That’s one of the main concerns of parents: am I right giving my kids some chocolate? Here’s the answer.
Chocolate is widely considered a sweet, thus many parents believe is not that good for children – often regardless. Actually, chocolate is included in the toughest diets and above all, it’s often suggested for kids nutrition. Let’s go deep in understanding which kinds of chocolate are good for your kids’ health and in what amount.
At what age is it safe to introduce chocolate to babies?
The weaning – the process of introducing your baby different foods instead of milk – starts around 5-6 months. Well, for chocolate it’s safe waiting a little more time: around 12 months, better 18. Kidneys and liver must be working properly and be ready to assimilate chocolate, which is rich in saturated fats, on a healthy way. If you would like your kid to taste it before, just choose the chocolate powder and mix it with some milk, so you baby can get used to the taste.
Chocolate is rich in precious nutrients: magnesium, phosphorus and flavonoids, good for brain and heart. Sure, it should be eaten in moderation, as it is rich in saturated fats and cocoa butter, highly present above all in white chocolate. Scientific studies have revealed that chocolate stimulates serotonin, the good mood hormone… but pay attention: in kids, this can cause an excessive state of agitation. For this reason, the suggestion is not to give them chocolate in the evening, to avoid the sudden presence of a little scrapper that doesn’t want to go bed!
Moreover, eating chocolate during pregnancy is good not only for the kid but also for the mom: several researches have showed that it can reduce anaemia, balance the blood pressure, regulate the LDL values (your bad cholesterol), thus preventing pre-eclampsia.
Which kind of chocolate should be given to kids?
You must give your children good quality chocolate, with at least 30% of cocoa inside. Try to choose dark chocolate which is healthier as it is free from added sugars, but surely less yummy for kids, due to its bitter taste. The favourite options for children are milk chocolate and white chocolate – which cannot be defined as chocolate, because it doesn’t contain cocoa but only cocoa butter by 30% or more. Sweeter in taste, is it less healthy as it is richer in fats. A good compromise is milk chocolate, rich in Vitamin A. A couple of cubes per day in the afternoon-break provide plenty of energy and minerals: the most important thing is to have moderation in the dosage.