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Nestle Answers: Preservatives, Sodium and Stouffer's

This is one of a series of posts that features Nestle's answers to my questions that came out of the Nestle Family event. To access the other questions and answers, go to follow-up questions for Nestle and click on the questions you are interested in. Answers will be posted as they are received and analyzed.


You told the bloggers that Stouffer’s meals contain no preservatives and they tweeted about it. I assume they misheard you, since most of the Stouffer’s meals seem to have a sodium content of between 25% and 40% of the daily recommended allowance for an adult in one serving. If my 2.5 year old were to have one serving of your Family Vegetable Lasagna, she would be getting 100% of her recommended daily sodium intake from that one piece of lasagna. Salt/sodium is a well-known preservative. Please explain (a) why  you would characterize Stouffer’s as preservative free and (b) why you feel it is appropriate to market foods with dangerously high sodium levels to families.

Nestle's Answer

It's evident that you are a concerned mother and you're seeking more information to aid you in making good choices for your family.  We appreciate your concern so referred your specific questions about our Stouffer's brand to our team in Solon, Ohio which includes microbiologists, RDs and nutritionists.  The technical team reviewed your questions and provided the answers below. Hope this is helpful information to you, Roz O'Hearn

Yes, we told our Nestle Family blogger guests that our Stouffer's meals contain NO preservatives--because this is true.  Freezing is a natural method of preservation so we don't need to include preservative ingredients.  Regarding sodium, only when it is present in concentrations high enough to lower available water-to-bacteria-to-water activities to below 0.85 is it considered a preservative.  If sodium were used as preservative in our Stouffer's recipes, it would need to present at much higher levels--which is not necessary.  Our product development teams, who are trained in both food science and the culinary arts, use sodium for flavor and seasoning --which is an important feature of our Stouffer's recipes.

As you know, nutrition and ingredient information is readily available on the back of every Stouffer's package.  One additional point: You may also read that we worked to remove TFAs from our products.  Today, there remain only a few Stouffer's varieties that still declare TFAs on the label; we think it's important to note that those TFAs are naturally occurring from either the beef or dairy ingredients in those recipes.

Regarding your specific query about your 2.5 year old and Stouffer's Vegetable Lasagna, our nutritionists reviewed and offer this information:

  • Toddlers 1 - 3 years of age should consume about 1000 - 1500 calories per day; the recommended sodium level is 1500mg per day.

  • The guideline for appropriate serving size is 1/4 of an adult portion per year of age. So a two year old should consume 1/2 of an adult portion.

  • Our family size meals range in sodium from 25 - 40% of DV for adults.

  • A toddler eating a toddler-size portion would consume less sodium. The serving size for our Party size vegetable lasagna is 8 ounces which provides 40% of DV for sodium for an adult.  Therefore, a 2 year old would consume, at most, a 4 oz serving which would provide 32% of their DV for sodium.

  • This information comes from the USDA Food Guide and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, which are the most current guidelines.

We appreciate your interest in our products and hope you will visit our website often for the latest information on our products and promotions.

My Response

There are two issues here. The first is preservatives and the second is the sodium levels and general nutritional value.


When the Nestle Family bloggers were learning about Stouffer's meals, apparently Pauline (@OHmommy) from Classy Chaos mentioned that she doesn't feed her family frozen meals and asked if they would feed it to their kids. The response from the Nestle team was that there are no preservatives at all in Stouffer's meals.

This prompted a flood of tweets with this great news, like this one:

there are no preservatives in the Stouffer's frozen meals. none. zilch. nada. #nestlefamily

I find it interesting that Nestle chose to mention the absence of preservatives as a way to quell any concerns about the nutritional value of their frozen processed dinners. Especially since [quoting the Nestle answer above] "freezing is a natural method of preservation so we don't need to include preservative ingredients."

So, if we knew we were talking about frozen foods and freezing is a natural method of preservation, then why was it relevant to mention that there are no preservatives? Sounds like the nutritional equivalent of greenwashing. In other words, an unjustified appropriation of nutritional value where none really exists.

