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Experts: Too much salt in many foods marketed towards toddlers

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Experts warn many foods marketed towards toddlers contain too much sodium. Experts warn many foods marketed towards toddlers contain too much sodium.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Pre-packaged foods can be fun, tasty and convenient. However, experts say 75% of the foods marketed to toddlers have way too much sodium -- as much as 600 milligrams per serving.
   
The Centers for Disease Control consider foods too salty for kids if they have more than 210 milligrams of sodium per serving.

"When we're looking at the amount of sodium we should get in a day, most adults really shouldn't get more than 1,500 milligrams, as recommended by the American Heart Association," dietitian Andrea Rumschlag of the Cleveland Clinic says. "A toddler's intake is a lot lower than that -- around 1,000 milligrams. 600 milligrams is over half of what they should have in an entire day, that they're getting in just one meal."

In a new study, American Heart Association researchers looked at the sodium content in more that 1,100 pre-packed snacks and meals. They found the foods with the most sodium were foods for toddlers.

Even if you don't worry about the short-term impact of so much sodium, you may be setting up your kids for long-term troubles.
 
"Taste buds are sensitive when you're younger," Rumschlag says. "So, you're going to develop the taste that you're going to have for a while. So, if you get accustomed to having all of these salty foods, then later on you're not going to be able to realize that a non-salty food is really the way it's supposed to taste. So you'll constantly want to add salt or increase the sodium content of your food, just for the flavor."

Reading the labels is key for both kids and adults. For more information on high-sodium packaged foods, click here.

Source: Cleveland Clinic

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