There is a lot of speculation about whether you should give chocolates to your toddler or not. You should not be giving chocolates to your baby below the age of one. But once they turn 12 months and after they have been introduced to a variety of healthy solid foods, there is no harm in offering a small piece of plain dark chocolate to your toddler.
Notice we say plain dark chocolate because chocolates often contain allergens like nuts or soy. Give them a piece and wait for a while. If they don’t develop any allergies or rashes, then you may give them another small piece.
But you should only offer them chocolates on an occasion. If you give them chocolates all the time, they could get addicted and worse – it might lead to a serious health condition. Here are the side effects of giving too many chocolates to your toddler:
This is one of the most common problems that results from consuming way too many chocolates. Obesity is a global issue in toddlers and is known to be linked with a lot of associated health issues. Too much sugar in the form of chocolates and candy can cause your child to become obese.
Chances are if your toddler is addicted to chocolates, s/he is not going to sleep properly. Even though the amount of caffeine present in chocolate is low, consuming too much of it can and will affect your little one’s sleep.
Chocolates contain caffeine which has diuretic properties and thus, eating too many chocolates would cause your child to experience frequent urges to pee.
This medical condition is common in a lot of adults. An increased intake of chocolates can lead to diabetes even in your child. The high sugar content in chocolates can affect the insulin levels in your toddler and excess intake of candy can result in diabetes in the long run.
Not eating healthy
If your child gets addicted to eating chocolates, they may start developing poor eating habits as well. S/he may be uninterested in trying out new healthy dishes and may crave only chocolates and sweet treats. This is why you should limit the number of chocolates your toddler is going to eat.
Although chocolates are harmful when had in excess, they do have some health benefits. Also, chocolates are great for celebrating those little achievements that your child makes and they are the perfect gift for birthdays too. Here are some pointers so your child will not get unhealthy enjoying those wonderful chocolates:
1. No chocolate during the first year.
2. No nuts, soy when introducing them to chocolate.
3. Use moderation when giving them chocolates.
4. Diet should otherwise be well balanced and nutritious.
5. Dark chocolate has benefits for young toddlers.
Do share this information with all the parents and kids you care about!