Jessica McFadden, of A Parent In America, is joining the Sodium Blog as a Guest Blogger today.
When I was pregnant with all three of my kids, it was really easy for me to pack on the pounds. Hey, I was hungry! When you are baking a baby, I felt like there was no shame in extra avocado. I definitely gained a pound or two at every single monthly check in.
But I also learned during my first pregnancy how immediately and dramatically too much sodium affects your health. Once during my first pregnancy My blood pressure was higher than usual and my weight rose by eight pounds, which no amount of pregnancy noshing could account for. This sent off lots of alarm bells to my OB and the nursing staff.
After running tests, my healthcare team concluded that too much sodium in my diet could have contributed to my rise in blood pressure and water retention, but all was well with baby and me.
This was the day, 12 years ago, that I broke up with salt.
That was the day, as a newly-expectant mother, that it hit home to me how important it was to maintain a healthy diet for my children’s health.
I guess you can say I have been working on reducing my kids’ sodium exposure since before they were born.
Today Charlie, Eve and Alice are ages 12, 10 and 5 and ensuring their happiness and health is my number one priority. This may make me sound like I am going for the Perfect Mom award, but putting this goal into practice when you are conscious of your kids sodium intake is not easy.
It means walking past the delicious smells of the fast food pizza place located right next door to the ballet studio with two ravenous girls after back-to-back classes.
It means getting up early to make the children healthy lunches, when putting cash into their school lunch accounts for chicken fingers and French fries would be easier.
It means constant planning to keep one step ahead of kids’ hunger and food intake needs, while juggling the work deadlines and to-do lists.
Because just putting our heads into the piles of salty sand would be logistically easier. Sodium is packed into the food marketed to kids.
This is why I am involving my entire family in taking the pledge to break up with salt. I am explaining to my kids that we are not saying no to “fun” foods. What we may be saying no to is high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems. We are saying yes to living our most healthful lives.
Won’t you join us?
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