Diet Restriction Help

Sabrina - posted on 01/16/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )




My 1 year old went to see her Nephrologist this month. All things were good for the most part perfect on weight, perfect on height, eating great and looks perfectly normal. The right kidney is growing great even talking about going once per year after she turns 3. But now she is showing signs of hyper tention blood pressure. Her blood pressure was 150/42 the whole time we were there. I was told that she cannot go over 500 mg of salt a day. I need help doing this. We have the fresh fruits and veggies but there are the things like juice, pasta, dairy, meats, can goods, snacks, crackers, etc. Its so hard to make a strict sodium diet when everything has 200mg or more. Any ideas or anyone else going through this same exact problem?


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I work with parents of children with ADHD and autism spectrum disorders to use dietary and lifestyle changes (meaning restrictions!) to overcome their children's sensory and behavioral issues. I know you are in a different place in regards to WHY you are implementing a special diet, but it's all the same when it comes down to needing help in doing it.

My first thought is to avoid looking at the whole picture - eliminating all foods with more than 200mg sodium. Start breaking it down into bite sized steps.

Make a chart of your child's favorite meals, drinks, snacks and special treats. Simply check what can stay and then create a second column for replacement ideas. Can the item/meal be replaced by a simple low-sodium substitute? Do you need to eliminate it all together and begin to introduce entirely new foods/drinks to replace it? Write these notes down in the second column and you have the makings of a new menu plan.

No matter what your health issue, it's important to include as many whole foods, fresh fruits and veggies, and eliminate the processed items. It means that you will have to do more at home and from scratch like others have recommended, but keep a positive outlook and turn that into your time with your daughter, spending time with her in the kitchen and teaching her first hand why you are making healthy choices. Build on that and plan, plan, plan so you don't get caught without ideas, unprepared and frustrated!

One good thing about your situation is that your daughter is so young! Starting now is much easier than transitioning an older child to new foods. Repetition is important, so if she rejects it the first time around, reintroduce it many more times and don't give up.

Good luck with your new restricted diet and I hope all goes well!!

Stephani McGirr

Brenda - posted on 01/18/2011




My daughter went through renal failure and needed a kidney transplant at 5 years old. The dialysis diet was horrible. We had to restrict everything including salt. I did find out that most can goods have tons of salt, so if you can get it fresh and steam it that would be best. Also, I think it was all flavors of Ms. Dash that we could use and that really saved me as far as cooking was concerned. It's been almost 8 years so I'm trying to remember but I am almost positive it was Ms Dash that we could use as much as we wanted and it came in many flavors. Just a thought. And the more you make from scratch the better. We also found out that everything pretty much has additives which are horrible for the kidneys. When they are on dialysis they can't have anything processed, which is pretty much everything! Hope this helps.

Angela - posted on 01/18/2011




There are low salt/no salt things on most of what you mentioned. Getting the stuff you get in cans are hard to replace - BUT you can prepare for that this spring/summer and have a garden. You can grow your own and freeze it - doesn't require salt. You can also can (pressure cooker) your own food without salt, just needs to be eaten sooner. There are seasonings that do not have salt in them but will add flavor when you're not used to being without salt. There are many herbs that you can use, again to add flavor without using salt. These also can be grown and dried in your home to use. As mentioned, cooking more from scratch is the best option for your dd, when you cook from scratch, you know what's going into her tummy :D

Iridescent - posted on 01/16/2011




You need to start making things from scratch. You can use potassium in limited amounts as a replacement salt in some items, but it does not taste the same. Start using other items for flavor, such as pepper, onion, garlic, chives, all kinds. Juice is not a necessary part of the diet, so replace it with water. Pasta does not need to be made with salt at all. Meats also do not need salt, and if you purchase unprocessed meats there is none added in the first place. Canned goods are no longer an option.

Heather - posted on 01/16/2011




my FIL is on a salt restricted diet. check out the American Heart Association's cookbook.

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