Once we start weaning children when they turn six months of age, they should be given food with no salt. Salt should only be included in food once the baby turns one year old. Here’s why:-
- Babies that are less than a year old require less than one gram of salt per day, and this is usually covered by breast milk/ formula. If fed any extra salt, their kidneys won’t be able to function properly, and it might lead to kidney diseases and hypertension in the long run.
- The most common thing I’ve heard parents say is the child doesn’t eat because the food tastes bland. You can only miss out on something if you’ve tasted it. A child who’s been breastfed or had only formula up to 6 months of age , doesn’t know how salt tastes. If a child refuses food, it’s simply because the child is sick, not hungry, or doesn’t want to eat that particular food, and not due to the absence of salt.
- It’s hard to break tradition and change people’s mindset overnight, but every new parent must do their research before offering certain foods to their babies. A lot of the diseases we suffer from as adults is because of the food we’ve eaten as children .
- It is important that we are well versed with what a tiny body needs, before assuming what they should eat based on our taste buds. Giving them the right food and nutrition is important because their body is developing. Start your weaning process with porridge, mashed potatoes, hand mashed rice , etc.
- There are plenty of packaged and commercial foods that have a high salt/sodium content. Ensure that your child isn’t fed any of them. A child doesn’t need too much salt. In fact after the child turns one, the amount of salt the body needed is only two grams a day. Make it a habit to thoroughly read through the ingredients of packaged food before buying them for your child.
Meal times are family bonding times, keeping the atmosphere fun and easy going will ensure your child looks forward to meals and eats enough food.
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