Salt in Baby Food: How to Use it, and What You Need to Know

Salt in Baby Food: How to Use it, and What You Need to Know

Sometimes an action can seem insignificant, but when done many times, it can add up to great change.

One example of this is the use of herbs and spices in food. We shared last week what we found from working with Naturopathic Doctor Stephanie Mottola, which was how herbs and spices provide micronutrients to our diets and how even more benefits are being discovered daily. This is especially good for when feeding our little ones, because we need to squeeze in nutrients wherever we can.

Another example of this is salt in baby food. Often the question is, when can my baby have salt? Or, how much salt is OK to use? Most pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is 12 months plus before introducing salt to their diet.

But the question should also be: what kind of salt should we use?

We learned recently how the type of salt we use matters to our diets and overall health. As it turns out, a key ingredient—iodine—is extremely important in a child’s diet, and not all salts contain iodine.

“I have seen some children get goiters here in the US when iodized salt was completely avoided and the families did not eat out much, and/or the child was in a growth spurt,” explains JuliSu DiMucci-Ward, registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and a specialist in pediatric nutrition. “When salt is used after 12 months, I recommend iodized in most cases because the soil in the US is poor in iodine. Not many individuals get enough iodine from shellfish, fish, or seaweed here in the United States.”

Once we learned this, we couldn’t believe just how many salts did not contain this important nutrient.

Don’t worry – we aren’t about to tell you that you need to go hunt down some expensive sea salt scraped from obscure bodies of water across the globe. You’ll be happy to know that you can find iodized salt in your nearest health food store, as well as on Amazon.

While iodine is important for everyone, it’s especially important for those who are vegetarian as well as those who do not (or cannot) eat shellfish. It’s likely that your toddler fits into this category as well, because let’s face it: most toddlers are not regularly chowing down on seafood!

Yet another example of how small changes – like replacing your regular salt for iodized salt – can be significant over time. So the next time you go to purchase salt, make sure you purchase one that contains iodine. Every bit counts!

What small lifestyle changes have you made? Do you see an impact? Tell us!

About Alessandra Macaluso

Alessandra Macaluso is author of What a Good Eater! and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible, host of the Real-Deal Brides Podcast, and blogger at Alessandra’s work is featured in several anthologies, most recently But Did You Die? which is the fifth installment in a New York Times bestselling series. She has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and many other online publications. Her original screenplay “Polar Suburbia” placed as a semi-finalist in the Moondance Film Festival. Alessandra is mom to two toddlers and a twenty-five pound Maine coon cat who believes he is a dog. She spends her time driving her OCD husband completely nuts with her constant rearrangement of scenery in their home. Learn more at and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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