Sodium Levels

According to the Institute of Medicine, which was jointly commissioned by the Canadian and U.S. governments to determine appropriate sodium levels for dietary consumption,  recommended sodium intake for each age group is:

  • 1000 mg for children aged 1 to 3

  • 1200 mg for children aged 4 to 8

  • 1500 mg for people aged 9 to 50

  • 1300 mg for adults aged 51 to 70

  • 1200 mg for seniors aged 70+

According to the USDA Food Guide, which Nestle references above, for toddlers (1 to 3 years old) the maximum daily intake level of sodium to avoid adverse affects is 1500mg per day. In its answer above, Nestle mentions that the recommended sodium level for toddlers is 1500mg per day. That is not correct. The absolute maximum a toddler should be getting per day is 1500mg. The recommended sodium level for toddlers is 1000mg.

To be fair to Nestle, Stouffer's is not the only brand with dangerously high sodium levels. But processed foods, of which Stouffer's is a part, is responsible for 77% of the sodium intake in our diets, as can be seen in this chart from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

But to characterize Stouffer's as a healthy alternative for a family meal is ridiculous. On its Web site, Stouffer's says:
We know it’s not always easy to eat well. But why should you compromise, when you don’t have to? With STOUFFER’S quality meals in your freezer, you can rest assured your dinner will be exceptionally tasty.

That is the problem. Eating Stouffer's is not eating well. Eating Stouffer's is like eating fast food. While there is no problem with fast food as a treat every once in a while, characterizing Stouffer's as a way to eat well is not accurate. Some of the Nestle Family bloggers noted that they knew frozen processed foods weren't great, but still better than McDonald's. That, unfortunately, is also not really true (or not by more than an inch). If a toddler eats half of the adult serving size of the Family Vegetable Lasagna (as Nestle suggested in its answer above), that would be 160 calories, 6.5 grams of fat (including 3 grams of saturated fat), and 455mg of sodium (close to half of the child's daily recommended amount).  In comparison, a McDonald's hamburger with ketchup is not much worse at 250 calories, 9 grams of fat (including 3.5 grams of saturated fat), and 470mg of sodium. The 4 piece chicken McNuggets is 190 calories, 12 grams of fat (including 2 grams of saturated fat), and 400mg of sodium. I'm not saying that McDonald's is great (far from it), but if I am going to give my kids a treat, my bet is they would choose going out for a burger over having Stouffer's lasagna any day.

Note: I didn't include the "sides" in my analysis above because there are so many options in terms of what you could serve with your Stouffer's lasagna and what you can choose as a side at McDonald's that the comparisons would get too complex. You can go very healthy or very unhealthy on the sides either way.

I don't love feeding my family processed food. But as a busy working mom, I do throw a frozen lasagna or frozen pizza in the oven more often than I would like. But I do read the labels. I try to find the best alternative among the ones out there. I think even the best still have a ways to go in terms of reducing the levels of sodium and saturated fat. I think it is possible to make a tasy nutritious frozen meal with less fat and less salt. The thing is that to make something tasty, you need to either include salt (which is cheap) or include more tasty ingredients like great vegetables (which are expensive). Replacing the salt with other tasty but healthy ingredients would decrease profits. That is the real issue here. It is cheaper to keep you addicted to their foods by adding more salt, than by adding nutritious foods.

Tonight, I did feed my family a frozen lasagna. One that had the same number of calories per adult serving (320 calories), but that had only 69% as much sodium and was still plenty tasty (i.e. salty). I think there is plenty of room to improve. Not just for Stouffer's, but for the whole industry. Our sodium levels are twice what they should be and more than 3/4 of our sodium is coming from processed foods. We need the industry's help to reduce sodium levels or we need to stop buying their stuff.

