Many parents have questions about the consumption of sweets: chocolate, cake, sweet biscuits, candy… When should they be introduced into a toddler’s diet? The answer is: as late as possible. Babies do not need to develop a taste for sugar because they already have an innate preference for it. But don’t worry: even if no official recommendation has been issued on this subject, by his first birthday, your baby will certainly be able to enjoy a piece of cake! Here are a few tips to help you learn more about sweets.
A little, a lot or moderately?
By the time your child blows his first birthday candles, he will have discovered a multitude of flavors and textures from vegetables, fruits, cereals, etc. Maintain these good habits and, from time to time, offer treats to your little ones. Around once or twice a week is reasonable! Even though they are foods of little nutritional value, chocolate, candy and cookies should be part of a child’s diet. Tell your children that they can eat these sweets, but that they should also make room for fruits, yogurt and vegetables. You don’t eat cookies every day, just like you don’t eat chicken or lentils at every meal!
Forget about forbidden foods
If you tell your child that candy is unhealthy, or that he will only get dessert if he is nice, he will perceive these foods as a restriction or a reward. In the long run, this could lead to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
When sugary rhymes with cavity
When you think of sweets, you also think of teeth decay to be avoided! Indeed, the bacteria present in the mouth that cause cavities love sugar. Pay special attention to sweets that stick to your teeth. After eating sweets, rinse your children’s mouths with water and brush their teeth after each meal.
Round candy, be wary!
Hard, round candies often have the perfect shape to get stuck in your toddler’s throat. To reduce the risk of choking, supervise your child when eating them. Choose candies with a soft, non-sticky texture that are easier to chew.
Finally, candies, chocolates, pastries and caramels are little sweets that are part of a healthy, balanced diet. Do you have sweet little teeth at home? Check out our recipe section to get inspired by our nutritious and decadent ideas!
Geneviève has been collaborating with Mother Hen for almost 7 years. As a mom, breastfeeding enthusiast and nutritionist, her greatest desire is to pass on her love of delicious meals and fun-filled times around the dinner table.