Future proofing your little one’s precious palates and helping them be appreciative of the flavours, textures and shapes of different varieties of food is vital for a lifelong healthy relationship with their diet.

Reducing your child's salt intake is crucial for development / Phot credit: Unsplash
Reducing your child's salt intake is crucial for development / Phot credit: Unsplash

As parents, it is our responsibilty to provide the best start to a healthy, nurtrional diet, to ecourage good choices and enhance their opportunities in life.

Emily Day who works in the product development and innovation team at Organix, explains why a no/low salt diet is vital for babies and toddlers.

Why is it important to avoid adding salt to a baby's foods/avoid products with added salt?

There is absolutely no reason for salt to be added into any baby or toddler foods. A developing baby’s palate is precious and what we feed our little ones in the early months of weaning can have a lifelong impact on their palate.

At Organix we work hard to ensure the foods we make are suitable for a developing baby's needs, using high quality organic ingredients and never adding anything unnecessary.

Our 'No Junk Promise' is not only a stamp that you see on our foods but a guiding set of principles of what we will and won’t use when developing our foods. We’re always honest and transparent about the ingredients we use as you will see on the back of our packs. It’s important for parents to feel good about giving foods to their little ones.

We offer tips, advice and recipes to parents on how to feed their little ones, based on our knowledge and nutritionists’ expertise. We encourage parents to check labels of the foods they are giving their little ones as they could be unknowingly providing them with an unhealthy snack.

Why is it important to help children enjoy natural flavours?

We believe it is important children grow up tasting and learning about natural flavours of a variety of ingredients so they can develop a healthy relationship with food. The first 1000 days of life are pivotal in the development of a child.

So, we want to protect little ones’ precious palates by helping children to appreciate natural flavours, with always organic foods which contain no artificial colours or flavours and no added salt. We believe healthy, nutritious food should be a real choice for everyone, and Organix is leading the way in providing delicious, healthier choices that little ones love and parents can rely on.

How can the foods we choose to feed our babies impact their relationship with food in later life?

When a baby hits the 6-month mark, and begins their weaning journey, they are developmentally ready to start discovering new tastes and textures. Setting good foundations from the start will help set little ones on a path to having a healthy relationship with food later on in life. 

Whilst being fed with breast or formula milk, their palates will be used to plain flavours with a hint of sweetness, although breastmilk is more variable in its taste as it will have slight hints of some of the foods mum has eaten. So, when a child is first introduced to solids (either through baby led weaning or spoon feeding), the introduction of new flavours can be met with surprise and even reluctance; especially foods with a more challenging taste eg bitterness.

To ensure babies grow up accepting a wide range of flavours and different foods, it is important to give them lots of variety from the start. It’s also important that the flavours are not masked with salt or sweetened to make the savoury flavours more acceptable. As they grow, their food habits become more entrenched, as they identify the foods they do and don’t like, so it’s important to get them on the right track from the initial stages of weaning and give them a healthy diet into adulthood.

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Dr Frankie Phillips - leading dietitian and nutritionist - shares her top tips on spotting the the offenders of high salt produce:

1) First of all, look at the list of ingredients. It’s not ideal if it’s lengthy e.g. with ten or more ingredients with names of ingredients you don’t recognise.

2) Added salt and refined sugar is not necessary for babies and toddlers, so it’s worth checking the ingredients for these.

3) Stick to natural flavours so your little one learns to love the real taste of food. Look out for artificial flavourings listed.

4)The nutrition panel, which is usually found on the back of packs, is also key to determining whether anything is in excess. For young children, the key indicators are sugars, salt and saturated fat. For example children under 12 months shouldn’t have more than 1g of salt per day in total. Remember introducing foods with added salt, a flavour that is naturally palatable to babies, whose palates are just starting to develop, can also lead to an unhealthy liking for saltier foods.

5) But it’s not just about the salt, fat and sugar in our food, having a snack is about giving some good nutrition too, so look for nutritious foods in the snack, things like oats, dried fruit and lower salt cheeses, as these provide essential nutrients too.


For more information on Organix food and for recipe inspiration visit www.organix.com

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk