(NEW YORK) — If you’re a label reader, here is a nutrition fact you don’t want to miss. It’s not just calories, fat and sugar you should be checking. Another culprit assaulting our diets is sodium — and it can be found in just about everything.
A new study shows that children and teens in the United States on average are taking in as much sodium as adults. Since kids’ bodies are smaller, consuming that much sodium each day could mean major health problems when they grow up.
Registered dietician Cynthia Sass worked with Nightline to compare the sodium content in kids’ lunches and snacks. Here’s a breakdown and suggestions on what you can do to make healthier lunches and snacks for you and your family.
LUNCH: Instead of deli-sliced turkey on white bread with American cheese and mayo:
TOTAL: 1,010 mg sodium
Try grilled chicken breast with Swiss cheese on an English muffin with mustard:
TOTAL: 345 mg sodium — a difference of 665 mg sodium
Also consider trying this fresh food lunch recipe as an option:
Turkey Taco Boats
On stovetop over medium heat, sauté peppers and onions in broth until tender, set aside. Mix cilantro into ground turkey. Fill each Romaine leaf with turkey, then corn and squeeze with fresh lime. Top with salsa, sautéed vegetables and avocado and serve.
Sodium total: 386 mg
SNACKS: Instead of Cheetos and Oreo cookies:
TOTAL: 530 mg sodium
Try plain Lay’s potato chips and Hershey kisses:
TOTAL: 215 mg sodium — a different of 315 mg sodium
Also consider trying this fresh food snack recipe as an option:
Vanilla Almond Frozen Banana
Stir vanilla into yogurt. Dip banana into yogurt or spoon yogurt over banana to coat thoroughly. Mix oats and almonds. Sprinkle banana with nut mixture, wrap in wax paper and freeze at least 20 minutes.
Sodium total: 120 mg
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