Canned Chicken Noodle Soup - Bad for Baby?

Updated on January 22, 2012
A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
20 answers

ok sorry for the dumb question. My 11 month old is very picky, and also can't eat dairy yet, so it is a challenge to expand her food options. One thing she LOVES is campbells chicken noodle soup. I gave her a bit of mine one time and she loved it and she will SHOVEL it into her mouth by the handful. So my question is, how bad is it for her? If I get the low sodium canned soup, is it still too high in sodium? If I attempt to make my own (I'm not much of a cook), and I use low sodium chicken broth, is that enough to make it healthy enough for her to eat? I had my mom make some homemade and she wouldn't touch it. probably not enough salt for her taste haha.

How about a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, already cooked. Too high in sodium?

Am I worrying too much about the sodium thing?


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answers from Minneapolis on

More than anything, it's the BPA lined cans that pose the most health risk when it comes to soup, not sodium. There's lots of debate out there about it causing hormone problems and more in children. Next concern would be sodium and additives.

Try homemade, or glass jarred soups or organic dry soups and see if she likes those as much as the Campbell's if you're concerned about the quality of the soup.

For more on BPA canned goods see:

For BPA free canned goods see:

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answers from Houston on

I love it too, but it so so bad for you (and baby) nutritionally. I make a big homemade batch and freeze in in small sections, so it is easy to serve whenever you get the craving. This is the perfect time to get her used to less salt. And, you can make it even more nutritious by adding in more veggies.

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answers from Lakeland on

I would be more concerned about the BPA in the cans then the sodium. But I think in moderation it should be OK. We cannot avoid all chemicals in life. Campbell’s does not use MSG in their soups (I just checked the can we have and it is not listed). I don’t think this company uses it.
My daughter loves these too, she likes the shapes Dora, Disney Princesses etc. My mom gave this to us when we were kids, just not every day. Homemade would be better, but Campbell’s is more convenient.

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answers from Dallas on

No it's NOT good for anyone...except in moderation. EVERY child should have a "low sodium" diet. Even the low sodium kinds have too much sodium in them. Especially, for a baby. I'm sorry, but canned soup is not healthy. I'm not sure how people could be duped into thinking that!!

Do you have a crock pot? Making soup in a crock pot is SO easy. You can find tons of recipes just by searching google.

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answers from Chicago on

Oh god, it's fine! If it's good for you (which it is), it's fine for her, too.
Draining cans of soup was one of my most reliable tricks for getting meat and veggies into my kids at that age. They were always squishy enough for the "no teeth" crowd, and the different types gave them some variety.

Good thinking mama!

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answers from Milwaukee on

Sodium is a huge concern. Both for the health issues and because you are shaping her tastes still (which feeds into the health issues in the long run). I agree with other posters about the bpa concerns as well. One thing to look into is getting some real sea salt (not what most of them are in the supermarket, as they can really call anything sea salt) to use. It generally comes coarse, so you might want to grind it up, and it's grey or pink in color (at least the ones I have encountered). These are not processed and just straight sodium; they actually have minerals that are beneficial. Also, asian markets sell liquid aminos that you can substitute for salt in cooking and they work pretty well. You've clearly got good intuition, being concerned, so follow your gut!

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answers from Appleton on

Way too high in sodium and it has MSG very very bad for babies.

Making chicken soup is easy:

Take some raw chicken (can be cut up peices or a whole bird) Rinse the raw meat and make sure the innards are all out. Put in a big pot covered with water. Add salt-pepper-garlic powder-poultry seasoning - diced celery and diced onion. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer and simmer about 3 hours. When meat is done remove from pot and set in a cake pan--let cool a bit.
Add a bag of frozen mixed vegies--check to see if the meat has cooled enough for you to handle it. It is easier to pick the meat off the bones if it is warm to hot. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and add back to soup.
When veggies are done add a handful or two of noodles or pre-cooked rice or dumplings. Test the flavor a couple of times and adjust the seasonings.

Hint if too salty put in a raw potato cut up--it will remove the salty flavor.
hint #2 when my kids were babies I would strain the broth--they can choke on a bone.

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answers from Seattle on

Chicken soup - too much sodium. (And the salt is probably why she likes it so much! My meat-averse toddler loves salty bacon.) Try sprinkling some salt on the homemade soup right before she eats it. That should make it taste salty, but it will still have less sodium than canned.

Rotisserie chicken - probably fine.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

It is really high in sodium (even the 'reduced' sodium). Way healthier to make your own - throw a chicken (or just left over bones and parts) in a pot with an onion, carrot and some celery (to make the stock). Cover with water and simmer for an hour - skim any froth. To make the soup, just take the broth, add some chopped carrots, any other veggies you want and some whole grain noodles (cooked) or brown rice and cook a little bit. Homemade stock freezes well - if you freeze as ice cubes you can just defrost what you need. Even if you salt to taste, you will almost certainly find you add way less than in a canned soup.

Salt is a fairly addictive flavor (to all ages) so you want your daughter to get hooked on the homemade stuff now, not the high salt stuff.
The comment on canned veggies generally being high in salt is correct. BUT frozen veggies are no higher than fresh and generally much tastier than canned.

