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Cutting Back on Salt for Children

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Lauren Eisen offers healthy options to her sons when she can. That includes keeping salt to a limit in the foods they eat.

"It's not the main ingredient or the main focus and they certainly don't dump salt on what I serve. I try to season it myself, so I'm in control of it."

New research shows cutting back on salty foods such as French fries and chips, could help in the battle against childhood obesity. Researchers looked at more than 4,000 children in Australia and found those who ate more salt drank more fluids - in particular more sugar-sweetened beverages.

"Children who eat a lot of food with salt are then going to be thirsty. So if their beverage of choice is a sugar-sweetened beverage, then that's going to increase their total caloric intake," says Dr. Alanna Levine of babyCenter.com 

Kids who drank more than one daily serving of soda, fruit drinks or energy drinks were 26% more likely to be overweight or obese.

Pediatricians say parents need to read labels to make sure they're keeping a close eye on the amount of salt and sugar kids are getting and they also need to be good role models.

"We really want to guide our children to healthier beverage choices, like water, like milk."

That's what Lauren is doing.

"We mostly have in our house water and milk. They both play soccer and they do like sports drinks, but we make sure it's the low sugar variety and no soda."

She's trying to create healthy habits she hopes will last a lifetime.

Doctors also suggest to keep eating out to a minimum to avoid additional salt. Also, keep the salt shakers off the table at home.

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