There are currently no specific guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics on when to give your baby chocolate.
The best time to give your baby chocolate is when they have established good, healthy eating habits, and chocolate is just another food they get to enjoy.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies should start solid food, which is food other than breast milk or formula, at six months old. This complementary feeding method helps your growing baby meet all their nutritional requirements, grow well and healthy.
The food should be a secondary source of nutrition to meet your baby’s nutritional needs while maintaining their breast milk or formula as their primary source of nutrition.
Will chocolate give my baby cavities?
Chocolate is tasty and comes in many variations. You can find dark chocolate bars, milk chocolate bars, chocolate fudge, chocolate milk, chocolate brownies, and chocolate icing. You also have white chocolate and ruby chocolate, which are white and pink.
Chocolate comes from the cacao plant now grown in many areas in the world. It originated in South America and spread to Europe, where the Swiss popularized it into the current version of chocolate we enjoy.
Chocolate has some nutrients that will benefit your baby, but cacao powder, which is the unprocessed raw powder, has more benefits. It is slightly bitter, but this can be countered with maple syrup or agave nectar and your baby’s breast milk or formula for a chocolate milk drink. It also contains stimulants that could overstimulate your baby if not monitored.
Parents must understand that chocolate brands usually come with a lot of sugar that will have adverse effects on your baby’s teeth, giving your painful baby cavities. Give it in moderation to your baby.
If you decide to give your baby chocolate, it is important to understand and practice a few important things.
Chocolate is best served in moderation.
There is not much research on the effects of caffeine on babies. But it’s best to give chocolate to babies in small amounts.
Your baby might love chocolate because their breast milk or formula is sweet, which means that their taste buds lean towards sweet foods. This shouldn’t make chocolate the only food they eat.
You can make sure your baby sees chocolate as an ordinary food by giving your baby small amounts to start at the end of one meal every other day. This will allow you to control your baby’s need for it. It will also make ordinary chocolate food and not a coveted thing.
This method ensures that your baby learns that they can have chocolate, and it’s just like any other food and not something special. This method might help your baby not want it all the time, especially if you include other sweets in your baby’s diet.
People, including babies, will usually desire that special treat. It’s best not to make chocolate special so that your baby can understand that it is just like everything else they eat and not prefer it over other food.
Don’t make chocolate special.
Making something special makes most people want more of that thing. Your baby’s discipline with chocolate will be shaped by how you treat it. If your baby observes that you covert this item, they will want to have some of it too.
`Why in the world are you so stingy with it?’
Don’t make it something reserved for special occasions or a reward system. This will elevate it’s standing with your baby and make them want it above all other food.
Treat chocolate the same way you treat oatmeal, and your baby will learn it is a part of their diet, and they will get some. Which means they won’t be afraid of losing it and won’t eat it so much.
Can I give my baby chocolate with every meal?
You can serve your baby meals with a piece of chocolate. Allow your baby to eat the food in the order they wish. When they are done, let them be. Placing all the food, including chocolate, on your baby’s plate allows your baby to enjoy the meal with chocolate and not elevate it above other foods.
It also allows you to be creative with your baby’s meals. Chocolate is a versatile food that pairs well with other food. The Aztecs, who are the reason the world has chocolate, preserved it through farming and kept it a large part of their culture, used to make a cacao drink with spices, herbs, and water.
Chocolate can be paired with your baby’s fruit, as is done with a fruit basket. It pairs very well with fruit such as strawberries or pineapples. You can find your pairings too.
Working with your pediatrician:
It’s best to consult your pediatrician and nutritionist when you start introducing solid food to your baby’s diet. It is important to talk to them about introducing chocolate to your baby’s diet.
It is also important to follow their recommendations. Remember to give them all the information about your baby’s daily life so that they can make an informed decision regarding your baby’s diet.
If your baby is at daycare, they have a higher chance of running into chocolate from a friend whose parents allow them to have chocolate.
You should know what your baby is eating rather than having them eating it behind your back, which creates the complication of lack of trust, and you want your baby to grow up into the child that tells you everything and hides nothing from you.
If your baby shows an interest in chocolate, it’s best to meet them halfway. That way, you will still be able to determine their diet.
Determine your baby’s diet
Your baby will want what you eat and what their friends at daycare are eating if it’s good. If your baby goes to daycare, they will most likely come into contact with chocolate or different kinds of food. It is best to allow them to come into contact with the food at home and teach them only to eat their food.
It is also important to understand what sort of food your baby likes and include the food in their diet.