Which would you prefer Nestle?
« Nestle Answers: Outsourcing Accountability in the Chocolate Industry | Main | Wordless Wednesday: Is there a breastfeeding article amongst those Enfamil ads? »

Reader Comments (51)

Thanks for doing such a great job of breaking down these answers from Nestle. It's interesting that they focus on the technicalities of whether sodium qualifies as a preservative in this particular product, whether the level of sodium in a serving falls within the maximum acceptable range for a toddler, etc., while glossing over the elephant in the freezer - products like this just have way too much sodium to ever reasonably be considered "healthy" or "eating well", and rather than taking real steps to improve their products, Nestle has chosen to hide behind soundbites like 'no preservatives! none, zilch, nada'.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEvilSlutClique

I love your answer. I try to avoid prepared foods for my family and cook a lot at home, but like anyone else there are times that I need the help. I'd be delighted if it were a healthier option than it is.

That's the thing with stuff like this. They can take the one bit that sounds good in their advertising and ignore the bad parts. It's not so easy for consumers to know enough to spot it all.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

[...] (PR) disaster on Twitter. Its response on child slavery in the cocoa industry is posted here: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/10/07/nestle-answers-preservatives-sodium-and-stouffers/ I have posted the following comment: —-Comment begins “That is why Nestle has actively [...]

Wowza. I use salty canned goods more than I 'should', but not much in the way of frozen foods -- there's just not that much room in the freezer! LOL.

Good stuff to know. If frozen foods were less salty, I might consider buying them more.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAl_Pal

This was really interesting. I'm glad to see Nestle went to their experts for an answer and provided a pretty thorough response. I do think the no preservative v. frozen thing was a bit misleading as well... no preservatives compared to what - if you fed your family out of a can instead of the frozen box?

Also, interesting how the sodium info is described differently. Looks like either there is room for interpretation on those guidelines, or Nestle totally misunderstood or just plain lied.

I was hoping they'd answer more of the tough questions about the breastfeeding /formula issue first, but I guess it's okay they warm up with this one. :)

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMissy @ Marketing Mama

[...] here to read the rest: Nestle Answers: Preservatives, Sodium and Stouffer’s Tags: announcement, came-out-today, content, detect-it-yet, from-viruses, georgia-tech, medical, [...]

Well done you for taking on this project!!! I really take my hat off to you. Don't you love how pedantic they can be when it is convenient... and how wishy-washy when they need that too... Consistency is obviously not key!!!

We have never bought baby food per-se ... never needed to... I always thought you had to to parent with pre-prepaired jarred food, only to discover that that is yet another marketing myth aimed at new mothers - the sooner they trap you the better... better for them that is!!! Forget about your wallet, your well-being, in fact anything to do with you!!!

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterse7en

[...] (PR) disaster on Twitter. Its response on child slavery in the cocoa industry is posted here: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/10/07/nestle-answers-preservatives-sodium-and-stouffers/ I have posted the following comment: —-Comment begins Nestlé says: “That is why Nestle [...]

"Significant scientific evidence illustrates the strong effect that salt intake in infancy and childhood has on predicting high blood pressure later in life." --from "Disease-Proof Your Child" by Joel Fuhrman MD

He goes on to say that for an adult a good aim is to shoot for 600mg - 1,000mg per day. So I imagine for a child his recommendation would be much lower.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter@Artemnesia

Greenwashing, I agree.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

Great post! Love your research and analysis.

In my opinion, the simple "math" done by Nestle about toddler serving size and sodium intake per serving is quite meaningless. Toddlers don't eat like robots that you can simply dial in a fraction of an adult serving size and manage their sodium intake. If a certain food has high sodium per serving, it is not a good idea to play the game of portion size. The right thing to do is to bring the sodium level down regardless of whether an adult is eating it or a toddler is eating it.

Instead of hiding behind the numbers in their so called "expert" response, I would have liked to see them take ownership of the sodium problem and announce specific goals to reduce them to a certain level in their products ahead of regulatations. That would have shown true leadership and concern for the consumer.

