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When is it Safe to Introduce Jaggery/Gud to a Baby?
Jaggery or Gud is a popular Indian ingredient which is used in a selection of sweet dishes. But, unlike adults, jaggery for babies is usually not recommended by the experts. According to the pediatricians, a baby should not be given any form of sugar special white/brown sugar and Jaggery before he turns one.
Can I give Jaggery to my Baby?
Till a baby turns one, it’s better to feed him with breast milk or bland food (after 6 months). Sugar and Salt is a big NO for such small babies. Jaggery is no exception. It’s just better but still, it’s a form of Sugar. Though high in iron and minerals, it is highly recommended that you do not introduce Jaggery to your baby before 12 months. Some experts say that introducing sugar or jaggery to the baby at an early age can cause dental or throat issues in him.
Side Effects of Sugar/Jaggery to Babies below 12 Months
Sugar or jaggery is a great source of calories which a baby certainly needs in a small amount. For the immature digestive system, it will become very difficult to digest that much calorie.
Babies that are addicted to sugar or jaggery are very prone to diabetes when they grow up. The level of sugar in food should always be balanced.
In many cases, it has been seen that children who eat a lot of sugar, jaggery or sweet eatables become obese at some point which invites many health issues at a very young age.
Excessive use of sugar or jaggery can welcome cavity and many other dental problems.
One of the biggest struggles of every Indian parent is to cope up with the food choices of their babies when start growing. Introducing jaggery or sugar to a baby in his early months will develop a sweet-tooth in him and make him hate less sweet or bland food.
Health Benefits of Jaggery over Sugar to Toddlers
After your child turns 12 months old, Jaggery has health benefits over its counterpart Sugar.
Jaggery is prepared from mainly sugar cane, rarely other sources like date palm and coconut that have many nutritional benefits. When your baby turns one, you can offer him organic jaggery in small amounts. This will boost his immunity and keep him healthy and his taste buds satisfied. The top health benefits of jaggery include:
• Rich source of calcium and iron
• Provides energy and nutrition
• Makes foods tastier
• Removes toxins from liver
• Purifies blood
• Relief from bowel issues
Why Pediatricians may have recommended Jaggery to a baby?
In rural areas, where anaemia is common in babies, paediatricians recommend jaggery as it is a great source of Iron and calcium. Iron helps in the brain development of a baby. Jaggery may have been suggested by doctors but please note that it’s only due to insufficient dense nutritional food which leads to such recommendation.
Read: Best Solid Foods for 6 Months old Baby