This cutting-edge ingredient could help revolutionize school lunch programs and promote healthier students.
- School meals are a cornerstone of many childhood diets
- Most children consume too much sodium, and school lunches are part of the problem
- New low-sodium technologies and initiatives are making healthier school food a reality
The school lunch is a fixture in many children’s diets, and for some, it may be the only meal they get in a day. Quality school lunches are therefore extremely important both for keeping children healthy now and encouraging healthy eating habits into adulthood.
Unfortunately, many school menus fall short when it comes to good health, especially where excess sodium is involved. And that’s cause for alarm when you consider the following:
- One in every 25 young people aged 12-19 have hypertension
- One in every 10 American kids have elevated blood pressure
- Nearly half of our young people are obese
It’s clear that something needs to change, especially when it comes to school lunches. Luckily, there is a simple 21st-century solution. By partnering with MicroSalt®, parents and schools can unite to drive positive change that puts flavorful low-sodium meals back on the menu for kids. Here’s how.
The problem with traditional salt
Despite salt’s popular taste, the negative effects of excessive sodium intake can’t be ignored. Too much salt contributes to an array of chronic conditions that can become life-threatening. Hypertension, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes are all connected to excess dietary sodium, as are kidney issues, weight gain, and even some cancers.
So, cutting back on salt should be a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Traditional salt is a supremely effective flavor enhancer. It makes food taste good. One of the biggest problems with reducing sodium in school lunches is that kids’ palates have become accustomed to high levels of salt in their daily diet. Data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows just how bad this situation is, with all groups from toddlers to teens consuming dangerously high levels of sodium.
Simply cutting back on the amount of salt used in recipes – or replacing salt with bitter-tasting substitutes like potassium chloride – runs the risk of alienating students, thus invalidating a school meal’s reason to exist: to engage kids with flavorful and nutritious food. After all, it doesn’t matter how healthy a meal is if nobody will eat it.
Consider this incident that occurred during one school’s attempt at tackling high-sodium meals. Children resorted to creating their own “contraband economy” where salt was one of the underground goods! Staff noted how healthier choices were turning kids away from school meals which they had begun to view as bland and tasteless.
The good news is that schools have been enjoying more success in recent years on the sodium reduction front. Targets are being met, nutritional quality has been improving, and the majority of schools are on the right track. There’s still a long way to go, however, and kids absolutely must be on board and receptive to lower-sodium meals if health initiatives are to succeed.
And that’s where MicroSalt® can help.
An Introduction to MicroSalt®️
The structure of MicroSalt® ️ is unique. It’s a microparticle that’s 100 times smaller than traditional salt crystals and has a matrix that provides significant benefits in terms of taste and nutrition. MicroSalt® allows salty flavor to hit the tongue faster and more powerfully because its micron-sized particles dissolve almost instantly.
This means that you can use half the amount of MicroSalt® to achieve the salty flavor you love. And half the amount of salt means half the amount of sodium. Try it yourself and you’ll see. Low-sodium food never tasted so good!
How MicroSalt®️ Can Help Make School Lunches Healthier
MicroSalt®️ can be incorporated into school lunch programs in two ways. Firstly, school cooks can use it as a substitute in recipes. Just replace the amount of salt you usually use with half that amount of MicroSalt®. It’s just that simple.
Secondly, schools can look for packaged and processed foods made with MicroSalt®. And, more importantly, lobby their suppliers to provide more MicroSalt®-based options. Increased demand is the best way to convince food manufacturers to join MicroSalt®’s full-flavor, lower-sodium revolution.
It’s also prudent to make a cost comparison of using MicroSalt®️ versus traditional salt in school lunches. To achieve the taste sensation of one MicroSalt®️-seasoned meal, school kitchens would have to use twice the traditional salt at double the expense. Multiply this by every meal provided every day to hundreds of students and the potential savings become clear.
Then there’s the regulatory aspect. Schools using MicroSalt®️ will come quickly into line with new sodium limits set by regulatory bodies. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), for instance, aims to reduce sodium in school lunches by 10 percent by 2024. MicroSalt®️ is the simple, cost-effective way to meet these new targets while also providing delicious food that kids will actually eat. It’s a win-win for schools, parents, and kids alike.
MicroSalt®️ for healthier school lunches
Parents who are concerned for their children’s health have a powerful voice in their communities. Likewise, school staff and educational stakeholders can use their influence to create healthier meals and demand healthier options from their suppliers.
MicroSalt®️ is standing by to work with parents and schools to create healthier meals for kids. Just give us a call at 1-877-825-0655 or connect via our message page to learn more about how MicroSalt®️ can help your school district provide healthier meals that kids (and parents) will love.