Food Rationing in Wartime America
World War I
Following nearly three years of intense combat since the onset of World War I, America’s allies in Europe were facing starvation. Farms had either been transformed into battlefields or had been left to languish as agricultural workers were forced into warfare, and disruptions in transportation made the distribution of imported food extremely challenging. On August 10, 1917, shortly after the United States entered the war, the U.S. Food Administration was established to manage the wartime supply, conservation, distribution and transportation of food. Appointed head of the administration by President Woodrow Wilson, future-President Herbert Hoover developed a voluntary program that relied on Americans’ compassion and sense of patriotism to support the larger war effort.
In order to provide U.S. troops and allies with the sustenance required to maintain their strength and vitality, posters urging citizens to reduce their personal consumption of meat, wheat, fats and sugar were plastered throughout communities. Slogans such as “Food will win the war” compelled people to avoid wasting precious groceries and encouraged them to eat a multitude of fresh fruits and vegetables, which were too difficult to transport overseas. Likewise, promotions such as “Meatless Tuesdays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” implored Americans to voluntarily modify their eating habits in order to increase shipments to the valiant soldiers defending our freedom.
To help families prepare meals without these former staples, local food boards were established to offer guidance, canning demonstrations and recipes with suitable replacements for the provisions that had become so limited. As a result of these conservation efforts, food shipments to Europe were doubled within a year, while consumption in America was reduced 15 percent between 1918 and 1919. Even after the war had ended, Hoover continued to organize shipments of food to the millions of people starving in central Europe as head of the American Relief Administration, earning him the nickname the “Great Humanitarian.”
World War II
Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s subsequent entrance into World War II, it became apparent that voluntary conservation on the home front was not going to suffice this time around. Restrictions on imported foods, limitations on the transportation of goods due to a shortage of rubber tires, and a diversion of agricultural harvests to soldiers overseas all contributed to the U.S. government’s decision to ration certain essential items. On January 30, 1942, the Emergency Price Control Act granted the Office of Price Administration (OPA) the authority to set price limits and ration food and other commodities in order to discourage hoarding and ensure the equitable distribution of scarce resources. By the spring, Americans were unable to purchase sugar without government-issued food coupons. Vouchers for coffee were introduced in November, and by March of 1943, meat, cheese, fats, canned fish, canned milk and other processed foods were added to the list of rationed provisions.
Every American was entitled to a series of war ration books filled with stamps that could be used to buy restricted items (along with payment), and within weeks of the first issuance, more than 91 percent of the U.S. population had registered to receive them. The OPA allotted a certain amount of points to each food item based on its availability, and customers were allowed to use 48 ‘blue points’ to buy canned, bottled or dried foods, and 64 ‘red points’ to buy meat, fish and dairy each month—that is, if the items were in stock at the market. Due to changes in the supply and demand of various goods, the OPA periodically adjusted point values, which often further complicated an already complex system that required home cooks to plan well in advance to prepare meals.
Despite the fact that ration books were explicitly intended for the sole use by the named recipient, a barter system developed whereby people traded one type of stamp for another, and black markets began cropping up all over the country in which forged ration stamps or stolen items were illegally resold. By the end of the war, restrictions on processed foods and other goods like gasoline and fuel oil were lifted, but the rationing of sugar remained in effect until 1947.
Want to try out a ration recipe on your own?
Adapted from the “Sweets Without Sugar” pamphlet distributed by the Federal Food Board of New York in 1918.
Start to finish: Approximately 1 hour
5 medium apples
1 ¼ cups bread crumbs
4 tablespoons of melted butter or cooking fat
¼ cup hot water
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons dark corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Grease a glass or ceramic baking dish and preheat oven to 350° F.
Pare the apples and cut them into thin slices. Toss the bread crumbs with the melted fat in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the hot water, lemon juice, corn syrup, salt and cinnamon together.
Distribute a third of the bread crumb mixture into the bottom of the greased dish and top with half of the sliced apples and half of the liquid. Repeat with another layer of bread crumbs, apples and liquid and top with the remaining bread crumbs. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
What do cockroaches eat: ration in natural and home conditions, preferences in food and its required amount
- 1 What do cockroaches eat: ration in natural and home conditions, preferences in food and its required amount
- 2 Suggested Emergency Food Supplies
- 3 Food Safety and Sanitation
- 4 Cooking
- 5 Managing Food without Power
- 6 What Do Ducks Eat?
