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New research says toddler foods too high in sodium, sugar

Baby and toddler foods analyzed by U.S.

There are lots of things parents of toddlers worry about: are the little ones sleeping enough? Are they teething? Are the "terrible twos" kicking in?

New research shows there's another issue they should be concerned about: whether their child's food contains too much sodium or sugar. New findings published in the journal Pediatrics show that the sodium and sugar levels in toddler foods are too high.

The research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that of more than 1,000 infant and toddler foods and juices analyzed, 72% of the toddler dinners were high in sodium and 32% of the toddler food tested had one or more added sugars.

High levels of sodium can have harmful effects on children's blood pressure.

One Toronto mother of three quoted in a CBC article says she doesn't have time when she's in the grocery store to read food labels. "It's just in and out. I get what I know is good for them," she says.

The problem is that may parents assume that baby and toddler food must have a higher nutritional standard, but that's not the case, says University of Calgary professor Charlene Elliott. Elliott has done research on baby and toddler food in Canada and says ingredient lists don't always give an easy-to-decipher picture of what's in the food.

Read the full story here.

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