Low Sodium Diet Basics

The following paper was written by Cristine M. Trahms, MS, RD, FADA, and Beth Ogata MS, RD,
University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Some children have medical conditions (for example, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus) that require them to follow a very low sodium diet.

The low sodium diet is prescribed by a physician and is one component of effective treatment for NDI. Along with protein restriction, sodium restriction minimizes the kidney's workload. Adequate water intake and diuretic therapy are also part of the treatment plan.

Some of the dietary restrictions can make it difficult to get enough vitamins and minerals. If your child is following a restricted diet, his or her intake should be monitored by a registered dietitian (RD), and vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended.

This information is not intended to replace individualized medical care by professionals.


  • Clinical experience, Biochemical Genetics Clinic, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
  • Pennington JA. Bowes and Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, 17th edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott. 1998.
  • American Dietetic Association. Pediatric Manual of Clinical Dietetics. 1998.


General Nutrition Guidelines (orig)
Sodium in Foods (6-9 mo.)
Sodium in Foods (9-12 mo.)
Foods with less than 35 mg sodium per serving
Sodium in Foods (toddlers+)
Foods with less than 35 mg sodium per serving
Foods not low in sodium
Label Reading Tips
How to read a food label
What the label really means
Ingredients that shout HIGH IN SODIUM!
Family Favorite Recipe Tips
How to evaluate sodium content of favorite recipes
How to adjust sodium content of favorite recipes
Sodium Content of Selected Foods
Selected high sodium foods ... and low sodium alternatives
Sodium content of selected foods high in sodium
Sample Meal Patterns
6 month old
10 month old
18 month old
4 year old
Low Sodium Cookbooks