The Salty Facts
The CDC Finds Kids Are Consuming Too Much Salt!
As adults we are consuming too much sodium/salt but it appears that our children are too! The Center for Disease Control and Prevention just released findings that 90% of school-aged children are consuming 3,279 mg of sodium/salt every day. It is hard to believe that 9 out of 10 ten kids are consuming almost 70% more mg of sodium than calories and it is affecting their health (1,681 mg of sodium for every 1,000 calories consumed) . Children are increasingly being diagnosed with high blood pressure, which can lead to serious health problems when they are adults. Just like we talked about last week, salt is being poured on for us by food manufacturers. It is probably not you adding too much salt. Many of the foods that we eat like breads, lunch meat, pizza, chicken nuggets and boxed macaroni and cheese contain large amounts of hidden sodium. It adds up and it is not healthy for us or our children. Our kids needs us to be the salt checkers and make sure that the food served meets the 1 for 1 test (Match sodium to calories by choosing foods with no more than 1 mg of sodium/salt for each calorie). The ONIE Project has some tips on how to choose the same foods we eat often but with less sodium.
The amount of sodium in loaf bread varies by brand and type. However, one slice of white bread can have around 250 mg of sodium. This may not seem like much, but two slices of bread for a sandwich adds up to 500 mg of sodium or 21% of your daily value of sodium! Instead of white bread, choose 100% whole wheat bread with around 150 mg of sodium or less per slice. When choosing bread check for this label.
Tip Two: Choose corn tortillas
Just as bread, flour tortillas can have 250 mg of sodium per tortilla. Some wheat tortillas have slightly less sodium, but certain brands can have 500 mg of sodium in just one tortilla! Try corn tortillas instead, which have around 10 mg of sodium per tortilla. Check the label for corn tortillas.
Tip Three: Choose lean meats
Lunch meats usually have too much sodium.Two thinly cut slices of lunch meat can have almost 600 mg of sodium! This is a tricky one. Some brands advertise lower sodium or natural but they may still be loaded with sodium. Until you find the brand and style that fits your needs, reading the nutrition label is a MUST (check out how to read a nutrition label). There are lean meats with around 200 mg of sodium in 2 slices.
Tip 4: Make your own pizza
Frozen pizza is a "go to" food for many busy families. However, most meat and vegetable varieties of frozen pizzas contain about 700 mg of sodium per slice, or 1/8 of the pizza. Cheese pizzas may seem like the better option, but they can have anywhere from 400-900 mg of sodium per slice. Pizza sold in restaurants is high in sodium as well, and original crust pizza with pepperoni or sausage often has 1000 mg of sodium or more per slice.
Making your own homemade pizza is healthier and fun! It is easier than you would think.
Homemade Cheese Pizza
1 for 1 certified (Check the label, each slice has less than 1 mg of sodium/salt for each calorie)
Serving Size: 1 slice
3 ounces low-sodium tomato paste
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp olive oil ½ cup water
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Add yeast to 1 cup warm water in small bowl. Stir until dissolved.
- Lightly spray a medium sized bowl with cooking spray.
- Add olive oil, sugar and flour to bowl and gradually stir in the yeast mixture until well mixed.
- Cover and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine tomato paste, ½ cup water, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and olive oil. Stir until well blended.
- Heat on medium heat until sauce mixture comes to a boil.
- Turn heat down to simmer. Cook 5 minutes.
- Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place dough mixture on baking sheet and press down with fingers, spreading the dough into the desired shape (you choose how thick or thin you would like the crust).
- Spread sauce over dough evenly.
- Sprinkle cheese and red pepper over top.
- Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes (or until dough and cheese are golden brown).
From the ONIE Project Team
References: CDC. Vital signs: Sodium Intake Among U.S. School-Aged Children - 2009-2010. MMWR 2014: 63, 1-9.