BookmarkBookmarkTick

Is Your Toddler Eating Too Much Salt?

ByKylie McConville
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image
Image: Veer / The Bump

In a recent study administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC examined more than 1,115 ready-to-eat toddlers’ meals. Of the over 1,000 meals studied, researchers concluded that nearly three-quarters were high in salt, with some containing as much as 630 milligrams of sodium per serving (which is about 40 percent of the recommended daily sodium intake for children, recommended by the American Heart Association).

The findings raise a red flag for government researchers because high salt intake is known to increase the risk of high blood pressure. Though high blood pressure is most commonly found in adults, it is common in children as well.

Joyce Maalouf, study researcher, said of the alarming results, “Children are not born with a taste for salt. The less sodium children consume, the less they will want it.”

For the purposes of the study, researchers examined the nutrition labels on ready-to-eat meals for babies (less than 1 year old) and toddlers, ages 1 to 3 years old. Meals containing more than 210 milligrams of salt per serving — which is about one-seventh of the daily recommendation — were considered to be high in salt.

When researchers tested 600 baby meals, they found that only one meal had more than 210 mg of sodium.

The latest findings worry researchers because in 2012, the study found that the average daily salt intake was 2,307 mg for children ages 2 to 5. In order to remedy the situation, the CDC recommends that children eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. The CDC also encourages parents to read nutrition labels and make educated decisions when chooses foods with low sodium intake.

How do you choose ready-made meals for your toddlers?

Related Video

Is It Okay for My Toddler to Play With Her Food?

profile picture of Elizabeth Pantley
Elizabeth Pantley
Parenting Expert
All different kinds of protein for toddlers including cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk yogurt and cheese.

Ask the Pediatrician: Which Type of Milk Is Best for Toddlers?

profile picture of Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH
Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH
dad feeding his baby at the kitchen table

USDA’s Nutritional Guidelines Now Include Recommendations for Babies

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/22/2020
toddler child holding orange sip cup

Preschoolers Who Drink 100% Fruit Juice May Have Healthier Diets as Adults

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/11/2020

Vitamins for a Picky Eater?

profile picture of Michael Lee, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Michael Lee, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Pediatrician
small child drinking milk from a bottle

Research Aims to Debunk the 'Milk Causes Mucus Myth’

profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
09/07/2018
child eating his breakfast cereal

Why Gluten-Free Isn’t Always the Healthier Choice for Kids

profile picture of Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH
Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH
Published
07/30/2018
collage of major soda brands, sprite, coke, fanta

Soda and Sugary Drinks Are Banned From Kids' Menu in Baltimore

profile picture of Laurie Ulster
Laurie Ulster
Contributing Writer
Published
07/20/2018
Young blonde girl picking her nose

Blame Bad Behavior on Bacteria

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
A dad spoon feeding baby in high chair

AAP Updates List of Nutrients for Baby's First 1,000 Days

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
01/25/2018
Article removed.