Why no salt and sugar in baby food? When can I add salt to baby food?


Is it safe to add salt to baby food?

Adding salt in baby food?

When can I introduce salt in baby’s diet?

Why no salt for baby till 1 year?

Why should one not add salt to baby food?

It is recommended that one should avoid adding salt to baby’s food till one year or as long as possible. Salt is basically a chemical compound composed of Sodium and Chlorine and is chemically known as Sodium Chloride (NaCl).

Human body needs minerals like sodium and potassium, but in very, very small amount. Excess minerals which are not absorbed .by the body are filtered away by kidneys and excreted with urine. Baby’s kidneys and digestive system are still maturing and thus too much of anything may be harmful. Too much salt can harm their still fragile kidneys and system.

Other than these, there can be long term lifestyle problems:

  • Too much salt or sugar means child will not appreciate the natural taste of food like vegetables.
  • It can also lead to child preferring food with loads of salt which can eventually lead to health problems.

When can I add salt to baby food?

It is said that human body needs small amount of sodium, how will my baby get that if I avoid salt completely?

During the first year, breastmilk or formula still forms the bulk of your baby’s food. There is enough sodium in breastmilk and formula for baby’s needs, so there is no need to add extra salt to baby’s food.

Will baby eat the bland food without salt? What if s/he does not like food without salt? 

Please note that we like salt in our food because we have learnt to like our food with salt. Baby’s palate is clean and s/he does not know if there needs to be salt in food. This is also a good opportunity to introduce baby to pure, natural flavours without any addition of salt or sugar. Dals, rice, veggies, fruits all have their own natural taste. Remember baby cannot miss what s/he does not know about.


When is it OK to add some salt to baby food?

As baby approaches first year and you start introducing regular table food to her, you may introduce small amounts of salt and seasonings to your baby’s food. Remember, too much salt is bad for everyone, so make food with low salt and put foundation of healthy habits early on. Adding a teaspoon of salt to a dish for the whole family will distribute the salt among all and will not be too much for baby.

Also, there is salt in lots of food around you without you adding any extra. Butter, cheese, pickle, ketchup, noodles, fries all kid’s favorites are laden with salt, so there is no need to add salt to baby food and your child will definitely not have lack of sodium, if anything.


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