How much salt should my child eat?

Babies and children need very little salt in their diet. We recommend sticking to the NHS guidelines below.

A toddler being fed
Age Maximum amount of salt per day
Up to 12 months 1g salt (or 0.4g sodium)
1 to 3 years 2g (or 0.8g sodium)
4 to 6 years 3g (or 1.2g sodium)
7 to 10 years 5g (or 2g sodium)
11 years and over 6g (or 2.4g sodium)

Breast milk and formula milk already contains the right amount of minerals your baby needs. There’s no need to add salt to their feeds or snacks (keep this in mind if you’re cooking for them along with family meals).

How much is a gram of salt?

1g of salt is about what you’ll find in a packet of crisps or two medium slices of white bread. A bacon sandwich (two rashers and two slices of bread) contains approximately 2.4g salt.

Salt or sodium?

Some food labels only tell you the sodium content, so it’s useful to be able to work out how much salt that is. To do this, multiply the sodium figure by 2.5.

If the label says there’s 1g of sodium in a 100g portion, multiply 1g by 2.5. That means there’s 2.5g of salt in every 100g.

Some food labels use the traffic light system, which can be easier to read. A green sticker for the salt content means this food contains only a little salt or sodium. Amber means there’s a bit more, and red means quite a lot.

Try to pick more foods with green and amber stickers if you’re trying to keep salt intake down.

Go back

Tips for when your child is a fussy eater 


How much sugar should my child eat?


How can I help my child to have a healthy relationship with food?


Weaning cooking and mealtime tips


Talk to us

Free and confidential live chat with parenting staff. Chat online or request a call back when it’s convenient for you.

Chat icon on mobile phone