Salt does magic in making food more tastier. Sugar does magic in making food more addictive. But, both these magics are not required for infants under 1 year. Poor little babies do not know the taste of both until and unless you introduce them.
Researches show that babies who do not have salt in their first year are less prone to “Hypertension” in future and the same formula applies to sugar and future diabetes, as well. Talk to your doctor today and say no to salt and sugar for babies below one year.
What seems to be just a pinch(of salt) to you, might actually overload the tiny kidney.
Recommended sodium intake for babies:
0-6 months of age – 0.1g(120mg) of sodium per day
7-12 months of age – 0.4g(370mg) of sodium per day
Avoid salt when preparing food for babies. Required sodium for baby are supplied via breast milk/formula. The slight increase in sodium requirement after 6 months will be taken care by the natural sodium present in vegetables, fruits and grains.
Also avoid salty foods like
- Packed Chips
- Crackers(salt biscuits)
- Store-bought bread
- Processed foods(like cheese, breakfast cereals)
- Preserved foods(Pickles, tinned/canned food)
- Fast foods(Fries,wedges,nuggets,sauces..).
If you buy store-bought food, do check for the presence of sodium in label and avoid such foods till 1 year. It is better to avoid above foods till 2 years.
Sugary food builds more cravings for it which might lead to “Sweet tooth” as well as “Decayed tooth”. Avoid sweets and chocolates. Not even a sip of fizzy drink or soft drink ! No refined sugar for sure, even after 1 year. So, what’s the alternate ?
- 6-12 months – Add naturally sweet vegetables(Pumpkin, Sweet potato, Carrot), fruits(Banana, Apple, Pear) and dry fruits(warm-water soaked Raisins or Dates puree).
- 1+ years – Jaggery(Vellam), Palm jaggery(Karupatti), Palm candy(Panang kalkandu), Cane sugar(Karumbu/Naatu Chakkarai).
- 2+ years – Honey (Though honey is recommended after 1 year, my Paediatrician advised to avoid “Honey” till she turns 2. Discuss with your doctor)
Slow and steady introduction of sweets make babies taste all varieties of food, which makes a stronger base to build good eating habit for the rest of the life.
Salt/Sodium related information in this post are referred from Medical Literature supplied by my brother Dr.S.P.Maharajan, Nephrologist, one who cares for human kidneys.
This special post is to mark the occasion of “World Hypertension Day“(May 17, 2017)..
Think twice before adding salt.. Re-think before buying sugar !.. Happy and Healthy Parenting..