Reducing sodium in children's diets is important for long-term health

Lynne Adkins
February 10, 2019 - 4:00 am
salt shaker

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- We often hear that adults should avoid too much sodium, but it's also an issue for children. 

Sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. So grabbing the salt shaker at every meal is not a good idea.

"These problems that start in childhood can also manifest in adulthood," said Melodee Mendoza, a nurse practitioner at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Mendoza says parents need to limit a child's sodium intake to keep them healthy in the early years and establish good habits to last a lifetime. But, she says, that doesn't mean you need to cut out all the things kids like.

"We should limit fast foot to just once a month," she said, "and eating out or ordering take out, we should just try to do that once a week, and we should encourage things that are labeled low sodium or no salt added. "It's not necessary to add salt to meals.

We all know kids love pizza and chicken nuggets, and even though they're high in sodium, they can still be on the menu, as long as it's in moderation.