November 1st, 2012

Thin ?n Trim Deli: Healthy Lunch Meats for Kids, Part 2: Sodium

TNT Healthy Lunch MeatsLast week, I gave a brief history on the progression and changes made to lunches for schoolchildren. I ended that post by mentioning the final rule for?Nutritional Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs that was issued by the USDA in January of 2012.?One of the key points that the rule requires is that most schools must reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and?trans?fat in meals, which is also stressed in the Dietary Guidelines.

In this post, I intend on explaining how our?Thin ?n Trim?deli meats?and?cold cuts?fit in as healthy lunch meats for kids in regards to sodium. ?While?Thin ?n Trim lunch (deli) meats are not actually served in the school cafeterias, they are definitely ideal for kids that bring sack lunches from home.

The following table (click to enlarge), taken from the Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; Final Rule, shows the final sodium targets that schools will have to meet per child for an average lunch meal. They do not even expect to reach that target until mid-2022.?

Final Rule: Chart of Target Sodium Levels

Thin 'n Trim Buffalo Chicken 180 mg sodium per serving

A good thing about Thin ?n Trim deli meats is that our lunch meats? sodium levels are significantly lower than the final sodium targets for all age/grade groups already! Take a look at our nutrition fact sheets and compare them with our competitor?s lunch meats? nutritionals. For your convenience, I?ll summarize a few of them here. From our Thin ?n Trim Fresh-Cut Deli line, we offer a variety of beef, turkey breast, chicken breast, ham and cold cuts, while our Thin ?n Trim Pre-Cut Deli line offers roast beef, turkey breast, and ham. It should be noted that all servings are 2 ounces (56 grams). Highlighting some of products? sodium levels, we see:

Thin ‘n Trim Fresh-Cut Deli

  • Thin 'n Trim Virginia Ham has 220mg sodium per servingBoth our Thin ?n Trim Roast Beef and Italian Roast Beef only have 140mg of sodium per serving.
  • Our various fresh-cut turkey breasts only have 210-280 mg of sodium per serving.
  • Thin ?n Trim Buffalo, Honey, and Peppered Chicken Breasts each have 180 mg of sodium per serving.
  • And our three Thin ?n Trim Fresh-Cut hams are each sitting on only 220 mg of sodium per serving.

(Note: The sodium levels above are recent as of October 2012 and have not yet been adjusted on our fact sheets. We’re also in the process of updating our images and our bags, so keep your eyes peeled!! You’ve heard it here first!)

Thin ‘n Trim Pre-Cut Deli

  • Our two roast beefs are as low as 180 mg of sodium per serving.
  • Thin ?n Trim turkey breasts have 390-470 mg of sodium per serving
  • Our three pre-cut hams do not exceed 570 mg of sodium per serving.

Grilled-Portabella-Turkey-MuffulettaAs you noticed, Thin ?n Trim Pre-cut Deli sodium levels are a bit higher than those of our fresh-cut deli products. However, even with those numbers, our competitors? sodium levels are still much higher than?ours. If you don?t take my word for it, you can actually check out their nutritional information on their websites. One particular brand, which I won?t name, has a 98% fat free deli fresh shaved honey ham that has as much as 650 mg of sodium in a single 51 g serving! That same brand also has a packaged, slow roasted roast beef with 500 mg of sodium for each 56 gram serving. A different competitor has an oven roasted chicken breast deli package that has a surprising 880 mg of sodium in a 57 g serving!

So taking our Thin ?n Trim lunch meats, and coupling them with grains/bread, fresh vegetables and fruit, they would still make a healthy lunch with an ideal sodium level. Even then, keep in mind that we are constantly striving to reduce our sodium levels while maintaining our great taste. This last statement is shown in this very post here, since a lot of our website images still reflect our previous levels!

With that, I conclude Part 2: Sodium. Stay tuned next week as I tackle Thin ?n Trim Deli: Healthy Lunch Meats for Kids, Part 3: Fats & Calories.


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