By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Fondness for salt may start earlier than you realize.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says preferences for salt could start in infancy.

Researchers noted the facial expressions of babies were indifferent in response to salt in the first few months of life, but later that changes.

In their study of more than 60 babies, they recorded how much 6-month-olds drank from three bottles — one containing water, one containing a mild salt solution, and one containing a saltier solution. They also asked the parents what foods the babies ate at home.

The babies that drank the most salt were the ones that ate more crackers, soft breads and cereals — foods that tend to be higher in salt.

The researchers say this suggests the early life exposure could change the way taste signals are transmitted to the brain.

This study shows only a correlation for a taste for salt later in life, but not cause and effect. Since there’s not much science behind the best way to introduce foods to kids, this is an area for more research.

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