Why should infants not be given salt till 1 year?
The recommendation to avoid giving salt to infants under 1 year of age is based on the fact that their kidneys are still immature and may not be able to effectively process excess amounts of salt. Here are some reasons why it's generally advised to avoid giving salt to infants until they are 1 year old:
- Kidney function: The kidneys play a crucial role in filtering out excess salt from the body. In infants, the kidneys are not fully developed until around 1 year of age, and their ability to process and excrete excess salt may be limited. Too much salt in an infant's diet can put a strain on their kidneys and increase their risk of kidney damage.
- Sodium intake: Salt is a major source of sodium, and excessive sodium intake in infancy has been associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure later in life. High blood pressure is a risk factor for various health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. By avoiding salt in an infant's diet during the first year of life, it helps to minimize their overall sodium intake and reduce the risk of future health issues.
- Immature taste buds: Infants are born with taste buds that are still developing. Introducing salt to an infant's diet too early can influence their taste preferences and potentially lead to a preference for salty foods later in life. Delaying the introduction of salt can help encourage the development of a preference for natural flavors and healthier eating habits.
- Breast milk or formula: Breast milk or infant formula provides all the essential nutrients, including sodium, that an infant needs during the first year of life. These sources are carefully balanced to meet the nutritional requirements of infants, and additional salt is generally not necessary.
- Complementary foods: Yes, complementary foods, which are introduced to infants alongside breast milk or formula, naturally contain sodium that plays a vital role in maintaining fluid balance and supporting proper nerve and muscle function in the body.
In conclusion, The kidneys of infants are not fully developed, and their ability to process excess salt may be limited. Too much salt in an infant's diet can strain their kidneys and increase the risk of kidney damage. Additionally, introducing salt too early can influence an infant's taste preferences and potentially lead to a preference for salty foods later in life. This may make it challenging to introduce a variety of flavors and develop healthy eating habits. Breast milk or infant formula provides adequate sodium for an infant's needs during the first year of life, and additional salt is generally not necessary.
Also, check out why no form of sugars to be given till 1 year