Which is the better snack to purchase for a toddler. One labeled "reduced sodium" or one labeled "reduced fat"? Why oh why can't they make one product with both?! I guess it wouldn't taste as good?

asked 15 Jul '10, 22:04

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Sabrina
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edited 27 Jul '10, 14:04

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My toddler is only 15-months so right now I'm more worried about sodium than fat. The American Academy of Pedriatrics say that:

During his first 2 years, about half of his calories should come from fat. Then after age 2 years, you can modify his diet gradually until his dietary fat makes up about one third of his caloric intake.

On another page they say, "as much as possible, serve your child foods low in salt."

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answered 15 Jul '10, 22:21

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I think the "reduced" label is more about marketing (and market segmentation) than health information, and may simply mean "less than the absurd amount we used to have." One product with "reduced sodium" may have much more sodium than another product that is not reduced at all. Looking at the absolute numbers (and comparing them to other foods) is probably much more instructive.

If you're a Michael Pollan fan, you might also have heard his advice that the healthiest foods tend not to make any health claims at all (since they don't come in packages on which such claims can be printed).

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answered 15 Jul '10, 22:48

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+1 sometimes it really is all about marketing! 99% fat free doesn't mean 99% sugar free!

(16 Jul '10, 01:35) Lin

+1 <3 Michael Pollan

(16 Jul '10, 14:13) Anne

I agree about looking behind the marketing and focus on the nutritutional guidelines. I would be more concerned with reducing sodium with a toddler than fat. According to New Zealand Ministry of Health 0-2 food and nutrition guidelines (see link the recommended (p97) sodium intakes for toddlers aged one to two years is 200–400 mg per day (9–17 mmol). The same document (p85)states that fat is an important nutrient for infants and toddlers.

This rather long document has some really helpful information on the nutrition needs of infants and toddlers.

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answered 16 Jul '10, 01:43

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+1 for recommending to actually look at the nutritional guidelines and the food labels. Just remember that "reduced" does not in any way imply "low." Check the numbers.

(16 Jul '10, 22:29) lgritz

Honestly, the best snacks for toddlers are going to be natural ones. Fruit, veggies and whole-grains with no additives. If you're looking for things you can give to your child without much prep, look for water-packed fruit cups, steamed veggies for the very young and raw veggies for the older toddler (my son's favorites were baby carrots and broccoli), and whole-grain crackers. Our new favorite go-to snack is a Kashi Soft-Bake Cereal Bar.

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answered 20 Jul '10, 18:51

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I totally agree with those types of snacks and we do eat mostly that, but I myself am addicted to Ritz crackers and so if I eat them my kids do and I was wondering which one would be better for me to give them when we do eat them.

(21 Jul '10, 21:30) Sabrina

well a trick I use with my son 2 1/2 with cereal snack ect I will mix mostly healthier cereals like cheerios and kix with a big kid/adult slightly more surgery one (much less mind you, only a few individuals) or I mix the healthy crackers with a few adult crackers and make little mixes for snack times and going out he may pick and choose the "good stuff" first but he will eat the truly good stuff next with less fuss because he got a "treat and doesn't feel left out. I also still water his juice down to 1/4 juice to 3/4ths water to keep excessive calories down if your kids are an full strength you could just add a little water at first and gradually increase even pre mix it in a separate container so you don't have to pull 2 things out of the fridge every time. if you moderate the "treats that you give them you should be fine. if I'm eating ice cream I let my kid taste the spoon not necessarily eat spoonfuls if you get me and he is satisfied. I think this age is for trying new things they shouldn't gorge on it though my son gets a juice between breakfast and lunch and a fruit or grain snack between lunch and dinner with a drink he likes a drink to always be available so we water the juice down or just give him water. the only exception is errand day when I bring a container of mixed cereal/crackers/animal crackers ect with me and a drink to help him cope with being stuck in a shopping cart for most of the morning

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answered 31 Jul '10, 14:57

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Asked: 15 Jul '10, 22:04

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Last updated: 31 Jul '10, 14:57