Three-year-old craves salt
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momaskinghelp posted:
Craves is too subtle a word. Ever Since he was old enough to move on his own, he has grabbed for salt shakers and tried to drink the salt. We always take it away but sometimes we don't see it immediately. We eat a lot of japanese and he will take the soy sauce bowl for dipping and drink it... which we sometimes see too late. Then he'll beg for more. We live near the ocean and he loves to drink seawater. He licks his skin to taste the salt... and licks other things (glass, metal... disgusting) to see if he can find salt. He is thin and tall for his age and I don't cook with a lot of salt but I monitor the sodium we eat and I'm sure he gets enough with what I make. I feel like we are constantly trying to keep him from ingesting too much salt or licking something to see if it's salty. I don't know whether this is a medical issue or just a kid quirk... but it is excessive. I know a lot of parents have kids who eat salt so I'm more curious if this is a medical issue.
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erice_ma responded:
More likely than not a phase which you should be able to persuade him to stop. However, for compulsive eating of a substance, you might want to read about "pica." Articles such as this one - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001538.htm - are often focused on non-food substances. But it isn't necessarily -- starch is a common substance eaten by people with pica.

Sometimes pica is an indicator of a missing nutrient. So, it is worth bringing up with his pediatrician.
 
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momaskinghelp replied to erice_ma's response:
Thank you. I appreciate the suggestion.