Should You Add Salt To A Child’s Food?
We all want to help our children become healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. That can be hard though if you have a picky eater. An easy answer is to add a pinch of salt to your child’s food but is it still healthy if you do? Lucky for us Rachel Rabkin Peachman at the New York Times has the answer to this very question. Here is what she says:
Is it safe to add salt to a 5-year-old’s food?
Yes, in moderation. High salt intake is linked with an increased risk of high blood pressure, and the American Heart Association and other groups recommend that children limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams a day (a teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium). But kids typically get far more than that, usually from restaurant fare and processed foods, which account for 77 percent of the sodium in Americans’ diets.
“Our sodium intake is well in excess of the requirements, and the challenge is that we control relatively little of that,” unless we cook from scratch, said Dr. William Dietz, chairman of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at George Washington University. The salt that a parent adds to food “is probably not going to tip the balance,” he said. “But parents — both fathers and mothers — should be reading nutrition labels and be cognizant of the amount of sodium that a food contains.”
Adding a pinch of salt to foods can also be a useful tool to condition children to like nutritious — yet bitter — foods, like broccoli or cauliflower. “What salt does in many cuisines around the world is take the bitter edge out of food and make it more palatable,” said Julie Mennella, a biopsychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.