Having said that, it doesn't seem like Nestle intended to mislead people about the no preservative claim. True that marketers are trained to highlight only the positive; only the scientist is trained to be objective. Plus it is often not possible to say everything in 140 characters.

The problem of salt is an industry wide problem, not only a Nestle problem. However, I expect a lot more leadership and initiative from a company like Nestle.

Keep up the good work!

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTwinToddlersDad

Nestle spent a long time discussing sodium, right after I asked them about the lasagna. They said that each year they lower the sodium because each year Americans get used to lower sodium diets.

When I cook meals I avoid salt completely, or as much as I can in spices, so when our family orders a pizza we feel bloated for the rest of the night. But there are SO many Americans that are un-effected. As consumers we can continue letting companies know that our tastes are changing and they will have to change to keep up with the current demands.

(Im totally watching The Today Show right now and a commercial came on for En-Cor family size frozen meals. They have a huge NO PRESERVATIVES sticker on their package)

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterOHmommy

@se7en: We never really used jarred baby food with my daughter, but we did my with son. He has major texture issues, so couldn't eat regular food in small pieces/mashed up without gagging on it. I did make some baby food for him, but I couldn't always get good quality organic produce that I wanted at decent prices and the organic baby food was always available at the same price. But I agree that it isn't the "necessity" that it is pushed as.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

If this is not too off-topic, I was curious which frozen meal brands are lower in sodium. I love the Amy's and Annie's meals that are low in fat and high in fiber (I was on Weight Watchers last year) like the black eye peas rice bowl but admit I never read the sodium info.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThat Danielle

@That Danielle: Last night we had the http://www.st-hubert.com/pasth.com/en/details/st-hubert/frame_st-hubert.shtml" rel="nofollow">Garden & Chicken Lasagna from St. Hubert. It is a Canadian brand though, so probably not available in the US. We also sometimes buy the http://www.presidentschoice.ca/FoodAndRecipes/BlueMenu/BrowseBlueMenu.aspx" rel="nofollow">President's Choice Blue Menu products sometimes (some are great, others not as much).

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I admire you for taking this on!

We struggle to find frozen/canned meals that suit our requirements of no artificial flavors, colors, sweetners, MSG, and reasonable sodium amounts! I used to can and freeze my own read-made meals, but I have no time for that now.

I hope your voice is heard far and wide.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermamasapplecores

[...] 16. You told the bloggers that Stouffer’s meals contain no preservatives and they tweeted about it. I assume they misheard you, since most of the Stouffer’s meals seem to have a sodium content of between 25% and 40% of the daily recommended allowance for an adult in one serving. If my 2.5 year old were to have one serving of your Family Vegetable Lasagna, she would be getting 100% of her recommended daily sodium intake from that one piece of lasagna. Salt/sodium is a well-known preservative. Please explain (a) why  you would characterize Stouffer’s as preservative free and (b) why you feel it is appropriate to market foods with dangerously high sodium levels to families. ANSWER HERE. [...]

Great analysis of the response. I feel a problem with a lot of corporate claims, including "we reduce salt because tastes change" to be more than just "greenwash." I'd call it hogwash.
There's not a lot of healthy properties in the American prepared food diet. Some may have fewer calories, grams of fat and cholesterol, but that doesn't make them nutritionally sound.

I believe these companies, with their scientists and test kitchens, have done to food what drug makers have done with drugs. Addicted us to quick fixes.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertoyfoto

Just about that image capture you have up top from dates2diapers. Remember SHE was told by Nestle this information which I am sure they wanted these bloggers to go and tell it. Maybe they set all this up to try and cover their tranished image on their problems.

Companies need to realize that themselves and their corporate people are there maybe by choice, and not because of their high intellect. I am sure they all make GOOD money, but sometimes it more about money, but to people like that they may not even care.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDel The Dad

I meant "but sometimes it more about money" to be "but sometimes it is about more than money,"

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDel The Dad

I try to cook fresh, or freeze meals for later whenever possible, but if I'm going to have a frozen entree I eat Kashi. The Mayan Harvest is my favorite and also vegan.


