loss apetite

Why salt and sugar is a big NO for babies below 1 year of age?

It’s a general opinion that little bit of sugar and salt is not harmful for babies. Whenever they create a fuss eating food, we think that if we add little bit of sugar or salt babies will enjoy their food. Unfortunately, this doesn’t hold true. Sugar and salt are not required for babies under 1 year. The truth is, adding salt to baby’s food may be dangerous.There can be many risk factors, if we include sugar and salt in infant’s diet.

Babies have a delicate system and salt may effect their kidneys. Their kidneys are unable to process a high amount of added salt. Too much salt from sources other than natural foods like veggies and fruits, breast milk and/or formula may damage baby’s kidneys and possibly even cause brain damage. Babies get enough salt from the formula milk or breastmilk. They don’t need salt in their veggies, soups or lentils.

Another risk that salt carries is that high salt content in the body can lead to dehydration. This is due to the fact that salt in the body can only be dissolved with water and the water in the body is used to flush out the salt.

Below you will find a list of sources of sodium compiled from ABC.go Health which are high in Salt/Sodium which should be avoided:

  • Soups, vegetables, chilies and pastas in cans or soup-powder mixes
  • Processed meats (such as packaged Deli meats), shellfish and other seafood
  • Instant-cooked cereals
  • Frozen dinners like pot pies
  • Seasoning mixes (taco mixes, gravies and other sauces)
  • Some pancake, muffin and other bread mixes
  • Salted butter or margarine
  • Salad dressing
  • Soy Sauce
  • Dutch-processed cocoa and instant cocoa mixes
  • Instant noodles, rice and potatoes
  • Health Foods

In addition we need to be really cautious about our little ones’ sugar intake as well, right from the moment they’re weaned. The toddler years are really important because that’s when their future eating patterns are established.

Adding sugar in baby food also increases the risk of tooth decay in babies. Oral bacteria rely on the leftover food in the mouth for their survival and sugar is perhaps the best food for them. Apart from tooth decay or ear infections, high sugar content in your baby’s diet can increase the risk of diabetes in the future years.

As parents, we need to be cautions of the food that we give to our babies. Pay attention to the list of ingredients of baby food carefully and avoid adding sugar and salt,till 1 or 1½ years . By avoiding sugar and salt in the early years, we can make sure that your child does not develop salty cravings and sweet tooth. It also help in reducing the risk of developing diseases like hypertension and diabetes.