Salt is something which parents need to pay a bit of attention to in their child’s diet. Salt is often labelled as sodium on food packaging which can be confusing.
Although too much salt can be dangerous for children’s kidneys, salt is an electrolyte which is vital to bodily functions.
Most of the salt in UK diets comes from convenience foods such as processed meats, snacks and ready meals. Food aimed at young children should not contain added salt but lots of cereals and children’s snacks still do. Checking the packaging is a useful starting point.
If you’re cooking meals at home, try not to add the stock with salt and avoid salty sauces.
When cooking family meals, portion out your child’s food prior to adding salt if this is your preference.
It is best to try to prevent your child from developing a taste for salty foods by keeping them at a minimum in their diet. This can help to support them to avoid less healthy habits later in life.
The maximum amount of salt children should have per day is:
The maximum recommended amount of salt for babies and children is:
up to 12 months – less than 1g of salt a day (less than 0.4g sodium)
1 to 3 years – 2g of salt a day (0.8g sodium)
4 to 6 years – 3g of salt a day (1.2g sodium)
7 to 10 years – 5g of salt a day (2g sodium)
11 years and over – 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium)
Mini Mealtimes helps you to track how much salt your child is having to support you in getting the balance right.