Why you shouldn’t give your baby salt and sugar before they turn a year old

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Though they're intended to add flavor to your baby's meals, excessive salt and sugar may be posing risks to your child's growth and development. Find out more here

Once the time comes to start weaning your baby, a lot of questions will naturally arise: What are the best foods for my baby’s growth and development? What can’t I feed my baby until he or she is a toddler?

First, it could help to ask yourself why you think your baby needs a certain food or condiment and their diet? For instance, salt is often added in an effort to make food less bland, especially when a child seems uninterested in the a specific dish.

Salt is often added to make food less bland but your baby won’t be able to tell the difference

However, this is where parents are often mistaken. Most of the time, the reason why your baby doesn’t seem to find a meal appetizing is because he or she has become accustomed to drinking breastmilk and doesn’t really like being fed with something unfamiliar.

So, because kids have only known the taste of breastmilk until they reach six months of age, there is no need to add salt to flavor their food, because they won’t be able to tell the difference anyway.

give your baby salt and sugar

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The harmful effects of adding salt to baby food

A baby’s daily salt requirement is less than 1 gram per day (0.4 g. of sodium)–an amount usually met by formula or breastmilk. Anything more than this amount could be too overwhelming for their little kidneys to process. This may pose risks for hypertension and even, kidney disease as your child grows.

Find out the recommended salt intake for babies on the next page

Baby Nutrition Baby Ages + Stages