What our kids eats today can impact them for a lifetime. Helping your kid eat healthy can certainly be a challenge, but it’s worth it – especially because we know that kids’ preferences for salty-tasting foods are shaped early in life.
And, did you know that nine out of ten kids eat too much sodium? Most of the sodium kids eat is already in the foods they get from stores, restaurants, and school cafeterias rather than the salt shaker. And, it comes from many places that kids spend their time. In fact, 58% of sodium kids eat comes from stores, 23% from restaurants, and 10% from school cafeterias.
We have good news! You can help.
Parents and caregivers can help lower sodium by influencing how your kid’s foods are produced, purchased, the prepared, and served. One of the first steps is to know the foods that add the most sodium to kids’ diets. And, you’re in luck! We have a great revised infographic that can help you with this first step. It highlights the foods that contribute the most sodium to what your child eats every day.
- Burritos and Tacos
- Breads and Rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats
How else can you help your kid eat healthy?
Here are three tips to get your started:
Eat healthfully yourself! The healthy habits your child sees you doing may impact their choices. Check out our newest recommendations – our blueprint for healthy eating.
Include your kids when you prepare healthy food. Involving your kids when cooking kid-friendly recipes may teach them about healthy eating. Plus, it can give you an opportunity for quality time as a family.
- Gradually improve the foods you buy and order. If you reduce sodium gradually over time, your kids might not notice the difference! When you shop, compare food labels and choose the option with less sodium. Before you head to a restaurant, look up nutrition information online to find healthier choices.
So, check out our revised Salty Six for Kids infographic, and follow these tips. Let us know what you are doing! How do you help your kid eat healthy? Let us know in the comments.