Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Infant & Toddler Nutrition/Salt Intake for Toddlers, How Much Should They Have?

Salt Intake for Toddlers, How Much Should They Have?

Table salt is made up of two components; sodium and chloride.1 It is easy to forget that sodium is an essential mineral. Much of what you read about sodium makes it sound like it’s evil, but the reality is it just as important as other minerals.

Sodium chloride (or salt) is essential for critical functions of the body, including:

  • Sodium helps maintain electrolyte balance2
  • Sodium regulates extracellular (outside the cell) fluids
  • Sodium is involved in cellular signaling and transport
  • Chloride is part of stomach acid, as in hydrochloric acid, which not only helps digest proteins but also kill pathogenic bacteria.

Excessive sodium intake (>2g daily) has been linked to hypertension and cardiovascular disease in adults.1 The taste preference for salty foods develops in early life, meaning that restricting processed and added salt in when introducing solids, may reduce preference for salt later in life which could contribute to chronic health issues.3

Depending on where you live and what kind of foods your family eats, it will determine how much sodium your child consumes.2 Sodium is naturally occurring in seafood, dairy products, and meats. Sodium is present in almost negligible concentrations in fruits and vegetables. Highly processed foods including fast-food, processed bread, crackers, chips and condiments often contain high levels of added sodium.2

The standard advice around salt intake for kids can be fear-provoking. Statements such as “salt should not be added to food, as infant kidneys are immature and unable to excrete excess salt” 3 are not only scary but quite frankly unclear. What does no added salt mean, and how much is too much?

Let’s break down the recommendations for salt intake for your toddler

Firstly, unlike many other nutrients, sodium does not have a recommended daily intake (RDI). Instead, approximate requirements are expressed as an “Adequate Intake” or AI. Think of the AI as the minimum amount a health child needs for their body to function correctly. There is an upper limit (UL) set from 1 year of age. It is not possible to set a UL for younger babies (< 12 months), and sodium should be coming from breast milk, formula, or naturally occurring in foods (e.g., meats, fruits, vegetables). 4

The AI for babies 0-6 months was calculated from the average breast milk concentration of sodium, which was 160 mg/L. Babies 7-12 months, was based on the same average breast milk concentration but included considerations for body weight and relative energy requirements.4 By the time a baby is 12 months, their kidneys have matured to the same level as adults, and AI has been calculated from adult requirements and adjusted for body weight and adjusted for energy intake. Therefore, from one year, the AI for sodium is given as a range.

Adequate Salt Intakes

  • 0-6 months 120mg/ day
  • 7-12 months 170mg/day
  • 1-3 years 200 – 400 mg/day

Upper Limit

  • 0-12 months- not possible to set
  • 1-3 years- 1000mg/day

How much salt is that exactly?

One-gram salt contains 390mg of sodium. A gram of salt is approximately a pinch.

The upper limit for toddlers is 1000mg of sodium, which is equal to half a teaspoon of table salt.

How do you calculate your kid’s daily sodium intake?

The good news is that if you are feeding your toddler predominately fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, organic meats, and dairy products, you don’t need to frantically count sodium. These foods naturally contain lower levels of sodium and a balance of potassium, another mineral that helps to lower blood pressure.5

There is room for a little sprinkle of salt when you feed your child a wholefood diet. I find a little sprinkle of salt onto vegetables makes them much more palatable for my children. It’s always much easier to keep count of salt quantities when adding to foods after cooking.

What you do need to be mindful of, though, is added salt in highly processed foods. Think condiments, sauces, tinned foods e.g., baked beans, fast-food, crackers, chips, commercial breakfast cereals, and supermarket bread. The humble loaf of supermarket bread can contain around approximately 100g of sodium per slice. This will not be a big issue for a toddler who can safely consume between 200 – 1000mg of sodium per day, but it may be an issue for younger babies.

The Bellamy’s Organic Toddler Milk and Food Range has been formulated with these sodium requirements and limits in mind. Bellamy’s Organic uses premium ingredients, and many of the products contain little or no added salt.

1World Health Organization(Who), Guideline., World Health Organization, Place of publication not identified, 2016.
2P. Strazzullo and C. Leclercq, Adv. Nutr., 2014, 5, 188–190.
3National Health and Medical Research Council, Infant Feeding Guidelines Information for Health Workers 2012.
4National Health and Medical Research Council, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, Commonwealth of Australia, 2008.
5N. Tian, Z. Zhang, F. Loustalot, Q. Yang and M. E. Cogswell, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2013, 98, 1113–1122.

About the author

Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.