Is chocolate suitable for babies
Image Source - Pixabay

Is chocolate suitable for babies?

 

Nearly all children like and naturally love chocolate. It’s sweet, and it’s tasty, and it doesn’t really like anything. It’s obvious that babies would enjoy this loved snack around the world, too. Many parents, however, worry about the right time for their babies to introduce chocolate. This may be caused by health concerns and chocolate-related allergies. 

Can infants eat chocolate?

While babies enjoy the chocolate taste, it is best not to give it to them because it contains a small amount of caffeine. While not present in sufficient quantities to affect an adult, this may be more than sufficient for babies. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Chocolate also contains other stimulants such as sugar, theobromine, and phenylethylamine, all of which in your baby’s nervous system can cause stimulating effects. In addition, chocolate also has anandamide that can affect brain function. 

When should your baby be introduced to chocolate?

 

If you’re unsure at what age babies can eat chocolate, here’s your answer. Waiting until your baby is at least one year old is the best way to introduce him chocolate. Make sure that there are no potential allergens that can cause reactions when you decide to give your baby chocolate. Starting with dark chocolate is also best. 

Image Source – Pixabay

How do you introduce babies with chocolate?

 

While there are no specific guidelines on how to introduce chocolate to your little one correctly, it is best to start with a taste after he’s one year old. If he has no negative reaction to it, little by little you can increase the quantity. You might also want to give it babies and add some dark chocolate powder to milk. Children under one should not be introduced with milk. Always make sure you check the labels for chocolate additives. 

Allergies in chocolate

 

There is insufficient evidence to suggest that chocolate can cause an allergy in babies.  Chocolate may, however, contain food items that can cause baby allergies.

Some of the potential allergens are

  • Peanuts and other nuts
  • Milk
  • Berries
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Gluten and wheat

Before giving your baby chocolate, you can always get allergy caution labels.

Food allergy spotting

 

Children with allergies are more likely to have allergies with parents or siblings. Although there is no history of allergies at home, you’ll need to look for signs and symptoms that indicate your baby’s allergy. Some signs are as follows:

  • Asthmatic symptoms or breathing difficulties
  • Constant eye sneezing
  • Redness or watery eyes
  • Diarrhea or vomiting 
  • Throat or tongue swelling.
  • Rashes or hives

You will need to consult your baby’s doctor immediately in such cases or contact a specialist in allergy to treat the condition.

Other Issues Related Giving Chocolate To Your Infant

 

There are a few other concerns apart from allergies that you may want to keep in mind when it comes to chocolate and chocolate – consuming babies.

  • Digestion:

Babies are used for breast milk for the first six months, and chocolate or other solid foods may not be conditioned by their digestive system. It is, therefore, best to wait for him to be a year old and older and have tried other solid foods.

  • Healthy foods:

It is better to keep chocolate away from the baby until he has tried and developed a taste for healthy foods. If your baby has an early taste of chocolate, healthy food can be shunned.

  • Tooth decay:

Babies develop their baby teeth that are more prone to sugar-induced tooth decay. Sugar promotes bacteria – generating acid growth that can lead to poor dental health.

  • Choking hazard:

Chocolates containing nuts or hard candies can pose a choking hazard for babies and can, therefore, be best avoided.

Setting a healthy food preference in babies at a young age is important. While an occasional chocolate bite may not cause harm, only moderation should be given.

Is chocolate for your baby good?

 

Yes. Chocolate can be of more than one benefit to your baby. The following are a few:

  • Supports functions of the brain:

Naturally found in chocolate, compounds called flavanols help boost memory function while also enhancing general cognitive capabilities

  • Helps the circulation system:

Regular chocolate consumption has been shown to improve heart and blood vessel performance. The chocolate flavanols also prevent blood clots and improve the circulation of the blood

  • Helps to reduce the damage to cells:

Chocolate is rich in antioxidants found in a number of fruits and vegetables as well. These antioxidants minimize natural cell damage and enhance the effectiveness of different cell functions

  • Can enhance mood:

Chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins called neurotransmitters, which in a person are known to create a sense of happiness. Another compound, called serotonin, is known to contribute feelings of well – being and happiness.

  • Reduces levels of bad cholesterol:

You may not be worried about baby cholesterol! But knowing that chocolate consumption can reduce LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad” cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) is still good.

 

When to avoid chocolates

Moderate chocolate consumption among babies rarely has adverse effects. In some situations, though, it is best to avoid chocolate:

  • Before bedtime:

Even a small amount of caffeine can make it more difficult for a baby to fall asleep before bedtime. Therefore, avoid giving the baby chocolate milk or any other chocolate product a few hours before bed

  • Irritable bowel syndrome:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an acute condition characterized by chronic abdominal bloating, cramps of the stomach and sudden changes in intestinal habits. Chocolate is one of the leading foods that can cause IBS symptoms and should not be given to diagnosed babies.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD):

In infants with GERD, chocolate can be acidic in nature and cause acid reflux

If your baby has a clinically proven allergy to food, then you have to be careful to give the baby chocolate. Before introducing chocolates in such cases, you can consult a pediatrician.

Can chocolate cause babies tooth and gum decay?

 

Excessive intake of chocolate products charged with sugar can cause tooth decay and gum problems in babies. It should be noted, however, that added sugar is the real culprit in chocolate beverages and not the chocolate/cocoa itself. Thus, selecting low sugar chocolate drinks allows your baby to enjoy the chocolate taste without being exposed to the harmful effects of excess sugar. 

Chocolate may be the most popular flavor among both adults and children alike. There is no reason why your baby should stay away from chocolate unless it has medical conditions that can worsen with chocolate consumption. Preferably in the form of milk and in moderate quantities, chocolate consumption is an excellent way to make your little one enjoyable. 

Keep in mind that chocolate should be a treat instead of a part of the daily diet of your child. Mixing chocolate buttons with dried apricots ‘ pieces, ‘ ‘ The dried apricots are a good source of nutrients and keep your baby going, while the chocolate is a bit of a treat. ‘

Also Read: Know The Benefits Of Coconut Water For Babies