- 7 Duck Food for Wild Ducks
- 8 Foods Ducks Eat
- 9 How a Duck’s Diet Varies
- 10 What Ducks Shouldn’t Eat
- 11 Rationing in World War Two
- 12 Newborn Kitten Care
- 13 How Do I Feed a Newborn Kitten?
- 14 What Do Kittens Eat Besides Milk?
- 15 How Often Should a Kitten Eat?
- 16 How Do I Keep a Newborn Kitten Warm?
- 17 How Much Should a Newborn Kitten Weigh?
- 18 Can I Hold the Kitten?
- 19 How Do I Teach a Kitten to Go to the Bathroom?
- 20 What and How Much to Feed Your Toddler
- 21 Feeding Toddlers: How Much to Serve?
- 22 Toddler Feeding Chart
- 23 Feeding Toddlers: Signs Your Toddler Is Ready to Self-Feed
- 24 Feeding Toddlers: Milk and Other Dairy Products for Toddlers
- 25 Feeding Toddlers: How Much Juice?
- 26 Feeding Toddlers: What About Multivitamins?
- 27 Feeding Toddlers: How Much Salt?
- 28 Feeding Toddlers: How Much Sugar?
Following a disaster there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils.
Suggested Emergency Food Supplies
Consider the following things when putting together your emergency food supplies:
- Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Choose foods your family will eat.
- Remember any special dietary needs.
- Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
We suggest the following items when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand. Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF).
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High-energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
Food Safety and Sanitation
Without electricity or a cold source food stored in refrigerators and freezers can become unsafe. Bacteria in food grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit and if these foods are consumed you can become very sick. Thawed food usually can be eaten if it is still “refrigerator cold.” It can be re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals. Remember “When in doubt, throw it out.”
- Keep food in covered containers.
- Keep cooking and eating utensils clean.
- Throw away any food that has come into contact with contaminated flood water.
- Throw away any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more.
- Throw away any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
- Use ready-to-feed formula. If you must mix infant formula use bottled water or boiled water as a last resort.
- Eat foods from cans that are swollen, dented or corroded, even though the product may look safe to eat.
- Eat any food that looks or smells abnormal, even if the can looks normal.
- Let garbage accumulate inside, both for fire and sanitation reasons.
Alternative cooking sources can be used in times of emergency including candle warmers, chafing dishes, fondue pots or a fireplace. Charcoal grills and camp stoves are for outdoor use only. Commercially canned food may be eaten out of the can without warming.
To heat food in a can:
- Remove the label.
- Thoroughly wash and disinfect the can. (Use a diluted solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water.)
- Open the can before heating.
Managing Food without Power
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if it is unopened.
- Refrigerated or frozen foods should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below for proper food storage.
- Use a refrigerator thermometer to check temperature.
- Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than four hours.
- Discard any perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers that have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more.
Using Dry Ice:
- Know where you can get dry ice prior to a power outage.
- Twenty-five pounds of dry ice will keep a 10 cubic foot freezer below freezing for three to four days.
- If you use dry ice to keep your food cold, make sure it does not come in direct contact with the food.
- Use care when handling dry ice. Wear dry, heavy gloves to avoid injury.
What Do Ducks Eat?
Duck Food for Wild Ducks
Ducks are omnivorous birds that will eat a wide variety of foods, and a varied diet provides good nutrition for healthy duckling growth, feather strength, muscle development, breeding success, safe migrations, and more. Understanding what ducks eat can help birders provide a suitable diet for any ducks that frequent their local ponds or that may even venture into suburban or urban parks, yards, and gardens.
Foods Ducks Eat
Wild ducks eat a wide range of different foods and they are constantly foraging for meals and snacks. Foods ducks regularly eat include:
- Small fish and fish eggs
- Snails, worms, slugs, and mollusks
- Small crustaceans such as crayfish
- Grass, leaves, and weeds
- Algae and aquatic plants and roots
- Frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, and other amphibians
- Aquatic and land insects
- Seeds and grain
- Small berries, fruits, and nuts
In addition to these nutritious foods, some ducks will also eat sand, gravel, pebbles, and small shells to provide grit that aids their digestion. Grit may also provide trace amounts of critical minerals, such as calcium, as part of an overall healthy, varied diet.
