Can Babies Have Soy Sauce? When is it Safe? 

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Soy sauce is a popular soy-based condiment that is used primarily in Asian cuisine. So naturally, many parents wonder if they can incorporate soy sauce into their baby’s diet. 

Overall, soy sauce is safe for your baby when they are at least six months old. However, it is extremely high in sodium content, so avoiding using it in your baby’s food is best. 

Let’s talk more about the safety of soy sauce on its own as a condiment and in food, allergy risk, alternatives, and more. Read on! 

Is it Safe to Give Babies Soy Sauce? When?

Soy sauce is safe for babies once they are at least six months old, whether the soy sauce appears in food or is used on its own as a condiment. However, soy sauce is extremely high in levels of sodium, even in the lower-sodium varieties. Salt is not good for babies because it can damage their kidneys (source: National Health Service [NHS]).

Therefore, it is best to avoid soy sauce in your baby’s diet for nutritional reasons, even though it is safe. 

soy sauce in white ceramic bowl

If you do want to feed your baby food with soy sauce, make it yourself at home with low-sodium soy sauce and only add a little bit to avoid too much salt. 

Additionally, many parents are worried about a potential allergic reaction from the soy. Soy is one of the most common allergens.

However, early introduction of these allergens has been shown to help the baby become tolerant to the allergen and prevent reactions — as long as there is no diagnosed food allergy (source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign).

It is essential to introduce soy sauce at least three days apart from any other new food and monitor for any signs of an allergic reaction, including hives, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, or difficulty breathing. 

Soy Sauce Alternatives for Babies

There are many flavorful options that are low in sodium to replace soy sauce in a recipe or while you are preparing food.

Soy sauce is often paired with rice, noodles, meats, and more. Many use soy sauce, so these foods are not bland. However, herbs and spices are a safe way to add flavor to your baby’s food without salt. 

sliced and diced ginger on wooden table

For instance, you could use garlic, ginger, rosemary, lemon, and more. Additionally, adding herbs and spices to your baby’s food can help develop tolerance and preference for a wide variety of tastes, which sets them up to be healthy eaters in childhood (source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).

Additionally, different herbs and spices can help your baby expect to change with food. 

Many use low-sodium soy sauce as an alternative to regular soy sauce. However, it is still best to avoid this condiment because of the high salt content levels. 

In conclusion, soy sauce is best avoided for your baby because it is very salty and does not offer significant amounts of nutrition. 

I hope this article helped break down some healthy alternatives to soy sauce in your baby’s food.