodium snack brands. Or you can try making your own fun snack mixes at home to control the amount of salt.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat, MD. (30 June 2020)