Watch Now: What Do Ducks Eat?
How a Duck’s Diet Varies
While all ducks will try many different foods that may be available, the exact diet any duck follows depends on several factors, including:
- Species: Some ducks are specialized for particular types of food, such as mergansers with narrow, toothed bills that eat primarily fish. Ducks with spatulate-shaped bills, such as the northern shoveler, eat more algae and aquatic insects because their bills can filter those foods from the water more efficiently.
- Season: Many ducks eat mostly insects in spring and summer when insects are most plentiful and provide the best nutrition for growing ducklings. When the seasons change and insects aren’t as common, however, ducks will switch their diet to more easily available foods. A duck’s diet may vary the most in winter when they take advantage of any possible food source.
- Range: Where a duck’s overall range occurs impacts its diet. Ducks that stay in fields or grassland areas eat more grains and grasses, while ducks that live along oceanic shorelines will eat more fish, algae, and crustaceans. When a duck’s range changes during migration, its diet will change as well. If food is scarce, a duck’s range may change accordingly to find more abundant food sources.
- Habitat: Where a bird lives affects the available food that will make up the majority of its diet. Ducks that prefer shady marsh habitats will eat more amphibians and small fish. Ducks, even of the same species, that stay in more open parks and grassy areas are more likely to eat grasses, weeds, and grain. Ducks that stay in forested areas, such as the wood duck, eat a lot of nuts and fruits.
- Feeding style: How a duck feeds has a large impact on its diet. Dabbling ducks feed in shallow water and are more likely to have a diet with more aquatic plants and insects. Diving ducks, on the other hand, feed deeper in the water and typically eat more fish or crustaceans.
What Ducks Shouldn’t Eat
Unfortunately, the food most people associate with ducks–bread–is one of the worst parts of a duck’s diet. Bread is bad for ducks because it lacks any nutritional value for the birds. A diet of mostly bread or bread-like products such as crackers, cookies, donuts, chips, cereal, popcorn, rolls, and similar scraps will cause health problems, including obesity, malnutrition, and poor development. Uneaten, rotting bread in the water will foster disease and attract pests and predators such as rats, raccoons, and other mammals that may prey on ducklings or even attack adult ducks. Birders who enjoy feeding ducks should do so only rarely and should offer a range of nutritious foods, such as cracked corn, oats, chopped vegetables, and lettuce leaves instead of unhealthy bread.
Another unhealthy part of ducks’ diet is lead, specifically, lead sinkers from abandoned fishing line and tackle. To a foraging duck, these small round or oblong pellets may look like nuts or seeds, but the toxic effects of the lead can linger in their systems for weeks, leading to weakness, illness, and even death. Fishermen should always collect discarded hooks and sinkers and should use appropriately weighted fishing line to minimize breaks that could cause lost sinkers that would tempt hungry ducks.
Ducks are opportunistic eaters and constant foragers that will sample nearly any food. Understanding what ducks eat can help birders keep their local duck habitats and duck feeding areas healthy and nutritious.
Rationing in World War Two
by Stephen Wilson
Ever wondered how much food a person was entitled to during World War Two?
Rationing began on 8th January 1940 when bacon, butter and sugar were rationed. By 1942 many other foodstuffs, including meat, milk, cheese, eggs and cooking fat were also ‘on the ration’.
This is a typical weekly food ration for an adult:
- Bacon & Ham 4 oz
- Other meat value of 1 shilling and 2 pence (equivalent to 2 chops)
- Butter 2 oz
- Cheese 2 oz
- Margarine 4 oz
- Cooking fat 4 oz
- Milk 3 pints
- Sugar 8 oz
- Preserves 1 lb every 2 months
- Tea 2 oz
- Eggs 1 fresh egg (plus allowance of dried egg)
- Sweets 12 oz every 4 weeks
Yes, I know what you are thinking…This doesn’t look like much, right?
In fact, ordinary people survived on such rations, although those who produced their own food were able to have that little bit extra.
You might be wondering how this was even possible.
Rationing was a means of ensuring the fair distribution of food and commodities when they were scarce. It began after the start of WW2 with petrol and later included other goods such as butter, sugar and bacon. Eventually, most foods were covered by the rationing system with the exception of fruit and vegetables.
