Pass (on) the Salt for Kiddies

Once again, we're hearing that Americans are eating too much sodium—and just in time for the salty chips and sauces that come along with BBQ season. Now, the Institute of Medicine is even recommending new federal standards for how much salt can be added to foods.

That would make it a lot easier for moms like me raising little salt fiends; I'm constantly wrestling the salt shaker from my 3-year-old at restaurants (he’d pour the stuff directly into his little hands and lick it if I’d let him!). And it's because the Mayo Clinic’s nutrition guidelines for sodium are surprisingly low: They recommend just 1,000 mg daily for 2- to 3-year-olds (that's ½ teaspoon of salt), and 1,200 mg daily for 4- to 8-year-olds.

I try to be vigilant about what I'm feeding my family, and aim for wholesome, whole-food snacks and fresh, home-cooked meals so my son can have those extra pickles full of salt on his made-from-scratch turkey burger. But if the FDA did step in and reduce the sodium content of our food so we didn't even have to think about it, how much easier would that be?

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