Ingestion of excess salt may be an important factor in the development of hypertension in individuals who are predisposed to this disease genetically or through environmental factors. Some physicians and consumer groups have encouraged mothers to prepare their own baby foods, in part because of their concern that the physiologically unnecessary salt that is added by some commercial baby food manufacturers may lead to hypertension in adult life. This study presents data on the sodium concentration in 70 samples of homemade baby foods prepared by 36 mothers. The mean estimated amount of added salt was 0.41%/ weight—64% higher than the maximum recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Home-prepared foods had a sodium concentration 1,005% higher than similar baby food products made by Heinz and Beech-Nut and 24% higher than products made by Gerber. The data suggest that advice to parents to prepare their own baby food or to feed their infant food from the table should be tempered with the knowledge that these foods may contain higher salt concentrations than the commercial baby foods.
- Received December 12, 1977.
- Accepted March 17, 1978.
- Copyright © 1978 by the American Academy of Pediatrics