Supposedly keeping your food under 1mg of sodium per calorie is a good rule of thumb, and this is slightly over, but it's nowhere near a Stouffer's entree that's for sure.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter@Artemnesia

Their "NO PRESERVATIVES" = not chemical preservatives.

It should say "NO artificial PRESERVATIVES, but a whole lot of salt, which is used as a NATURAL PRESERVATIVE " (or in fancy words, sodium).

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDel The Dad

@Del The Dad: That is true. Except in this case, when answering my question they indicated correctly that no salt is needed as a preservative for frozen meals because freezing preserves it. So the salt is added for taste only in portions that are way too high to be healthy.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I'm shocked that Nestle thinks that a toddler getting 32% of their daily sodium from ONE meal is okay. I think it's also worthwhile to note that while people need SOME sodium, the salt in processed foods is not iodized. My family has thyroid issues, so I do use some salt when I cook, but it's something like 1/4 teaspoon for a whole giant pot of chili. It just kills me how food companies think they are fooling us all with their labels about how healthy their product is. You have to educate yourself, you have to read the ingredients list.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKayris

Great analysis.

I can get very opinionated where it comes to convenience foods, whether they come from the freezer or from a fast food restaurant. Preservatives or not, high sodium or not, I'm not going to buy Stouffer's lasagna.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie @ The Mom Slant

Thanks so much for taking this on, Annie. I think it's so important that this whole thing not turn into just one or two days of Twitstorm, but real action. You are taking real action.
I look forward to more responses from Nestle and more analyzing by you.

[...] of PhD In Parenting wrote a very nice post this week about how Nestle responded to her question on high sodium content in Stouffer’s frozen foods. This was precipitated by Nestle’s claim on Twitter that Stouffer’s meals contained no [...]


I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt about being a concerned parent but this has gone on too far.

After this last round, I looked at your profile and realized you in fact DO NOT HAVE A PhD. This is completely misleading. I come from a large family of highly educated doctors and surgeons and the fact that you so falsely use that in your domain name and twitter handle is disgraceful and misleading to the many people who are assuming that you have one. The claims and analysis that you are making is false and untrue. Check with a REAL medical professional and you will realize you are WRONG!!!!

You have lost all credibility now in your claims to edit and analyze nutritional claims and government standards. If this continues, I will report you to the Canadian equivalent of the US Better Business Bureau. And I will let EVERYONE know on Twitter that you are in fact NOT a Phd.

I am soooo bothered by this new information that I am struggling to understand how a rational person who is trying to teach her children integrity can conduct herself in such a way. I am sure you will be removing this post as you seem to only be interested in protecting your business.

And the bigger question I have heard the parenting community ask is, "How does she have time to take care of her kids and spend quality time when she spend ALL HER TIME on her blog and answering tweets." I think a call to the equivalent Child Protective Services in Canada is in order. This behavior is NO BETTER than the Octomom or Kate (of Jon & Kate plus 8) of the US.

I only hope you take a hard look at yourself and realize the values you are sadly exposing your children too. Kids mirror their parents and I would hope you want more for your children than someone who presents herself falsely to the community and spends ENDLESS hours attacking others. Really? Take a few lessons from Mahatma Gandhi, although I am sure you would attack him too.

Do better, so your kids will know better. You reap what you sow.....

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterA Concerned Citizen

@A Concerned Citizen:

Aren't you brave? Calling me out and using the e-mail thetruth@yourconcious.com. Very cute.

First, I don't have a PhD. I never claimed to have a PhD. I explain in the section http://www.phdinparenting.com/about-this-blog/" rel="nofollow">about my blog that I do not have a PhD. But even if I did, would that make a difference? What if I had a PhD in religion? Would that make me more qualified to speak on these issues than someone who just has a lowly Masters degree like me? It is a clever name and one that reflects the dedication with which I approach parenting.

