Elakeya I am a young Physician Associate by career but always love to write! I expertise in medical writing, nutrition, cooking, and even travel and food.

Why You Shouldn’t Add Salt And Sugar To Your Baby’s Diet? Here Are Some Healthy Options!

2 min read

Many moms will come across the question “Why shouldn’t I add salt and sugar to my baby’s food?, Does it taste really good?, Is adding salt and sugar so much harmful for babies? ” How much beneficial is this?

Moms will always come across many questions in their mind while crossing their parenthood. Being a mother is the most responsible job right? And it not a really easy job too. Parenting becomes easier with a few knowledge about parenting tips.

There is really no need to add salt in your baby’s food. Baby need only a very small amount of salt less than 1 g a day until their are 12 months. Your baby’s kidneys can’t cope with more salt than this. Before your baby is six months old, he will get all the sodium he needs from breastmilk and infant formula. Foods such as adult breakfast cereals and pasta sauces are not recommended for babies  which can be high in salt.

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1. How Much Salt Does Your Baby Needs Now And When He Grow Up?

The maximum recommended amount of salt for babies and children is

  • Upto 12 months – less than 1 g of salt (0.4 g of sodium)
  • 1-3 years – 2 g of salt per day(0.8 g of sodium)
  • 4-6 years – 3 g of salt per day ( 1.2 g of sodium)
  • 7-10 years – 5 g of salt per day (2 g of sodium)

When you started weaning for your baby, remember not to add salt in his diet. Kidneys can’t cope up with the amount of salt. You should also avoid giving salted biscuits and cereals which can be very high in salt.

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2. How Can Too Much Sodium Hurt Your Child’s Health?

Eating too much sodium is associated with high blood pressure in children and teens and the effect is even greater when they are overweight and obese. Kids with high sodium diet are almost 40 percent more likely to have elevated blood pressure than kids with lower sodium diets.

High blood pressure in childhood is linked with to early development of heart disease and risk for premature birth.Hypertension is also linked with kidney diseases and stroke  in future.

A high salt intake can cause calcium losses through the urine which can lead to bone dimineralisation and significantly increase the risk of osteoporosis, a bone condition causing fragility and breakages.This is particularly common in girls.

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3. How To Reduce Salt In Your Baby’s Diet?

  • Some changes can be made in a baby’s diet to make sure there is no much salt.
  • Try offering them healthy snacks such as fruit and yoghurt rather than giving crisp and salted biscuits. Don’t  add salt until weaning.
  • Avoid cheese to the diet , cakes etc.
  • Homemade meals cooked using fresh ingredients are naturally lower in salt than convenience meals and processed food.
  • Avoid giving hot dogs, sausages, pickles and soy sauce.
  • Avoid giving fast foods to toddlers like hamburgers, french fries, fish sticks and chicken nuggets etc.
  • You can offer your baby unflavored rice cakes instead.

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4. How Do I Look On The Nutrition Label?

Look for words like “low sodium”, “sodium free” , “reduced sodium”and “no added salt” in package.

Use the daily value % in the label to compare products and see if a food has little bit or more sodium. Look for foods with sodium content of less than 15% daily value.

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5. Adding Sugar On Baby’s Diet

The problem is, the earlier you introduce added sugars, the more likely your baby or toddler is to prefer and choose sweet foods into childhood and throughout the rest of his life. Eating foods that are high in sugar can lead to preventable diseases like heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure.

Many mommies think that no sugar for babies also means no sweet foods for babies and refrain from giving nutritious foods for their little ones.

This sugar only includes white refined sugar and not natural sweetness and sweetness in fruits.

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6. How Can Sugar Affects Your Child’s Health?

  • Try not to give your baby’s food added with sugar. Too much sugar and sweets is very bad for your child’s emerging teeth and results in tooth decay while too much salt is bad for your kidneys.
  • Sugar may decrease immunity.
  • High sugar diet are prone to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

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7. Natural Sweeteners is a very healthy option!

  • Adding fruits to your baby’s normal diet is a very healthy option to make the food not taste bland. Eg. rice porridge with apple puree
  • Dates syrup
  • Honey
  • You can also use dates sugar,and mixed nuts powder to make the food flavorful.

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Reference Links:

  • https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/childrens-health/how-much-salt-do-babies-and-children-need/
  • https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/about-heart-attacks
  • https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/heart-health-and-aging
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320565

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Elakeya I am a young Physician Associate by career but always love to write! I expertise in medical writing, nutrition, cooking, and even travel and food.

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