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SALT - am I the only one??! (Long!)

(32 Posts)
Fastasleep Wed 26-Jan-05 16:29:31

I'm slightly biased against the inclusion of salt in babies and children's diets because my son has kidney problems and we've been told to keep him on a low sodium diet for as long as we possibly can... But I've read up on the topic, I've bought the baby recipe books, I've talked to doctors and they all say that babies under one year should have no salt added to their food and that their parents should try not to feed them ready made meals due to the salt content - this includes crisps and even white bread...

But no one I meet seems to care about this, (they all seem to have healthy enough kids) and they feed them crips etc... That's ok by me as long as they know what they're doing, because it's their choice.. But when companies like Blooming Marvellous send my husband a baby food recipe by email that tells you to season it with salt! It makes me angry! It's like every child in this country is fighting a losing battle against obesity and heart problems

Can you tell I'm obsessive? Lol... are there any others out there or are you all layed back when it comes to these things??

doggiewalker Wed 26-Jan-05 16:31:08

Thought you meant Speech and Language Therapist !

I'm sure you're right to be careful about salt in your child's diet, as we all should be. I certainly don't add any salt when cooking.

Fastasleep Wed 26-Jan-05 16:32:05

Sorry pmsl...my DS is too young to have come across a SALT, he's only 11 months so I forget they exist

doggiewalker Wed 26-Jan-05 16:34:01

When mine were little I used to always be unsure what to add to their food to make it more moist. Gravy has too much salt in it. I used to make a white sauce but it doesn't go with too many things!

WigWamBam Wed 26-Jan-05 16:37:48

I was obsessive about salt in my dd's diet as well, I still won't add salt to her food when I'm cooking although she now has some processed foods with small amounts of salt in. It does annoy me when companies market salty snacks and so on to kids; peer pressure means that you can't always avoid them wanting the stuff they see on the TV or that other children eat.

Some of the food companies are sitting up and taking notice though; Heinz removed all of their products from the shelf and have replaced them with versions with less salt in. I just wish more of them would have a little more responsibility! (Although I do realise that what I feed her is my responsibility, not theirs).

SeaShells Wed 26-Jan-05 16:38:52

I'm with you on this one, I don't know why it angers me so much but I just don't get it! Salt is an uneccessary thing even for adults, we don't even have it in the house and where possible buy reduced salt food, I don't see why people either give high salt food/add salt to their babies foods knowingly or worse still, people who are ignorant to the dangers of salt! My SIL once fed our DS crisps when he was about 5months, I was FURIOUS!

Bozza Wed 26-Jan-05 16:40:26

No I can see your point fastasleep. I'm doing pretty much the same thing with DD (8 months) as I did with DS. I never use salt when cooking or have it on the table (unless we have visitors - rare). Vast majority of our salt is used by DH for mouth washes and spat down the sink. I do however use stock/gravy granules in cooking but not in DD's cooking. If a recipe calls for stock (can't be bothered to make my own) I usually just use water and herbs. I do give her some food that contains salt - eg cheese, brown bread etc but not that much. I wouldn't give her sausage, bacon, crisps, ketchup, baked beans etc until after she is one and then in small quantities. Found out that my tinned tomatoes had added salt the other day. Its always lurking where you don't expect it.

EnlightenedFlum Wed 26-Jan-05 16:41:49

I think its probably because alot of us take advise from our Mothers. There was no worry about salt then and we all know that we are fine (so far) with no obesity or heart problems.

I practice all things in moderation.

She eats some baby food, some food I make especially for her when I am feeling particularly diligent. But mostly she just has what we have and yes it has usually been seasoned as part of the cooking.

She's 11 months old.

amynnixmum Wed 26-Jan-05 16:43:34

I find the same problem with sugar. Ds has recently been found to be sensitive and so we have tried to remove it from his diet (along with artificial colours and certain preservatives). The only cereal that I have found that doesn't have added suar is shredded wheat.

Bozza Wed 26-Jan-05 16:48:52

Ready brek is OK. Also don't think weetabix has sugar but does have small amount of salt. Did you see that thread about cereals with a link to another website?

amynnixmum Wed 26-Jan-05 16:52:00

No I didn't - I'll have to look for it. I forgot about readybrek (and of course porridge - yuk) but have tried it and ds didn't like it, even with honey in. Weetabix does have sugar.