Second, I don't spend all of my time on my blog and answering tweets. That said, on this important issue I have dedicated a substantive amount of my free time to researching and blogging these issues. Last night, my daughter went to sleep at 7:30pm and I stayed up until 12:30am researching, blogging, and responding to tweets. I'm not a single parent and we practice equally shared parenting, so even when my kids are not asleep, it doesn't mean they are neglected if I am on my blog.

Third, the only people I am attacking are the ones that are making false and misleading marketing claims about their products. If you think that it is misleading for me to use the word PhD in my blog name, then I can't believe you would support what Nestle is doing?

Fourth, go ahead and tell people on twitter whatever you want. Just be brave enough to do it under your own twitter name rather than under some fake e-mail address.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

concerned citizen,
then there are a whole HUGE bunch of us that are going to need protective services called on us. we are all on twitter answering and making tweets. a lot. i even tweet at the park, while my son is bathing, while i'm cooking dinner for them, while i'm putting the kids to bed.
also, i think most of us know that annie is not a true doctor and that her blog was just cleverly titled.
and i'm not even a highly educated person...just lots of college with no degree. and i figured it out all by myself.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

Concerned citizen,
I totally agree. Annie is such a bad influence on her children and others because she questions the status quo and establishment without an advanced degree. Her use of humor in her blog and Twitter name is beyond reproach! And her children are obviously abandoned and playing in traffic and with knives because every single parent is with their children 24 hours a day, even when they are sleeping or in school or when the other parent is with them.

I think you should also call the irony police but watch out because they might arrest you too!

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThat Danielle

Wow. I think irrational citizen is a better monicker. Anne has her Masters, and its a title. I suppose one could have a PhD in child development, but not in parenting. I also take other blog names with a grain of salt. It topmomma really the top? Seriously, she doesn't sign her entries with a credential statement, because that would be misleading.
I find it amazing that anyone would personally attack someone's parenting skills and use such threats over blogging. I am going to go out on a limb and suppose that your kids are the center of your attention while you are writing this angry blog comment?
Personally, I'm responding from my cell phone while nursing my 5 month old while my 10 year old gets ready for piano.
For the record, it doesn't have to take away from your quality kid time to tweet if you're doing it right.
I notice you are, by the way, relying on the education and professional stature of the people to whom you are related to try to add credibility to your arguement. Seriously? So because I have had family members in the military I'm more credible and should call someone on the carpet for naming their blog "army of cute?" I think not.
If you don't care for what Anne writes, there is this marvelous thing you can do. Don't read it and spend time with your own children.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterslee

This one is making me mop up the coffee I just spewed on my keyboard.

In the scope of Nestle's dishonest and immoral corporate behavior, personally I think the sodium issue is a quibble not worthy of this much attention (not diminishing the dangers of excess sodium, just think Nestle's assertions are not far enough from accurate to merit this cyber-ink). Also, I admit that I assumed from the name of the blog that Annie was indeed a PhD in something, though obviously I knew it could not be in parenting. I also think people should identify who they are if they are going to make controversial assertions on the Internet or attack individuals. I don't know why Annie doesn't use her last name and I think she should.

That said, @A Concerned Citizen, if you have science that contradicts something in this blog post, contribute it. CPS? Really? Going to round up all the employed women in the world and take their children away? Puleese.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJake Aryeh Marcus

There is a name for our 'Concerned Citizen': Troll. Trolls take the contrarian point of view simply to evoke a reaction. Trolls are always looking juicy topics to flame, usually late at night, like our 3am poster. They don't even believe their positions, they just cause trouble! If this was a forum, the troll would be banned, but since we are adding constructive comments to a blog,it is best to ignore those that are not.

BTW, I predict a response to this comment. :)

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUn-concerned citizen

@Jake Aryeh Marcus:

There are three reasons I don't use my last name:

1) I don't need people like Concerned Citizen calling my house at 3am instead of leaving a comment on my blog.

