Tale of a Tick (Why Low Sodium?)

When G-man was on the way, we thought we ate well. Our diet was fairly low in fat and was loaded with fruits and veggies. We carefully read labels to avoid monosodium glutamate and shunned cold cuts because they were high in salt and posed the risk of listeriosis.  Despite our efforts, my doctor exclaimed during a prenatal exam,  “Stop eating salt! You’re swelling like a tick!”

There were a bunch of “good” things that we ate several times a week, if not daily. For whatever reason, we just did not suspect the sodium content and did not look at the labels.  (As a point of reference:  a one-ounce serving of Cool Ranch Doritos has 180mg of sodium.)

Cottage cheese. It is high in protein and calcium, and packs well for lunch. The store brand we had in our fridge happened to have 940mg of sodium per cup.

Tomato soup. This was another lunch favorite of mine. A can of Campbell’s tomato soup has two and a half servings. (Who opens a can and doles out two and a half bowls?) Each serving, according to the label, contains 480mg of sodium. That is 1200mg per can. Sometimes I would mix in a cup of cottage cheese. Ouch!

Frozen peas.  Some frozen peas are just peas. Some, like Whole Foods’ and our local store brand’s, have 200mg of sodium in just two thirds of a cup.

Flour tortillas. A single Mission flour tortilla in the large/burrito size has 630mg.

Spaghetti sauce. A half-cup serving of Hunt’s garlic and Herb pasta sauce has 610mg of sodium.

Frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts. A four-ounce serving of the Pilgrim’s Pride brand contains 320mg of sodium.

Milk. At 100mg sodium per cup, milk does not seem to be a high-sodium food. When pregnant or nursing, it is recommended that a woman drink a lot of it. It adds up.

What were we supposed to do?

Fast forward a few years, we have two small kids who would love to eat boxed mac'n'cheese, frozen fish sticks and fries every day. Stealthy Dad just cannot have that much sodium and cooking separate meals for everyone is not an option. We have to take what we learned and adapt to the tastes of little kids.


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