Ration books were given to everyone in Britain who then registered in a shop of their choice. When something was purchased the shopkeeper marked the purchase off in the customer’s book. Special exceptions made allowing for some groups of people who required additional food like underground mine workers, members of the Women’s Land Army and members of the Armed forces.
The Ministry of Food was a government department set up from the start of the war to the end of all rationing in 1958. Its aim was to regulate food production and usage. The Ministry of Food used numerous ways to help people make the most of their rations without wasting food, while at the same time giving them ideas to help make mealtimes more interesting. They introduced various campaigns, television and radio broadcasts as well as literature to educate the public.
As someone who was fascinated by the simplicity of the meal recipes the Ministry of Food encouraged the public to make, I began to collect leaflets and pamphlets produced for the Ministry of Food.
The ‘ABC of Cookery’ and ‘Fish Cookery’ were books published by H.M.S.O. These booklets a quite interesting as they brought the typical home cook back to basics by talking the reader through cookery and food terms, measurements and preservation some of which we would take for granted today with all tinned and vacuum packed products readily available.
Along with this article I wanted to include a recipe leaflet for some insight into rationing. I looked through my collection to select one to include. I thought that I would want to include one that sums up rationing and I feel the leaflet on ‘Potatoes’ does exactly that.
(Detail from leaflet below)
By Stephen Wilson. Over the past few years I have collected a number of leaflets, pamphlets, and books produced by the Ministry of Food around and during World War 2.
Newborn Kitten Care
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During the first few weeks of life, a kittenвЂ™s primary concerns are feeding, keeping warm, developing social skills and learning how to excrete on his own. In most cases, humans will simply watch the mother cat perform her duties. However, if the kitten in your care has been separated from his mother or if the mother cat has rejected her young or cannot produce enough milk, caring for him is up to you.
How Do I Feed a Newborn Kitten?
A mother catвЂ™s milk provides everything a kitten needs during the first four weeks of life. If you have newborn kittens whoвЂ™ve been separated from their mother, consult with a veterinarian, shelter or experienced foster care giver who can help you find a new mother cat with a small litter-she may be able to nurse the orphaned babies. If you cannot find a foster mother, please consult with your veterinarian about the proper way to bottle-feed with a commercial milk replacer. Please do not offer regular cowвЂ™s milk to cats of any age. It is not easily digestible and can cause diarrhea.
What Do Kittens Eat Besides Milk?
When the orphaned kittens are three to four weeks old, begin to offer milk replacer in a shallow bowl, then introduce a moist, easily chewable diet. You can make gruel from warmed milk replacer and a high-quality dry or canned kitten food. Serve it in a shallow bowl and feed the kittens several times each day. By five weeks old, they should be getting used to their new diet. By six to seven weeks old, they should be able to chew dry food and youвЂ™ll no longer need to moisten it. Kittens are typically fully weaned by around eight weeks of age.
Kittens need large amounts of energy—about two to three times that of an adult cat. Food for your kitten should contain at least 30% protein. Make sure the food you offer is specifically formulated for kittens.
How Often Should a Kitten Eat?
The following is a general eating schedule for newborns and young cats:
- Newborn kittens may nurse about every 1-2 hours.
- At about three to four weeks old, they can be offered milk replacer from a bowl and then small amounts of moistened kitten food four to six times a day.
- Kittens from six to 12 weeks old should be fed four times a day as you gradually decrease their access to milk replacer.
- Kittens from three to six months old should be fed three times a day.
How Do I Keep a Newborn Kitten Warm?
If the kitten in your care has been orphaned, it is essential that you keep the young one warm. A heating pad or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel works well. The heat source should be positioned so that the kitten can move away from it at will. Please consult your veterinarian about ideal temperatures, and do take care to monitor the heating pad, if you are using one, to ensure it is functioning properly.
How Much Should a Newborn Kitten Weigh?
An average birth weight for kittens is about 3 ВЅ ounces, depending on breed and litter size. During the first weeks of life, a kittenвЂ™s body weight may double or even triple. Gaining Вј to half an ounce daily until they are weaned is considered healthy. Kittens who donвЂ™t gain adequate weight during this early period may not survive.
Can I Hold the Kitten?
Kittens who are with their mother should not be over-handled, especially not during their first week of life-this may upset the mother. If the kitten in your care is younger than one week old, please consult your veterinarian. In order to properly socialize a young feline to humans, start to handle him from the second week on through the seventh week-this is considered an important time for socialization.