When my son was that age, what we did was feed him what we ate. Does your daughter show interest in what you are eating? Let her try it. There is no reason at all to restrict her to 'kid friendly' food - after all do you eat like that? I don't, nor did I actually know anyone who did until having a child.

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answers from Duluth on

Honestly, then, what I'd do is buy a whole real chicken (uncooked, not rotisserie), roast it, make some good stock (look up chicken stock in a cookbook and follow it, if you're not familiar with this), then cook up your chicken, sautee some carrots and celery in butter, and throw it all together. At the end, add egg noodles (or whole grain if you think she'll eat them) and then add your own salt. I did this recipe and wound up adding a TON of salt--but to my own bowl, not to the pot. It does take a ton of salt, when you're adding it at the very end rather than in every step along the way (rotisserie chicken...bought stock...) but at least you then have control over how much there is. You do typically add a lot of salt to soup--but not nearly so much as in store bought soup. Oh, and then hyou can freeze all that soup and thaw it for her. I found my daughter loves beef vegetable soup--so I did that same thing for her, to get her meat and veggies.



answers from Albuquerque on

Canned soup is not horrible for small children, but it's not particularly healthy either. Take a look on the back of the can at how much sodium it has - probably like 25% of what an adult should eat... and figure that your daughter eats about 1/10th of what you do. So she's getting over 250% of all the sodium she needs a day in just one serving of soup. Not so great. As long as it's not her major source of food... you're fine. But she probably shouldn't have it every day.

You can make your own, though, and make it just as tasty. Throw some low sodium broth, a cut up raw chicken (or whatever bits you want), some cut up carrots, onion and celery in a pot and simmer for a few hours. Delish!


answers from Dallas on

if she is eating healthfully otherwise it is ok. Besides the sodium, there BPAs in canned soup.


answers from Los Angeles on

I agree w/ Momma L, I would make it yourself in large batches and freeze it. It's really so simple to make! In fact, you can use that rotisserie chicken you were speaking about, low sodium chicken broth (or even veggie), some carrots, celery and whatever else you like in it. Aside from the sodium/MSG there is now the concern of BPA in the lining of the cans. If you haven't heard of BPA, just google it. There is a wealth of info online about the hazards.



answers from Atlanta on

I think you're worrying too much about the sodium thing! I'm sure others will disagree, but my kids love Campbell's Chicken Noodle as well as several other brands -regular and low sodium. They've both been eating it since they were babies. They like mine too. I don't TRY to give them too much sodium, of course, but I don't look into it too much. Mine don't eat that many processed foods, so I know they aren't getting overloaded on it. Just watch what else she's eating that may have a lot of sodium in it.



answers from Seattle on

One of my go-to foods for my son at just a little older was Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup.

I would drain the soup part out into a sippy, heat that up, and put the noodles and carrots on a plate.

PERFECT finger food. Strong enough for little hands to pick up, but complete mush in their mouths.

Yeah, there was salt. He didn't have a medical condition predicating a low sodium diet, so I didn't worry.



answers from Milwaukee on

My doctor told me that when they are ready to eat table foods that they can eat anythign you eat. Just make sure it doe not pose a choking hazard etc. If you are concerned about salt use the low sodium. Then don't salt anything else you give her. She should be just fine.



answers from Minneapolis on

Are you watering it down like suggested on the cans?

Anyhow my suggestion would be add water and some extra noodles.

You can't avoid all bad things in life...and food is better then no food.


answers from Columbia on

This isn't a dumb question.

Everything is bad for you if you have too much of it. A little low-sodium chicken noodle soup isn't going to harm your baby every once in a while. Just don't overdo it.


answers from Minneapolis on

7 years ago I would be asking the same thin, I never used to never cook, now I make everything homemade if I can. So much healthier, and it's fun to watch your family eat food that you know what is in the recipe/ingredients!
Rotisserie chicken should be fine, no skin. Low sodium chicken broth, add your own veggies, sea salt (if you still feel it needs some), garlic seasoning, cut up onion, bay leaf, add your own noodles or rice, and simmer. YUM

Plus, no worries about BPA.



answers from Cleveland on

my son is 13 months old and we have dairy issues here too. Trying to feed him is so hard, and he has had things I didn't give my older kids till they were school aged. Is canned soup too high in sodium for a baby, yep, it is. Does it fill the tummy, allow good practice eating, provide protein and other nutrients, yep again. I was at a total loss today and made my son a hot dog (all beef, but still) He is not only allergic to a lot of things, but he's picky, and he didn't eat it. But I'm constantly trying to find foods he will eat, that won't make him sick, and that offer some variety, because if I let him he'd live on fruit and cheerios (which by the way are also higher in sodium than a baby needs). Even canned veggies are less than great for a baby because of sodium, but we all have to eat, and when you are already fighting food battles, you do what you need to do. I wouldn't feed it to her every day, but it's not going to hurt her.

and as for the homemade soup, it was probably the texture, canned soup is really mushy.

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