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Monday, 8 July 2013

Reducing Children’s Sodium Level - Parents Key

Kawartha Lakes Kids Getting too Much Salt? 

When it comes to sodium, how much is too much? More importantly, how much is too much for children?
This is a question Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is hoping parents will ask themselves about their own children.

'Adults are becoming better educated about the need to decrease the levels of sodium in their own diets to help reduce their risk of disease, but parents may not think the same way about their children's diets,'says Elsie Azevedo, RD, a Public Health Nutritionist with the HKPR District Health Unit. 'Like many adults though, children are eating too much sodium and a high sodium diet when they are young can lead to health problems for those children later in life.'
Most Canadians consume approximately 3,400mg of sodium each day, Azevedo says, which is more than double the necessary amount. Healthy adults need only 1,500mg of sodium each day while healthy children require between 1,000 to 1,500mg of sodium each day depending on their age.
Sodium helps regulate fluids and blood pressure, but too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for strokes, heart disease and kidney disease. Azevedo says it's important to get children on the path of healthy eating when they are young so their good eating habits can continue into adulthood.
'With hectic schedules many families feel there is no alternative but to choose fast foods or convenience foods to feed their families,'Azevedo says. 'These are often are the worst culprits for sodium.'
Personally, our familiy has found that some fast food restaurants seem to be serving waaay too much salt on their french fries -so much that it makes the fries inedible!  How do you keep sodium levels in control while on the run? Do you seek picnic spots and bring your own food from home?  Which restaurants have you seen offering lower salt content foods?
Please drop us a line below with your low sodium tips!

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