2) I am trying to participate in a public sphere while still maintaining my family's right to privacy

3) I am a professional in a field that is unrelated to what I do on this blog. When people search for my full name, I want them to find pages and pages of Google results related to my professional experience, not pages and pages of results with my opinions on circumcision, breastfeeding, infant sleep, and so on. It isn't that I am embarrassed by those things, but they are not relevant to what a potential client would be looking for and I want them to find information on my professional expertise without having to wade through a bunch of parenting stuff.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I understand all three reasons. I am in the same position but use my real name. My phone number is unlisted (has been for many years) and I don't use the names of my family members in my public writings. I believe that being anonymous makes one less credible. Being both professionally and personally accountable for your writing is important, I think, and you don't have to be if no one know who you are.

Obviously I respect your work because I link to it. But anonymity gives me pause.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJake Aryeh Marcus

I know comments like @concernedcitizen's (or whatever) sting - no matter how INANE they are. But, I found that comment in particular rather hysterical. I hope you'll be able to laugh at it, too, at some point. NO ONE HAS A PHD IN PARENTING! That's the whole POINT! MOST of the world gets that. Also, if there WERE a PHD course that one could take in parenting? I vote for Annie to lead the class. Also? To this post (the more important item at hand)? BRAVO. Really -- well done!

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHaley-O (Cheaty)

The only important thing that I can see that you left out (and to be fair it seems like everybody neglects this issue) is the amount of MSG that is in this stuff. That's where your high sodium levels are coming from. As you probably know MSG is a highly addictive substance and therefore makes it difficult to even control the amount of servings you would eat. Unfortunately these days it's been couched and covered up using so many different names that it's difficult to recognize at first glance unless you have the list memorized.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKari

Bravo....so do you think this a 'concerned citizen' hired by nestle, or a staunch sell out of Nestle. I love how people go onto to peoples comments and start saying what everyone reading should think. Some just don't realize that people who do not agree with them, may have a mind of their own.

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDel The Dad

[...] This doesn’t come as a surprise at all, given Nestle’s (which owns Gerber and Stouffer’s) staunch defense of its sodium-laden Stouffer’s meals as appropriate for young children. [...]

[...] children are increasingly obese and ingesting dangerous amounts of sodium. The processed foods and fast food industries are largely to blame. The last [...]

its true that high salt intake later on leads to hi BP. Its my personal experience and m just 20.

February 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwaqar

[...] I wrote about the sodium levels in Nestle’s Stouffer brand food, a Concerned Citizen wrote: And the bigger question I have heard the parenting community ask is, “How does she have time to [...]

[...] Promoting unhealthy food, especially for young children; [...]

[...] Promoting unhealthy food, especially for young children; [...]

[...] Promoting unhealthy food, especially for young children; [...]

[...] Promoting unhealthy food, especially for young children; [...]

Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post such valuable information. I have always been a label reader (on the lookout for MSG in all its many, many names used!) but I had no idea their advertising was SO misleading and that there was so much salt. And here I thought so highly of myself for driving PAST the McDonalds and throwing a lasagna in the oven! THANKS AGAIN!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCricket

I will not buy Gerber Toddler foods until they start reducing the salt content in them, their main concern should be for our children.

January 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvelyn Miller

I'd also like to point out here that there is no such thing as "recommendations" for sodium levels. In fact it's only that we Gould avoid salt and sodium at any cost! I realize that sounds prudish, but if we're really talking about healthy and expertise in healthy...finding a limit for sodium is not my concern if I'm hoping to minimize it especially if its' soul purpose to make the food tasty. And I'd like to point out the option we have to freeze our very own leftover soups and lasagnas...the ones that mom makes that is without all the sodium battle and can be measured appropriately. Yes cheeses have sodium, but I think I make my main point that we can't as moms, really trust an industry that has the biggest priority of selling food in a fast way, that potentially is addictive (usually high fat or sugar or salt or all of these) in order to accomplish their goal. Moms can take more charge of things. Serve a salad, don't grab a stouffers...

March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKdee

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