EnlightenedFlum Wed 26-Jan-05 16:52:20

But doesn't Ready Brek have loads of salt in.

Don't you remember that article a few years ago where a couple inadvertantly killed their baby by feeding him ready brek instead of baby foods.

Maybe it wasn't readybrek, thought it was though.

EnlightenedFlum Wed 26-Jan-05 16:53:19

So no sugar at all!!!! What about unrefined sugar/syrup anything like that. Poor little thing. No cakes - EVER !

amynnixmum Wed 26-Jan-05 16:54:06

Don't remember the readybrek one but I remember one where a baby died from being fed instant mash potato because of the salt content.

Casmie Wed 26-Jan-05 16:56:11

Flum, as I remember that was misreported. The couple had been feeding a very young baby ready brek, but also instant mash and gravy very high in salt. I'll see if I can dig out the news report...

amynnixmum Wed 26-Jan-05 16:56:36

There are some cakes and biscuits out there but tbh they aren't very nice and they are very expensive. E.G. You can get carb free rolos for £1.49 and 2 finger kitkats for 67p. They don't have sugar so Ds can have these as a special treat.

Casmie Wed 26-Jan-05 16:58:09

Sodium in ready brek is less than 0.1g per 100g. Now as an adult portion is around 40g, ready brek doesn't appear to be particularly high in salt to me...

Casmie Wed 26-Jan-05 17:01:14

Here you go - one of the early BBC reports which mentions Ready Brek as a particular culprit, but if you read the article lists a whole lot more very high salt adult foods... the baby was 3 months old and had more than 9 grammes of salt in his body: Warning After Salt Kills Baby

EnlightenedFlum Wed 26-Jan-05 17:05:25

Thank you, don't think I ever read. I think it was one of those things people tell you when you're pregnant to terrify you.

What about Splenda? Amycillin (sure thats not your name but can't remember)

God I give my baby loads of sugar - what about stewed apples you have to add loads to them.

I just use pretty basic ingredients in cooking, but sugar and salt definately in there. Kinda old fashioned cooking. Not ready made sauces or anything like that. And only a pinch of salt in a casserole or something.

EnlightenedFlum Wed 26-Jan-05 17:08:53

Could I have got yuour name more wrong!

Casmie Wed 26-Jan-05 17:09:08

Incidentally, I found the end of that report quite interesting:

"The British Nutrition Foundation said it was extremely rare for a baby to die from salt overdose.

Government-recommended salt levels for infants are lower than for adults because of concerns over organ damage.

But experts say severely restricting salt, which occurs naturally in many foods, can also cause problems."

It's reassuring that it's very rare. Of course, I'm still going to take precautions with my baby's food, but now ds2 is approaching 9 months the occasional taste of what we're eating (don't add salt to veggies, but do use stock in cooking...) isn't likely to do any harm.

Although I confess to still getting out the calculator at those times and totting up the amount of salt he's had in the day just to reassure myself that it's well under 1g

EnlightenedFlum Wed 26-Jan-05 17:15:10

Casmi - calculator !!! really !! How much is a gram of salt anyway. about half a teaspoon or something?

Casmie Wed 26-Jan-05 17:19:38

No idea - I don't really add salt except my own chips , so just working out the salt on packets of stuff. And I was exaggerating a bit with the calculator, but I do keep running totals in my head ... especially if I'm trying to work out if it's okay for ds2 to have some of my home-made vegetarian lasagne (and yes, he loved it... yay!)

1g of Sodium is equivalent to 2.5g of salt.

hercules Wed 26-Jan-05 17:23:30

The only salt dd or ds got before 1 was in cheese or bread. After that only through food we hadnt made ourselves really. I never add salt to my own food anyway. apart from chips.

Casmie Wed 26-Jan-05 17:24:59

Incidentally though, I think I'm far more additive-phobic than salt-phobic. I wouldn't even CONSIDER giving ds2 part of a packaged lasagne, veggie or otherwise, even with the same salt content on the packet.

The big drive to reduce salt does concern me slightly in that salt is a preservative - what are they going to bung in instead in order to bring the salt levels down?

Or maybe I'm just a cynic...

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