Aug 26

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How much salt is enough?

We all know too much of salt is not good for our health but still we continue to make the mistake of consuming salt too much until any health problem related to high sodium consumption occurs.


We can get all the sodium we need to stay healthy if we eat natural foods in addition to some food products that are seasoned with a little salt, but it’s of us get too much of sodium in the form of sodium chloride( common salt) which is added to everyday food such as bread, biscuits, cheese, salted nuts, pizzas, burgers, condiments, canned foods, packaged food, chips, snacks, etc.
Unfortunately children are given a lot of salt in childhood which makes their taste buds get used to highly salted items. When this happen they lose the ability to relish the subtle flavour of natural foods.
Parents should always remember That habits formed in childhood go a long way through to the adulthood. So minimise too much of salt in the diet as it can result in high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease in adult lives
How much salt should our children consume?
A trace of salt is needed for the electrolyte balance and so a limited amount of salt in our diet won’t harm us since the excretion of any excess is handled by the kidneys. Currently we consume on average, at least two and a half times of sodium then our body really needs.

The daily recommended salt consumption is as follow:

Age Maximum Salt Intake
0-6 months <1g / day
7-12 months 1g / day
1-3 years 2g / day
4-6 years 3g / day
7-10 years 5g / day
11 years and above 6g / day

These are maximum level of salt but it is better to aim for little less then these levels.
In our Bodmin sodium and potassium work closely together so there is a need to maintain balance between these two minerals. If we increase the intake of fruits and vegetables in our diet, the level of potassium will go up then sodium and this will be a better situation.
Tips for cutting down on your child’s salt consumption

  • Choose foods which are mostly low salt foods- like chicken breast rather than ham, wild Alaska salmon rather than smoked salmon, sardines rather than smoked herrings.
  • Giving them healthy snacks such as fruit and yogurt rather than crisps, swapping ham and cheese sandwiches for chicken or tauna, never adding salt to their food .
  • Encourage your child to eat unsalted nuts and seeds rather than salted.
  • Give home made snacks like rice cakes, rye crackers, unsalted pop corns.
  • Encourage a taste for natural foods like fruits and raw vegetables with no salt.
  • Remember not to keep salt on table to avoid adding salt in salads and curries.
  • Limit salty items like pickles, sauces, ketch ups and condiments.
  • Most importantly read the label carefully before handling the items in your child’s hand.
  • Items with sodium content 0.5 per 100g is considered high, below is moderate and 0.1 is low.


Simple changes can be made to a child’s diet to make sure they don’t consume too much salt.

Babies they need very small amount of salt as their kidneys imageare too immature to handle with little larger quantity of salt. Breast milk naturally meets all of a baby’s nutritional requirements and if children are on formula milk then you have to be careful in making it correctly as per the instruction on the label as formula milk contains sodium.

During weaning, no salt should be added to any foods. Weaning products do not have any added salt and on tasting them you may find they taste bland, but do not add any salt.

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A low salt diet throughout childhood will help prevent children developing a taste for salty foods and reduce the likelihood of them eating a diet high in salt during adulthood. Home made food should be such that it contains low sodium and more of fruits and vegetables.

Teenagers need to be careful with their diet as most of the stuff they are inclined to contains high sodium and sugars such as chips, cakes, biscuits, chicken nuggets, pizza and burgers .






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