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Salt and sugar

Salt and sugar are ambiguous products not only in the adult nutrition system, but also in the children’s diet.

In general, is it worth it to give the child salt and sugar, or is it better to do without them?

Salt properties

  • Does not cause allergies (as part of all cells of the body).
  • It helps to maintain water balance in the body, does not allow dehydration.
  • Improves the taste of food.
  • Detains fluid in the body.
  • Increases the load on the kidneys.

When to introduce salt in the diet of the child?
We are accustomed to believe that salt is a very important component of any diet, so if it is not in the child’s diet, the parents begin to worry.
However, it should be noted that in the diet of newborns and children before the first year of life, the daily rate of salt is 0.3 g (after a year — 0.5 g), which it receives from mother’s milk or milk formulas.

If, in addition to this, you want to enrich the diet of the baby with salt, then his kidneys and pancreas simply cannot cope with such an enormous load.
Also one of the reasons for disputes on the topic of salt in baby food is the fear of parents that they deprive their beloved child, depriving him of his usual taste sensations when using this product. In fact, there are no problems here: the receptors that perceive the salt are not developed by the child from birth, so he does not understand whether his food is salty or not, and, accordingly, does not feel a shortage. But when you introduce a child with the taste of salt, these receptors will begin to develop and require salt in certain amounts of food.

In this regard, most pediatricians strongly recommend to abandon salt until the child is at least one year old.
After that, parents need to adhere to the following dosage: no more than 0.25-0.35 g of salt (actually at the tip of the knife) per day, then you can increase to 0.5-1 g (up to 3 years) and gradually bring it to the adult dose 4-5 g of salt per day.

What salt should be given to the child?
Buy regular table salt.

If you live in central Russia, which is considered to be an iodine-deficient region, purchase iodized salt (keep in mind that its shelf life is only 3-4 months).
There is also a hypo sodium salt, in which the sodium content, as compared to the cooking one, is much lower.

As a rule, it is prescribed for hypertension, obesity and kidney disease.

To determine the type of salt that your child really needs, consult your doctor.

Sea salt in the diet of children under one year is not used.

Useful tips for parents

  • Salt products «by eye» is undesirable — this can lead to excessive consumption of salt. For example, 1 tsp. contains 10 g of salt (which is 2 times higher than the adult daily allowance).
  • Try to minimize the child’s consumption of the following salt-containing foods: ketchup, mayonnaise, canned salted foods, salted fish, sausages, etc.
  • Be careful with fashionable salt-free diet: it is prescribed only for medicinal purposes and carried out under strict supervision of a pediatrician.

Sugar properties

  • It is an easily digestible source of energy.
  • Accelerates many vital processes in the body.
  • Promotes brain activity.
  • It is an excellent preservative, stopping the development of many harmful bacteria.
  • It enhances the processes of decay and fermentation in the intestine (which causes bloating), as a result of which the products of incomplete protein breakdown are absorbed into the blood and cause allergies.
  • It is one of the main causes of obesity, diabetes and changes in the central nervous system.
  • When used excessively it leads to the destruction of tooth enamel.
  • Causes errors in proper nutrition: sweetened food gives the illusion of saturation, from which the child begins to eat less.
  • It is addictive: the child experiences an emotional rise from the received glucose, but when the sugar level in the blood goes down, reaching the norm, the baby does not get a feeling of joy, he begins to ask, and then demand sweet food.

When to add sugar to the diet of the child?
A child under 1 year needs only 4 grams of sugar per day (this is slightly less than 1 tsp), respectively, if the baby is not allergic, you can add sugar in the specified amount to acidic fruit drinks.

However, many pediatricians claim that up to the year of the child can not be introduced to the taste of sugar.
A child from 1.5 to 3 years old needs 6 g of sugar per day, and from 3 to 6 years old — 7 g.

Rules for entering sweets into a child’s diet:

  • From 1 year old — sweet pastries and jam.
  • From 1.5 years — marshmallow, marshmallow, marmalade.
  • From 2-3 years old — caramel, toffee.
  • From 3 years old — ice cream (creamy or dairy).
  • From 3-4 years old — chocolate (20 g or one candy per day), cakes and pastries (with whipped cream or fruit filling).
  • From 3-5 years old — honey.
  • From 5 years old — chocolates with filling.

Useful tips for parents

  • You can not sweeten complementary foods: this can lead to the formation of harmful eating habits. Pediatricians recommend starting the first food with vegetable purees, and not with sweeter fruit.
  • It is recommended that doctors add not ordinary sugar (sucrose) to baby food, but natural fruit sugar (fructose). Natural sources of glucose and fructose are vegetables and fruits.
  • Do not give sweets to children for breakfast: in the morning they have enough sweet cocoa or tea. Treat the kid during dessert with an afternoon snack, but at the same time control the portions of sweets.
  • The following harmful sweet products are banned: sweet carbonated drinks, chewing gum, goods near the supermarket checkout, sweet chocolate substitute tiles.

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