Please note, kittens are prone to injury if handled roughly-anyone who handles the little ones in your care will need to be very gentle. Young children in particular should be supervised.
How Do I Teach a Kitten to Go to the Bathroom?
After feeding, a mother cat will groom her babies, paying special attention to the anal area. This stimulates excretion, which kittens canвЂ™t do on their own until their second or third week. If your kitten is no longer with her mother, dip a soft washcloth or a piece of gauze in warm water and gently massage the anal and urinary regions. The warmth, texture and movement mimic a mother catвЂ™s tongue.
When the kittens are four weeks old, you can teach them to use a litter box by placing them in the box after their meals. Cutting one side down will make it easier for the kittens to go in and out.
What and How Much to Feed Your Toddler
Experts explain how to provide toddlers with the nutritious food they need for their growing bodies.
Your child is walking, climbing, running, and «talking» nonstop now. Such developmental milestones mean his nutritional needs have changed, too.
Welcome to toddler territory. Armed with some basic know-how, you’ll discover how best to nourish your child up to age 3.
Feeding Toddlers: How Much to Serve?
It’s ironic: Because of a slowdown in growth, toddlers, who are far more active than infants, have lower calorie needs, pound for pound. That doesn’t diminish the importance of good nutrition, but it does present some challenges.
Toddlers need between 1,000 and 1,400 calories a day, depending on their age, size, and physical activity level (most are considered active). The amount of food a toddler requires from each of the food groups is based on daily calorie needs.
In addition to choices from each of the food groups, toddlers need the equivalent of 3 to 4 teaspoons of healthy oils, such as canola oil and tub margarine.
Toddler Feeding Chart
3, at least half from whole-grain sources
5, at least half from whole-grain sources
1 slice of whole-grain bread; 1 mini bagel; 1/2 cup cooked pasta, rice, or cereal; 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal
1 small apple; 1 cup sliced or cubed fruit; 1 large banana
1 cup cooked mashed or finely chopped vegetables including legumes (chickpeas, black beans, etc.)
1 cooked egg; 1 ounce cooked meat, poultry, or seafood; 1 tablespoon nut butter; 1/4 cup cooked legumes
1 cup milk or yogurt; 2 ounces processed American cheese; 1 1/2 ounces natural cheese, such as cheddar (low-fat for ages 2 and older)
Feeding Toddlers: Signs Your Toddler Is Ready to Self-Feed
Every day, toddlers hone their motor skills, including at the table. Mastering the pincer grasp, which allows children to pick up small bits of food (and other objects) between their thumbs and the forefingers, is one of the first steps to self-feeding, says pediatrician Tanya Remer Altman, MD, author of Mommy Calls.
Children start to develop the pincer grasp around 9 months, the same time they’re ready for a lidded sippy or straw cup filled with infant formula or breast milk.
Many toddlers can self-feed an entire meal at around a year old, while other toddlers may need help until 18 months or so, Altman tells WebMD.
«After age 2, most toddlers can use a regular cup without a lid without spilling, but if they enjoy a straw cup or a sippy cup, there’s no harm in that,» Altman says.
Once a child discovers he can get food into his own mouth, he may not want you to help so much anymore.
Toddler self-feeding gives a whole new meaning to the term mess hall, but it’s worth it to let him try to get food into his mouth, says Elisa Zied, MS, RD, author of Feed Your Family Right! and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
«Self-feeding is an important developmental skill that parents should nurture,» Zied says.
Allow children to self-feed as much as they can and want to, advises Altman, but if they aren’t getting enough food, you can help, too.
Feeding Toddlers: Milk and Other Dairy Products for Toddlers
Dairy foods, particularly milk, are rich in bone-building calcium and vitamin D. There’s no rush to serve a child milk, however.
«Wait until his first birthday to offer cow’s milk,» says Zied.
The reason? Unlike fortified infant formula, cow’s milk is low in iron and may lead to iron deficiency that compromises a child’s thinking capacity, energy levels, and growth. Breast milk is low in iron, but the iron is well-absorbed by the child’s body.
Most toddlers begin by eating full-fat dairy foods for the calories, fat, and cholesterol necessary to fuel their growth and development. In some cases, your pediatrician or registered dietitian may recommend 2% reduced-fat milk, so ask what is right for your child.
