Delicious maple syrup. It tastes great with pancakes, it’s great when you’re baking snacks and is all around a favorite with families. However, can babies eat maple syrup? Can you share the goodness of the gooey stuff with your precious little one?
What is Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is made from the xylem sap of a Maple tree. There are many different varieties of maple trees. In the winter, particularly in February (though this varies depending on the region) Maple trees are tapped for their syrup. It then goes through a purification process and eventually is bottled to be maple syrup.
Maple syrup is made through out northern parts of the world but Canada makes more than 75% of the world’s maple syrup. Additionally, the province of Quebec makes a whopping 92% of Canada’s syrup. That is a lot of syrup coming from one area!
Maple syrup is commonly eaten with pancakes but is infused in a lot of desserts, used a substitute for honey or sugar in recipes and is also used on top of pork based products like ham or bacon.
The process of tapping for syrup is a common family past time for Canadians and they enjoy demonstrations. Fresh syrup is poured on fresh snow or blended ice and makes a delicious dessert. Children love delicious maple cookies too which is a staple!
Also, maple syrup comes in many colors. They are given “grades”. There is light syrup which has a lighter sweet taste. The darker syrup has a strong taste and works well in baking.
Can Babies Eat Maple Syrup
Though some families do feed their baby maple syrup, it is not recommended. There is a high content of sugar in maple syrup and it could aid in rotting your babies teeth. Secondly, a babies diet does not warrant that high amount of sugar. Babies do not need maple syrup as it has a high sugar content and it is not necessary for their diet. Secondly, it could begin to rot their teeth if consumed regularly. Lastly, after enjoying the taste of sugar, it may become more difficult to give your child the more nutritious foods they need as expressed by many parents.
Can You Put Maple Syrup In Baby Formula?
Some parents put a few drops of maple syrup into their babies formula to encourage them to drink more. They want to see their baby put on weight. It is not healthy or recommended that you put maple syrup into your baby’s formula. If you are concerned about how little weight your baby is putting on, talk to your doctor about strategies and your babies health.
Maple syrup can rot your babies teeth, give them bad breath, hurt their stomachs and so much more. If your baby is four months or less, your child’s diet should consist of breast milk or formula exclusively. If your child is over six months, you should be trying safe, healthy pureed foods for your baby. Do not put maple syrup in baby formula by any means. Talk to your doctor to learn more.
Reasons Why Babies Can’t Have Maple Syrup
There are many reasons why babies can’t and should not have maple syrup. Here are just a few reasons to help parents make the decision not to give their baby maple syrup in their diet.
It Can Rot Their Teeth
If you are giving your children foods that are high in sugar, such as maple syrup, the sugar can rot their teeth. As early as two years old, a child would have to see a dentist to see what is to be done with cavities, plaque build up and other things. Its best to skip the syrup until they are a bit older and are brushing their teeth regularly.
It’s Too Much Sugar
Babies are not required to have high sugar in their diet. To be clear, we are not supposed to have as many sugars in our diet as we do. Babies do not need sugars and would get sugars after six months old from their foods like apple purees. Too much sugar is not natural to the human body and your baby deserves a healthy, balanced diet. Having maple syrup can spike your child’s blood sugar levels. Their young bodies are still learning to regulate sugar. It is best not to put that kind of stress on a child’s body.
Now we want to stress that this is rare but who would want to take a chance? Infant botulism is when a child ingests a toxin from a bacteria. Normally, these toxins are found in soil and dust. This is also common with ingesting honey or maple syrup. Maple syrup is tapped from a maple tree that may have soil or dust on it. In extremely rare occasions, this could occur.
Signs of Infant Botulism
These are some of the signs of infant botulism. If you suspect infant botulism or notice any of these signs, go to a hospital immediately and contact your doctor. Here are some of the signs of infant botulism:
Weakness in muscles
Trouble or Challenges Swallowing
Remember to go to the hospital and contact your doctor if you think your infant is experiencing any of these symptoms. Infant botulism can lead to severe illness and/or death.
What Is Good About Maple Syrup
Other than maple syrup being delicious and tasty, there are other benefits to maple syrup. It makes a great substitute for refined sugar in baking products. That means making sweet treats for your children can be a bit healthier. It can be a good alternative to honey. Maple syrup should be vegan. Avoid some brands that like to blend maple syrup with other ingredients that may not be vegan. They could be still labeled maple syrup. Lastly, maple syrup has anti oxidants which makes a sweet treat that much more good.
Maple syrup is a treat and should be treated as such. It is not a complete source for a healthy diet but it is delicious!
When Can Babies Have Maple Syrup
If babies cannot have maple syrup in their first year, when can they try it? Though some babies try maple syrup for the first time in or around one year old, it is encouraged to offer maple syrup to your baby as close to their second birthday as possible. When your child is comfortable with brushing their teeth everyday with your help (and without toothpaste), this is the best time to introduce maple syrup.
Make sure to talk to your dentist and doctor about introducing maple syrup to your child when your child is over one year old and you think they are ready to try it.
Best Type of Maple Syrup for Children
When your children are ready to try real, pure maple syrup, there are many great brands that they will love. Firstly, we encourage you to look at brands from Quebec, Canada, New Brunswick, Canada or Ontario, Canada. The majority of the brands would be coming out from Quebec. There are also some delicious brands from Vermont, United States which are in the same climate and right next to the province of Quebec.
We encourage families to look for organic maple syrup that is pure. The real maple syrup will not have many additions to it as the pure stuff tastes the best.
Alternatively, visit these areas if you are able to travel. They have Sugar Shacks in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec to visit. You can see where and how maple syrup is made. The best time of year to see this happen is February, so it makes a nice treat!
Do Babies Have Maple Syrup in Canada?
It is a rumor that families in Canada give their babies maple syrup. As a global based magazine that started in Canada, we think we speak on good authority that this is a myth. Babies are not given maple syrup until at least their first birthday. Even then, parents wait until the baby is a child before giving them a helping of maple syrup. In the winters, it is a nice treat to have a snow cone with maple syrup poured on it. However, that is a treat generally for children and older adults. It is always great when your child is brushing regularly so they are taking care of their teeth when indulging in a delicious wintry treat.
Can A One Year Old Have Maple Syrup?
A one year old could have maple syrup and be okay. We always recommend talking to your doctor before making any changes to your child’s diet. We also encourage you to let your child have maple syrup as close to their second birthday as possible. If you are going to give your one year old some maple syrup, give them one to three pea drops of syrup, just for taste. You don’t have to pour syrup over their pancakes, waffles or other treats. Just a little taste will be more than enough!
Can Babies Eat Maple Syrup?
Babies can eat maple syrup safely after they turn one year old. Ideally, it is good to talk to your doctor and secondly, wait as closely to their second birthday as possible. This is because a baby is still growing and the intake of sugar can be a lot on their system. When you are ready to give your child maple syrup for the first time, a few drops will be more than enough. Maple syrup is delicious, has antioxidants and is made in a cool and unique way.
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