Kids eating too much salt, experts say

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DENVER -- It’s tempting to add salt to your favorite foods, but doctors say kids are getting way too much of it, especially in prepared meals you find at the grocery store.

A new report by the American Heart Association finds most Americans consume double the recommended amount of sodium. Doctors say toddlers should consumer no more than 1000 milligrams of salt per day, adults can consumer twice that amount, but often cook with four times as much, then share the meals with their kids.

"Anything out of can, anything with preservatives automatically has high sodium," cardiologist Warren Levy says. “We do need to start paying attention to the high sodium content in the foods we're giving our kids because high blood pressure is starting at a younger and younger age.”

Too much sodium causes our body to retain excess fluid and over time can lead to hypertension and other health problems. Researchers say some of the saltiest foods are being marketed to children. Three-quarters of  packaged meals and snacks found in the baby and toddler food aisle, like macaroni and cheese”, pizza and even chicken and vegetable dishes have too much salt (more than 210 milligrams per serving).

For more information about salt guidelines for your child you can visit