The Dangers of Salt
Too Much Salt is Dangerous for Babies…and Adults Too!
If you add salt to your baby’s food it can lead to serious, even life-threatening, kidney damage.
Up to the age of 12 months your baby needs very little salt – less than 1 gram per day. This amount is met by the breastmilk or formula that you are giving.
And remember! Although the human body cannot produce salt, but we all need some in our diet for our bodies to function correctly, TOO MUCH SALT IS NOT GOOD – especially if given from an early age. It can be a cause of high blood pressure later in life, particularly if there is a history of hypertension in your family.
Beware of Hidden Salt:
- Always follow the mixing instructions for formula very carefully…too concentrated (powder to water) means too much salt.
- Always check the label for the appropriate age level on commercially made foods. Foods made for toddlers contain amounts of salt that are OK for your toddler…but too much for your baby.
- Always read the label on tinned vegetables if you want to include them in your baby’s diet…make sure that they contain NO ADDED SALT.
- Always check the labels on breads… some contain surprisingly high amounts of salt.
- Avoid processed meats and other foods such as hams, salamis, pepperoni, baked beans, ready-made sauces, etc…processed foods contain too much salt for your baby.
- If you want to give your baby cheeses… shop for LOW-SODIUM cheese.
- Commercial stock and gravy cubes, granules and powders ARE VERY HIGH IN SALT… when cooking baby’s food, make your own stock for sauces and gravies, there are some easy recipes available.
How Can I Add Flavour to My Baby’s Food,Without Adding Salt?
Your baby’s taste-buds take time to mature, so now is the time to teach those taste-buds not to prefer salty tastes. But ‘no salt’ is not the same as ‘no flavour’ as there are several ways of adding flavour naturally…try some of these:
- Herbs,aromatic spices (NOT THE HOT ONES!), garlic – they’re all healthy in other ways too.
- A little black pepper – it also helps digestion.
- No-salt herbal seasonings.
As always, when you want to introduce new foods (this includes flavourings) into your baby’s diet, remember to discuss it with your doctor first and introduce them separately, and at least 4 days apart. This will help you to identify any digestive problems or food allergies they may trigger.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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