Hot chocolate becomes a sort of staple food when the weather turns cold, and you might be wondering if your baby can partake in this seasonal tradition. Of course you don’t want it to be so hot that it burns their tongue, but are there any other reasons not to go ahead with it?
The first that that will probably be a deal breaker on this one is that it most likely contains a lot of sugar, especially if it’s a mix like Swiss Miss or equivalent. In this case you don’t really want your baby to have things that are this sweet. If you’re planning on making your own hot chocolate, you might be able to use less sugar, but you’re still going to wind up with a sugary drink from the chocolate alone.
Next up is whether or not it’s made with water or milk. Cow’s milk is not something that you want to be giving your baby at too early of an age. There’s also small amounts of caffeine found in chocolate, and if your baby isn’t used to having caffeine it can be more than they can handle. Chocolate is also contains other natural stimulants in it, which is why most baby sites recommend waiting until the one year mark before giving them their first experience with chocolate and other chocolatey items.
Can I Give My Baby Hot Chocolate? Answer: Not Recommended
There are simply too many drawbacks and not enough benefits to giving your baby hot chocolate. You might have had the right idea to help warm them up if the weather is nasty outside, but they would do better with other warm drinks such as breast milk if you’re still able to breastfeed, and warm formula if that’s what they’re drinking now. You can also try warming up a bottle of water instead of having them drink it cold.
Baby It’s Cold Outside
As adults and children we like nothing more than coming in from the cold and warming our hands on a nice mug of hot cocoa. But that’s because we either have to brave the elements against our will, or we have fun playing in the snow. But babies don’t have to be out in the nasty weather, so it’s not such a soothing experience for them as it is for us. That’s why you don’t have to make it a point to give your baby hot chocolate before they’re ready.
Perhaps at the One Year Mark
After your baby’s first birthday they’ll be able to handle more sugary drinks and even chocolate. They’ll be moving around more, so they’ll be able to burn off the extra sugar, and their digestive system should be able to handle the chocolate by then. But again it’s up to you whether you even want to start then because there’s not really anything healthy about it, as it’s more just a comfort food and something to help people through the chilly weather.
Some parents decide not to give their babies or their children any sweets or junk food. At some point you’ll have to decide what kind of parent you’re going to be, and what sort of food you’re going to give your baby and your child as they grow up. There are obviously some extremes you could take, but often it’s the happy medium that works best, as giving your children carte blanche on what they eat isn’t wise, and restricting them to the point where they’ll eventually break down probably isn’t a good idea either.
Your best bet is to just keep your baby warm with warm clothes, warm foods, and other warm drinks. This will be plenty to put them in that warm zone that we’re trying to reach when we drink hot chocolate. Soon enough they’ll be able to drink it with you, so there’s no point in rushing the process along. Just enjoy them while they’re this young and you still have to worry about what they can and can’t have. It’s a special time in their life as well as yours and they are counting on you to only give them nourishing foods that move them forward.