By the age of 2, most toddlers can start transitioning to lower-fat dairy foods, such as 2% reduced-fat milk or 1% low-fat milk, Zied says.
Milk is particularly beneficial because it provides vitamin D. Children of all ages need 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Toddlers require 16 ounces of milk or another calcium-containing product every day. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, however.
Like any beverage, filling up on milk leaves less room for foods, including iron-rich choices such as lean beef, chicken, and pork.
Feeding Toddlers: How Much Juice?
Strictly speaking, children do not need juice. The AAP recommends limiting fruit juice intake to 6 ounces a day or less until 6 years of age.
«It’s better to get your child accustomed to the taste of water than juice at a young age,» Altman says.
It’s not that fruit juice is bad. It’s an important source of several vitamins and minerals that fuel growth, including vitamin C. Fortified juices offer additional nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, too.
The problem is, drinking [fruit] juice, even when it’s diluted, may give kids a taste for sweets, Altman says. Drinking fruit juice at a young age could encourage the consumption of the «liquid calories» that some experts have fingered as a contributor to childhood obesity. And excessive fruit juice intake may cause cavities.
Altman suggests sticking with whole fruit for toddlers. «I don’t know very many toddlers who don’t like fruit,» she says.
Feeding Toddlers: What About Multivitamins?
A multivitamin/multimineral supplement (multi) designed for toddlers won’t hurt and may even help a child’s diet, Zied tells WebMD . Opt for a liquid formulation until the age of 2 and then discuss a chewable with your pediatrician.
«Toddlers are erratic eaters, and some may go days or even weeks coming up short for one or more nutrients,» she says.
Dietary supplements provide some insurance against a toddler’s unpredictable eating, but they are just that — supplements, not substitutes for a balanced diet. Multis fall short for many nutrients toddlers need every day, including calcium.
Multis with vitamin D may be in order if your toddler doesn’t get the recommended 400 IU of vitamin D daily.
The body makes vitamin D; its production is initiated in the skin by strong sunlight. Living in a northern climate increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency in children and adults, making the case for supplemental vitamin D compelling.
Few foods other than milk are good sources of vitamin D. Some good ones include:
- Cereal, ready-to-eat, fortified: 40-60 IU for 3/4 to 1 cup.
- Fortified orange juice: 50 IU for 4 ounces.
- Eggs, whole (yolk): 20-40 IU for one large.
Feeding Toddlers: How Much Salt?
Zied and Altman agree: Children should become accustomed at a young age to the natural flavors of food rather than to a salty taste.
But it may come as a surprise that the salt shaker is a minor source of sodium in the American diet.
Processed foods, including toddler favorites such as hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets, provide 75% of the sodium we eat.
Too much dietary sodium has been linked to high blood pressure in adults. Research suggests a lower sodium intake during childhood may lessen the risk of high blood pressure with age.
While it’s a good idea to avoid the salt shaker, it’s even better to cook from scratch as much as possible. «Limit processed products and season food with herbs and spices to cut down on the salt in your family’s diet,» Zied advises.
Feeding Toddlers: How Much Sugar?
ItвЂ™s not possible to totally escape sugar. Natural sugars are present in some of the most nutritious foods, including fruit, veggies, and milk.
But a bigger concern is the overall quality of the food. Whole foods have many nutrients to offer. Processed, sugary foods — such as candy, cake, and cookies — are often packed with fat and lack other nutrients. Added sugar is found in healthier choices also, such as breakfast cereals, yogurt, and snack bars.
Zied says older children get upwards of 25% of their calories from sugar, far too much to ensure nutritional adequacy.
«Generally speaking, sugary foods are OK in small doses,» Zied says.
«She suggests avoiding soft drinks and limiting fruit juice intake as well as serving more fruits and vegetables with each meal you give your little one.»
Wagner, C. Pediatrics, 2008; vol 122: p 1142.
Committee on Nutrition, American Academy of Pediatrics: «The Use and Misuse of Fruit Juice in Pediatrics.»
U.S. Department of Agriculture: «Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.»
Feng, J. Hypertension, 2006; vol 48: p 861.
MyPyramid.gov web site.
Tanya Remer Altman, MD, author, Mommy Calls.
Elisa Zied, MS, RD, author, Feed Your Family Right; spokeswoman, The American Dietetic Association.
Ward, E. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler, Alpha, 2005.