Family Favorite Recipe Tips

How to Evaluate the Sodium Content of Favorite Recipes

  1. Examine the ingredients.
    What is the sodium content of packaged ingredients?
    (Read the labels of the ingredients you will use.)
    What is the sodium content of other ingredients?
    Examine any ingredients used in preparation.
  2. Total the approximate sodium content for the entire recipe.
  3. Divide the total sodium content by the number of servings the recipe makes.
    Make sure the serving size listed on the recipe is the same as what will actually be served.
  4. Does this food fit into your child's food pattern?
    If he eats this, how much sodium will be "left" for the rest of the day?
Example: Billy Bob's Grandma's Best Apple Pie
1.
Sodium content of packaged ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar 86 mg
2¼ cups all purpose flour 7 mg
1 cup butter 2000 mg
1 teaspoon salt 2325 mg
1 tsp baking powder 200 mg
Butter (1 Tbsp)
(to grease pie plate)
125 mg

TOTAL 4743 mg
Sodium content of other ingredients:
2½ pounds apples 0 mg
1 teaspoon cinnamon 0 mg
1 teaspoon lemon zest 0 mg
4 teaspoons water 0 mg
 

 

TOTAL 0 mg
2. Total sodium for this recipe equals: 4743 mg
3. Total sodium divided by number of servings:
Although this recipe says it makes 12 servings, we make 10 large servings.
So, we divide 4743 by 10 = 474 mg sodium per serving.
4. Does the food fit into a low sodium food pattern?
This recipe is too high. Although one serving is less than the 500 mg sodium in Billy Bob's food pattern, it does not leave him with much sodium for the rest of the day. (It would be impossible to eat enough food for one day and no more than 26 mg sodium!)

How to Adjust the Sodium Content of Favorite Recipes

Identify the "high sodium" ingredients.
Can these ingredients be omitted?
What low sodium ingredients can you use as substitutes?
Do the changes make the recipe acceptable? (Evaluate the modified recipe to make sure.)
Example: Billy Bob's Grandma's Best Apple Pie
High sodium ingredients:
Salt--can be omitted
Butter--substitute unsalted butter or vegetable shortening
Baking powder--could omit this or use low sodium baking powder
Evaluate the modified recipe:
Sodium content of packaged ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar 86 mg
2¼ cups all purpose flour 7 mg
1 cup unsalted butter 0 mg
1 tsp reduced sodium baking powder 3 mg
Unsalted butter (1 Tbsp)
(to grease pie plate)
0 mg

TOTAL 96 mg
Sodium content of other ingredients:
2½ pounds apples 0 mg
1 teaspoon cinnamon 0 mg
1 teaspoon lemon zest 0 mg
4 teaspoons water 0 mg

 

TOTAL 0 mg
Total sodium for this modified recipe equals: 96 mg
Total sodium divided by number of servings:
96 by 10 = 9.6 mg sodium per serving. This item will fit into a low sodium food pattern.