How Much Salt Is Safe for Children to Eat?


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A study states that diet in children will be reflected as adults later. Creating a habit of eating food without or minimal salt in adults is very difficult because the tongue of adults usually do not like tasteless food. Therefore, reducing salt levels in food is better taught early. If from the childhood menu the child is not given salt at all or given only a little salt, the child will be accustomed to liking minimal salt food when he grows up later. Know the rules for giving salt to children in this article.

How much salt does the child need?

Generally babies and children only need a little salt in their diet. However, because the food you buy such as bread, baked beans, and biscuits usually contains too much salt, without knowing it will make your child consume salt excessively.

Too high levels of salt are very familiar with high blood pressure among adults. But now, there have been many child-specific studies that show that too high salt levels can also affect blood pressure and increase the risk of some diseases in children, including: high blood pressure (hypertension), osteoporosis, respiratory disorders such as asthma, gastric cancer, and obesity . That's why it's important to pay attention to salt intake for your child.

Based on the Mineral Adequacy Rate recommended for Indonesians, the maximum level recommended for consuming salt for children is:

  • Before your child is 6 months old, your child only needs salt contained in breast milk or formula milk.
  • Ages 6-12 months: 200 mg sodium / day
  • Age 1-3 years: 1000 mg sodium / day
  • Ages 4-6 years: 1200 mg sodium / day
  • Ages 7-9 years: 1200 mg sodium / day
  • Aged 11 years and over: 1500 mg sodium / day

Babies who are given ASI will get enough salt from breast milk. Formula milk also contains salt which is more or less the same as breast milk.

Tips for preparing low salt foods for children

When you start introducing solid foods, remember not to add salt to the food you will give your baby, because their kidneys cannot process it. You should also avoid giving fast food that is not specifically made for babies, such as cereals, because they contain high levels of salt.

Many children's foods that contain high salt. Therefore, it is important for you to carefully check the nutritional content before you buy a product for your child. The amount of salt can generally be calculated from the amount of sodium or sodium contained in it.

As an illustration, foods that contain more than 0.6 gr sodium every 100 gr, are classified as having high salinity. You can calculate the salt content in food by multiplying the amount of sodium by 2.5. Simply put, 1 gram of sodium per 100 grams of food equals 2.5 grams of salt. So, if you eat foods containing 0.6 grams of sodium this means that the food contains 1.5 grams of salt.

You can reduce the amount of salt given to your child by avoiding salty snacks, such as chips and biscuits, and replacing them with low-salt snacks. Try a selection of healthy snacks such as dried fruit, raw cut vegetables, and fresh fruit.

By ensuring your child does not consume too much salt, you can ensure that your child will eat less salt when he grows up. Not only that, limiting salt intake for children from an early age will also prevent your child from getting various diseases in the future.

How Much Salt Is Safe for Children to Eat?
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