Is It Okay To Include Salt Or Sugar To Baby’s Diet?
After introducing solids to the babies, one of the most common questions asked by moms is whether they should follow the no salt no sugar diet for their babies or not. The older generations started baby food relatively earlier than these days. They started solids when the babies were around 4 months old. Now the question arises should salt and sugar be added to a 4-month-old’s baby food?
Times have changed. There has been a lot of research and studies over the years which state no salt for babies till they turn 1 year old. Still in India at least it’s a debatable issue as some moms believe its okay to introduce little salt and sugar to the babies when introducing solids and other moms strictly adhere to the no salt no sugar diet.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why it is recommended that a baby till 1 year of age follows a no salt no sugar diet.
- A baby till 1 year of age only needs around 0.4 gm sodium in his diet which he gets from breast milk and the fruits and vegetables. Moms are often concerned that the baby will find the food bland and tasteless without salt and sugar. But the babies, in fact, don’t know the difference between a food in which salt has been added and in which it has not been added. They derive the taste from the fruits and vegetables.
- Excessive salt causes overload on the kidney which might cause problems in the later years. Sometimes it might lead to the formation of kidney stones too. Babies’ kidneys are not developed enough to handle too much salt. Hence, it is advisable to add no salt for babies. Excessive salt can also cause hypertension, osteoporosis in the future.
- Too much sugar causes sugar rush and the baby becomes hyperactive. It can lead to the complication of diabetes in the later years. Sugar is also one of the reasons for obesity in children. Sugar can also cause early onset of tooth decay in the babies. So, it’s best to avoid sugar in one-year-old baby food.
Taste along with nutrition
- Sometimes babies start disliking and rejecting breast milk if they get a hang of salt and sugar in their diet. It is a known fact that breast milk is extremely vital for a baby’s growth.
- Early introduction of salt and sugar might lead to future bad eating habits in the children. They would have an affinity towards more sugary and salty food.
To sweeten the baby food, natural sources like fruits and vegetable purees, dates, jaggery, dry fruit purees can be used. Strictly no honey should be introduced before the baby reaches the one-year-old baby food mark. Try to avoid giving packaged food to the babies, which contain preservatives.
Introducing salt or sugar to the babies before 1 year of age is still a debatable issue. My kids are grown up today and I had introduced salt and sugar to them since the time they started solids. They have grown up just fine. But again, it is totally up to the parents’ discretion.
For some parents salt and sugar is Yay and for some Nay!