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Excessive Sodium and Sugar in Processed Food for Toddlers

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed sodium and sugar levels in 1,074 infant and toddler dinners, snacks, fruits, vegetables, dry cereals, juices and desserts. Not only was the processed food heavily salted and contained too much sugar, it didn’t matter whether the toddler’s meal was organic or otherwise.

About 72 per cent of toddler dinners were high in sodium, with more than 210 milligrams per single serving, The pasta meals were often the highest in sodium, because it’s added to both the grain and sauce. Sodium is directly related to blood pressure, which in adulthood becomes a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Another 32 per cent of toddler dinners and most toddler cereal bars, infant or toddler snacks, desserts and juices had one or more added sugars, defined as more than 35 per cent of calories per portion coming from sugar. Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems.

"Reducing excessive sodium and added sugar from birth to 24 months can help set taste preferences and lead to better health for children now and as they grow," the study’s authors wrote.

What we feed our children is one of the most important decisions we make as parents. Taste preferences begin early and can last a lifetime. A better option is preparing the food yourself. It’s easy, you always know what’s in the food and it’s always fresh. The bonus is the money you save.

Great finger foods for the little ones:
cooked asparagus tips
cut up green beans (My kids are picky, but for some reason they really like the Libby’s That come in a little container and are seasoned with sea salt. They eat them like crackers and don’t even ask for them to be heated up.)
steamed broccoli (cut up)
steamed cauliflower (cut up)
steamed carrots (cut up)
Cucumbers (cubed)
Avocado (cut up)
Potato (baked & cubed)
Crispy Chews
Sweet Potato (Roasted and Cubed)
Squash (cut up and roasted or baked)
Zucchini (steamed and cut up)
Grape Tomato (cut in halves or fourths)
Earth’s Best Happy Snax
Cut up strawberries
Raspberries (cut as needed)
Sliced Bananas
Cut up Crepes with fruit, peanut butter and applesauce
Kiwi (cut up)
Mango (cubed or sliced)
Cut up Fruit Popsicles
Applesauce (for dipping things in)
Almond Butter (for spreading on cut up toast or veggies)
Organic Fruit Snacks (we also really like these ones)
Raisins (if they are soft)
Chicken and Noodles (If you’re having Chicken Noodle soup for dinner, cut it up for baby)
Cut up Cuties
Freeze Dried Fruit and Veggies
Sliced Apples & Peanut Butter
Cut up String cheese
Cottage Cheese
Yogurt Bites (freeze bite size yogurt dots)
Little Yums
Olives (diced)
Rinsed Black Beans
Rinsed Kidney Beans
Rinsed Pinto Beans (as well as other beans. Cut up as necessary).
graham crackers
Whole Grain Pancakes (cut up. We like to add unsweetened applesauce for dipping).
Muffins broken up
Corn Bread
Cooked pieces of fish
Hummus (on crackers or veggies)
Sandwich bites
Oyster Crackers
Cut up Pasta
Quesadilla (cut up. Did Cafe Rio instantly pop into anyone’s head??)
Teething Wafers
Whole grain crackers
Mac & Cheese
Goldfish (We like Annie’s Organic bunnies even more!)
Cubed Turkey
Cubed Chicken
Chicken Strips or Nuggets (cut up)
Cubed Ham
Scrambled eggs
German Pancakes
Boiled Egg (cut up)
Organic Puffs
Fish sticks
Cut up Fruit Leather
Baby Foods in a Pouch
Grapes (cut up)

Related Links:

Wholesome Baby Food- Make Your Own Baby Food