Can Babies Have Maple Syrup? You’ll be Surprise With the Right Answer
Imagine the rich, thick and silky spread of maple syrup on top of your hot pancakes. My family loved to gobble on stacks of banana pancakes poured with butter and syrup. If there is a list of our favorite family foods, maple syrup pancakes will be on our top 5.
One morning when we were eating breakfast, I suddenly had the urge to add some maple syrup to my baby’s food. I thought that if we enjoyed maple syrup so much, our baby could have it in her early years.
Then, I realized that my pediatrician had warned me not to feed my baby with foods that may not go well with her tummy. So, I was wondering, “Can babies have maple syrup?” I search for information about maple syrup and its effects on infants, and I will share them with you on this post.
What is a Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is a sweet and sugary fluid made out of the sap of maple trees. The process of making maple syrup is involved in two ways. First, the maple tree is drilled to let the circulating fluid leak out and collected. Second, the liquid is boiled until the water has evaporated, leaving only a thick syrup. It is then filtered of any impurities.
There are different kinds of maple syrup, usually differentiating in color. Darker maple syrups, or Grade B, have the strongest flavors since these were extracted later during harvest. Grade A consists of lighter colors such as Light Amber, Medium Amber, and Dark Amber.
Common Uses of Maple Syrup
You can find maple syrup as a common cooking ingredient for different foods. The dark liquids are used for baking and cooking due to its flavor enhancement. Maple syrup can be utilized as a sweetener to bread, cakes, and flavored drinks.
Grade A syrups are used as toppings on foods like pancakes, French toasts, and waffles. You can also use maple syrup to add flavor to your ice cream, fruits, and even sausages.
Health Benefits of Maple Syrup
One of the good things about maple syrup is its mineral and antioxidant content. A hundred grams of maple syrup contains 28% Zinc and 165% Manganese of the RDA. Zinc and Manganese are known to help ward off illnesses and increase your resistance to sickness.
A study shows that maple syrup contains 24 different substances of antioxidants. There are antioxidants known to fight aging and reduce the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Is Maple Syrup Good for the Baby?
One of the foods that most doctors would not recommend to a child is honey. It is a potential source of the bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum. Honey is similar to maple syrup, which means that the latter can also contain the same bacteria.
When honey and maple syrup contains the bacteria, it can lead to a detrimental condition called Infant Botulism. It is a rare but severe disease that can attack the nervous system and cause paralysis to the body or muscle weakening.
Some of the symptoms involving Infant Botulism include:
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Weak cry
- Poor sucking reflex
- Loss of head control
- Overall body weakening
It is important to take note that Infant Botulism happens only to babies. The said disease does not affect bigger kids and adults. Adults have more mature intestines, which contain enough acids to combat the production of toxins that the bacteria may produce in the body.
Kids who are one year and older also have more balanced acids in their intestines that can counteract the toxins. That is why, most pediatricians would recommend avoiding honey, maple syrup, corn syrup and other fluid sweeteners in babies until they reach one year old.
Other Foods To Avoid Giving Babies Under 1-Year-Old
- Salt – The kidneys of children at this stage are not yet fully developed. Salt is dangerous to the kidney and intake of it can lead to damage. Avoid adding salt to your baby’s food. If you are cooking for all, minimize the use of salt.
- Undercooked or raw eggs – Salmonella may be found in raw and undercooked eggs. Intake of it can lead to food poisoning. There are also cases of allergic reaction on babies after eating eggs. When introducing eggs, make sure he is over six months, and both the white and yellow parts are solid.
- Spinach, cabbage, lettuce, beets – These are some examples of vegetables that are high in nitrate content. The stomach of babies lacks the acids that can regulate nitrates. Without these acids, nitrates will disrupt the normal flow of blood that transports oxygen all over the body.
- Nuts – It can be any kind of nuts such as almonds and peanuts. Babies can have an allergic reaction to nuts and may also risk choking when consumed.
- Sugar – Babies can get enough of sugar from the milk that they drink and the fruits they eat. Adding artificial sweetener or even raw sugar to their food can risk tooth decay. If you need to sweeten their food, try adding mashed bananas or milk.
- Cow’s milk or soy milk – These kinds of milk contains a higher level of proteins that may not be easily digested by babies below 12 months. These drinks may also have minerals that can harm their kidneys.
- Fruit Juice – Just like sugar, fruit juices are sweet beverages that can cause tooth decay. In some cases, babies also experience diarrhea and other stomach problems. Fruit juices can even reduce their appetite for milk.
Keep it safe!
We all want our children to enjoy whatever good things there are in life. We want them to eat good and delicious foods. However, when it comes to food, better health always prevails! It is crucial for us to consider safe foods for our babies than giving them food for tasty reasons only.
I also wanted my baby to eat all the yummy foods we have on our table. After realizing the risk that some foods can give my child, I would rather wait for the right time to introduce them to her. Maple syrup is a staple on our breakfast table. But my baby will wait until she is old enough to enjoy as much maple syrup as she wants.
Have you given your baby some maple syrup? What happened? Tell me more!