We’re all told salt isn’t good for us. But surely it’s not THAT bad? And what exactly are the risks of feeding our kids salty foods regularly?
It’s really not easy not to eat too much salt these days. Processed food is full of the stuff. From ready-prepared sandwiches, to pizzas, breakfast cereals, bread, baked beans and condiments, our food is quite literally full of the stuff.
So here’s the deal. Too much salt isn’t good for any of us. Like with us adults, a high salt intake in children also influences blood pressure and may increase the risk to the development of a number of diseases including: high osteoporosis, respiratory illnesses such as asthma, stomach cancer, kidney disease and obesity.
The dietary habits that are formed in childhood are also likely to influence food choice and eating patterns in later life. Getting a taste for salty foods is a learned taste preference which involves the adaptation of our tastebuds to almost crave more salt. If we can teach our children not to have a taste for salt in the first place, it will be much better for their longer term health.
For children, the department of health’s recommendation for salt is seen below.
The good thing is that if you cook meals from scratch, using ingredients that aren’t too salty, you are likely to achieve a diet of “no-added salt”. Use of other flavourings (e.g. spices, herbs, garlic, pepper, citrus fruits and vinegars) can give taste to food without needing to pour on the salt. When cooking vegetables, try to avoid adding salt to the water! None of the recipes on this site should require you to add salt to them. Hopefully you will find some tasty recipes on here to help inspire you and tempt your family into eating well without the need for salty processed foods.