HOW TO GET ENOUGH SALT
Some children with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia can be salt losers.
A deficiency of salt may cause tiredness, pallor, poor appetite, dehydration and collapse.
Extra salt is needed, especially during hot weather, exercise & sickness.
Salt is made of two elements: sodium and chloride. In foods, salt can be called sodium chloride, salt, or just sodium.
HOW MUCH EXTRA SALT IS NEEDED?
Babies and small children at least 2 grams (2000mg) per day, but the dose may vary. Your Endocrinologist will advise you on how much your child will need.
Salt solutions can be made by hospital pharmacies for small babies to ensure correct dose are given.
Suggestions for taking extra salt
- Use level metric teaspoons to measure the salt ( ¼ , ½ , & 1 teaspoons). You can usually buy these in a pack in supermarkets and homewares stores.
- Measure out the salt at the beginning of the day & spread over the day’s meals
- The following provide similar amounts of sodium (400-600mg):
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 salt tablet
- restaurant packet of salt
- Breast fed babies : Add salt to fruit gel or puree fruit
- Bottle fed babies : Add salt to formula when preparing days supply
- Toddlers & children : Measure out the daily amount of salt into
a container or own salt shaker & divide between meals
Add high salt ingredients to your meals
Healthy eating is still important for your child with CAH, and for the rest of the family.
The following foods each contain 400-600mg of sodium (equivalent to ¼ teaspoon of salt) and can easily be added to your child’s serve of a family meal.
|Ingredient||Ways to add this to your meals|
|Tomato sauce (2tablespoons) or BBQ sauce (3 tablespoons)||
|Soy sauce (1 teaspoon)||
|Asian saucesFish sauce (1 teaspoons)Oyster sauce (2 teaspoons)Hoisin sauce (1 tablespoon)||
|VegemiteTM (2 teaspoons)||
|Mayonnaise (3 tablespoons)||
|Olives (10 medium olives)||
|Stock ( ½ stock cube)||
Choose foods higher in salt
There are foods within each of the food groups that are higher in salt. Choosing these will mean your child receiving the vitamins and minerals they need, as well as the salt they need. Serving sizes (if listed) provide the equivalent to ¼ teaspoon of salt (400-600mg).
|Food Group||Higher salt options||Ways to add extra salt|
|Vegetables||Canned vegetablesPickled vegetables e.g. gherkins||
|Fruit||Tomato juice (150ml)||
|Dairy foods||Cheese* (1 ½ slices processed cheese, 1 ½ tablespoons cheese spread0|
|Meats and alternatives||1 rasher of bacon*1 slice ham*Baked beans ( ½ cup)Tuna canned in brine (small can)||
|Breads and cereals||1 round crumpet2-minute noodles||
|Extra foods (eat sometimes or in small amounts)||50g potato crisps, or TwistiesTM1 ‘Cup-of soup’½ cheese and bacon roll|
*Choose reduced fat options where possible. Your dietitian will discuss whether this is appropriate depending on your child’s age and growth.
READING FOOD LABELS
Most foods will have a Nutrition Panel, which will indicate the amount of salt per serving size or per 100g. Choose the amount per serving size as this is usually the amount to be eaten.
On the food label, salt is listed as SODIUM. This is measured in milligrams (mg).
¼ teaspoon salt = 600mg sodium
|SERVINGS PER PACKAGE (1)SERVING SIZE 50g|
|PER SERVING||PER 100g|
The sodium in this food is about the same as in ¼ teaspoon of salt.
Endocrine Dietitian , Sydney Children’s Hospital