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More information about ranch dressing

By Jennifer LaRue Huget
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, March 8, 2011; 4:09 PM

Did you know?

The original, handmade batches of buttermilk dressing were made in the mid-1950s by Steve Henson at his Hidden Valley Ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif. Buttermilk is now the sixth ingredient in the Hidden Valley full-fat dressing, after soybean oil, water, egg yolk, sugar and salt; it's third on the light variety's ingredient list, which starts with water.

Alternatives to ranch for kids

The dip-it-in-ranch approach is in keeping with a controversial notion that adults should do whatever they can to get vegetables into kids' mouths, even if that means disguising the food or masking its taste. Like ranch, these dips have a bit of sodium. Try alternating them with ranch if you don't want to make your kid go cold turkey. (Nutrition facts are per 2 tablespoon serving.)

Tostitos Chunky Salsa

- 10 calories

- 0 grams fat

- 250 mg sodium

Tribe Hummus

- 50 calories

- 3 1/2 grams of fat

- 130 mg sodium

Newman's Own Light Honey Mustard

- 70 calories

- 4 grams fat

- 280 mg sodium

What's in a serving?

A serving of dressing is two tablespoons. When's the last time you limited yourself to just that amount? As with many processed foods, it's a trade-off between fat and sodium.

Hidden Valley Ranch

- 140 calories

- 14 grams fat

- 260 mg sodium

Kraft Ranch

- 130 calories

- 13 grams fat

- 370 mg sodium

Hidden Valley Ranch Light

- 80 calories

- 7 grams fat

- 290 mg sodium

Kraft Light Ranch

- 80 calories

- 6 grams fat

- 440 mg sodium

More on nutrition: Visit the Checkup blog at voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup, follow @jhuget on Twitter and subscribe to the Lean & Fit newsletter by going to washingtonpost.com/wellness.

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