5 Surprising High-Sodium Foods

by Lambeth Hochwald

5 Surprising High-Sodium Foods

Replace these five common food items to painlessly lower your kid's sodium intake.

Most kids eat way too much salt, with overweight kids most at risk of developing pre-hypertension if they overdo it, says a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Buy foods with 150 mg of sodium or less per serving,” says registered dietitian Joy Bauer. “If you tame a child's taste for salt, you'll do her a lifelong favor.” Here, five sneakily salty foods, and go-to alternatives:

BREAD A single slice of bread is the number one source of sodium in kids' diets, with many containing 250 mg. “That's 500 mg of sodium in a sandwich before you put anything in it,” Bauer notes.
Try: Opt for 100% whole-grain bread; it generally has the least sodium. Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Soft Honey Wheat Bread comes in at 115 mg per slice.

CEREAL A serving of cold cereal can hide 200 mg of sodium. “The biggest issue here is that kids pour a lot more than one serving into a bowl, or they sit down at the TV, box in hand,” Bauer says.
Try: Limit their favorite cereal to one serving in the morning, and keep it off-limits as an all-day snack. Try puffed rice and old-fashioned oatmeal; both are sodium-free.

CHEESE One processed American cheese single sneaks in 250 mg. “An after-school snack can unload a wallop of sodium. How many kids stop at one slice?” Bauer says.
Try: Mild cheddar cheese clocks in at 130 mg per ounce. Sargento Reduced Sodium Mild Cheddar Cheese Sticks have 105 mg.

CHICKEN FINGERS Packaged breaded chicken is a tough one: Most have 600 mg per serving, usually three or four fingers.
Try: Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets contain 360 mg for four.

COOKIES Three boxed chocolate-chip cookies match the salt content of a small bag of potato chips (170 mg).
Try: One big rectangular graham cracker, with just 85 mg of sodium.

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