Don't Let Children Excess Salt from Food and Milk

Children's diet now tends to contain excessive amounts of salt. Especially if your child enjoys high-salt foods, such as pizza, bread, fast food and processed foods.

What you need to know, children's need for salt is not as much as adults. The ideal salt intake in children is adjusted according to their age. Various products often write the amount of salt on the nutritional information label by including the sodium/sodium value only. However, the actual amount of salt is 2.5 times the value of sodium content stated on the packaging.

Size of Salt Needs in Children

The need for salt in each person is not the same. In children, salt needs can be determined based on age. The following is the amount of salt needed in children under the age of 11 years:

  • Children aged 4-6 years, the need for salt intake is 3 grams per day or the equivalent of 1.2 grams of sodium
  • Children aged 7-10 years, the need for salt intake is 5 grams per day or the equivalent of 2 grams of sodium.
  • Children aged 11 years and over, the recommended salt intake requirement is 6 grams per day or the equivalent of 2.4 grams of sodium.
Seeing the need for salt in the children above, you must be more careful in providing nutrition for children. Foods high in salt include cheese, salted fish, pickles, smoked meat or fish, pickled foods, sauces, and soy sauce. To help with this effort, with a variety of packaged foods, such as breads and cereals, and even milk, you can check the nutrition label to determine how much sodium it contains.

It's best to limit the consumption of foods that are known to be high in salt. Then avoid adding salt to these types of food, because it has the potential to make children experience excess salt.

Choosing Milk without Added Salt for Children

Milk is one source of complementary nutrition in children. One of the benefits of milk is to support the development of children's nerves and brains through the fat content in milk, especially for children under the age of 2 years. Milk is also rich in vitamin D and is a source of calcium which can support the formation of strong bones in children.

However, the dose of milk must be regulated so as not to overdo it. For example, if the child's weight gain exceeds the increase in height, it is advisable to start replacing high-fat milk with low-fat milk, even though the child is still under 2 years old. This is to prevent children from having excess fat and cholesterol.

In addition, it is not uncommon for people to add salt to milk to simply add a savory taste, various types of packaged milk also contain salt in it to make it more appetizing. However, you should avoid adding salt to children's milk, because children's salt needs can actually be met through their daily food intake.

Excessive salt intake can increase thirst and hunger, and may even interfere with kidney health. Increased thirst and hunger can indirectly increase the risk of obesity in children.

Excess salt intake can also cause high blood pressure. By not consuming excess salt, high blood pressure can be prevented. Therefore, giving milk without salt can reduce the risk of hypertension in children and its various complications, because it does not contain added salt.

Actually milk also contains ingredients that make it taste. For example, lactose, which is a natural sugar, gives it a sweet taste. This substance combines with other mineral substances, resulting in the savory taste of real milk.

Children need appropriate nutrition for their development, including salt intake. Generally, the daily food for children is sufficient for these needs. It is important for parents to ensure that the nutritional intake given to children daily has a balanced amount of nutrients, including giving milk to children as a nutritional supplement.