Wondering if Easter’s the right time to introduce your baby to chocolate for the first time? Or if your toddler needs that many Easter eggs? We’ve got the answers.
Chocolate may be your go-to treat but is it OK to give it to your baby?
Is chocolate safe for babies and young children?
‘In general, babies younger than 18 months should avoid chocolate, particularly dark and milk chocolate,’ says nutritionist Lowri Turner. ‘But as long as your little one is active, a little bit of sugar is probably not going to do any real harm, especially if you’re providing a varied diet. But do make sure you brush his teeth well after.’
Because of the high sugar content in chocolate makes enamel-attacking acid in your child’s mouth, which can damage those first teeth.
When we eat a meal, the amount of saliva in our mouths increases and saliva helps to neutralise the effects of the tooth-attacking acid. So if you do give your little ones chocolate, it’s best eaten at mealtimes. And at most, your child should be having a funsize or mini chocolate bar once a day, which contains less sugar than a regular sized treat. At Easter, just make sure to portion the chocolate egg up for your tot.
Which chocolate is suitable for kids?
'Keep in mind that chocolate should be a treat rather than a part of your child’s daily diet. I suggest mixing up chocolate buttons with pieces of dried apricots,' says nutritionist Amanda Ursell. ‘The dried apricots are a good source of nutrients and keep your toddler going, while the chocolate provides a bit of a treat.'
And, make sure your baby has a piece of cheese or some milk as soon as possible after chocolate consumption to help neutralise the sugars.
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