Babies cannot eat too much salt as their little bodies, and in particular their kidneys are not developed enough to digest it properly yet. As they grow older, they can have a little more as time passes, but it is important to try and keep the salt intake to a minimum in the first 6 months of weaning.
As a general guide, the below shows how much salt little ones should be served per day.
|Child age||Salt intake (per day)||Sodium conversion|
|12 months and under||Less than 1g||0.4g sodium|
|Toddlers aged 1-3||Maximum 2g||0.8g sodium|
|Children 4-6||Maximum 3g||1.2g sodium|
|Children 7-10||Maximum 5g||2g sodium|
|Children aged 11 years up to adulthood||Maximum 6g||2.4g sodium|
If your little one has had an meal which is a touch saltier than desired, ensure the rest of their meals is lower in salt to compensate, this means you don’t need to worry too much for individual meals and if it is unavoidable, or you would like to introduce a new flavour to baby, this is okay. Remember, it’s really important to offer a wide variety of tastes and textures to your little ones so that they grow into confident little eaters.
When cooking family meals, avoid salting the food from the beginning of cooking i.e. don’t put salt in the pasta water. If you are really missing the salt from your own meal, you can remove baby’s portion and salt the dish, or season your plate at the table. Remember, taste of salt is a learnt behaviour, and babies do not need their food seasoned strongly, it won’t be blend for them. However, all of Rebecca’s meals have been developed to ramp up the flavour from other ingredients, minimising the need for seasoning and allowing baby and children to be exposed to a large variety of flavours.
When shopping for ingredients, take a moment to check the packaging, choose the cheese brand with the lowest amount of salt, or buy tinned foods which are unsalted. Opt very low salt, or even zero salt stock cubes and buy low salt varieties of products like soy sauce. This way, you can cook the same meal for everyone and it will be safe for your littlest taste testers to enjoy it too.