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How Much Salt Per Day Can My Baby Have?

Nutrition

How Much Salt Per Day Can My Baby Have?

One of the common concerns for parents who are introducing solids to their babies is the intake of salt and how much salt per day is too much. It is one of the main reasons I find parents are delaying incorporating their children into family meals. Parents are worried about the sodium content of their food and therefore feel it is not suitable for their child. While it is important to be mindful of sodium levels when feeding a child under the age of one, salt does not need to be avoided altogether.

Parents are worried about the sodium content of their food and therefore feel it is not suitable for their child.

According to Health Canada, babies between the ages of 7-12 months need approximately 370mg of sodium per day. There is no upper tolerable limit given since there is insufficient data on which to support one, however, this does not mean that there is no potential for adverse effects resulting from high intake. Babies’ kidneys are too immature to cope with excess amounts of sodium.

High sodium foods to limit before the age of 1:

  • Soy sauce
  • High salt cheese
  • Meat/vegetable stock (powder/cubes)
  • Anchovies and lox
  • Bacon
  • Pickles and olives

When cooking food at home, it is important to include your child in family meals as much as possible.

In general, it is best to avoid processed/packaged foods as well as restaurant foods due to high sodium levels. When cooking food at home, it is important to include your child in family meals as much as possible. In order to do this, it may be necessary to adapt some of your recipes. Often adding herbs, spices or a squeeze of lemon can help enhance the flavour of the dish without the need for as much salt. Try reducing the amount of salt used or add the salt to your own plate at the table as needed. A child between the ages of 1-3 years old can consume up to 1500 mg of sodium per day so at that time, foods with a higher sodium content can be offered in moderation.

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Quick Tips:

  • Eat family meals

  • Limit your child’s salt intake

  • Add herbs, spices or lemon to food instead

  • Minimize your salt intake too!

Is your child dairy free? Check out other sources of calcium.

Do you have a picky eater? Solutions here.

Aviva Allen
Written By: Aviva Allen

Aviva is one of Toronto’s leading nutritionists with a specialty in Kids’ Nutrition. For more info visit Aviva Allen’s Website

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