Ketchup makes many things taste better, and is great for dipping, but is it something that your baby should be having.
Ketchup usually pops up as a possibility when babies hit the time when they’re having finger foods. Since it is easy to make a little pile of ketchup and then dip little tidbits of food into it, it’s often considered as a good condiment for babies to enjoy. But the sugar content in most types of ketchup is reason enough to take a pass on this American classic.
It’s estimated that up to a third of the ketchup you’re eating is made up of pure sugar. That only leaves it a two thirds tomatoes.
Can I Give My Baby Ketchup? Answer: Organic, If At All
The reason you don’t want to give your baby the big commercial brands of ketchup is that most of them will contain things like High Fructose Corn Syrup to make it taste the way it does. If you opt for the organic variety you’ll be cutting down drastically on the amount of sugar it contains, and at least that sugar will be in the form of sugar cane, and not refined and processed sugar.
Baby’s Blood Sugar Levels
You want to be aware of your child’s blood sugar levels, and realize that spikes in their levels can effect their health the same way it does for adults. Giving them a sugary food like ketchup is putting them on the path towards elevated blood glucose levels. Ketchup is sneak because it generally doesn’t strike most adults as a sugar-laden food but it must be considered one.
What’s So Bad About Fructose and HFCS
Food manufacturers really just care about the bottom line, not about your health or the health of your baby. They will try to produce their products at a bare minimum of expense, and they’ve come up with ways to make sugar last longer and taste sweeter. The only problem is that the body doesn’t respond the same way to raw sugar cane the way it does to HFCS. David Zinczenko, in his book The Abs Diet says that there’s no shut off switch in the body for High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is why we’re able to drink more cola and sodas without our body saying to stop because it’s so sweet.
This man-made invention is not something that you want to give to your baby, as their body is still developing in the first year so you want to stick to wholesome foods, feeding them an ideal diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins so that they have all of the building blocks to grow healthy and strong, without food addictions, cravings, and bad eating habits.
Organic is a Good Option
If you really want to give your baby ketchup, let them experience the real thing by giving them an organic brand. This means that the tomatoes used will be organic so they won’t have the herbicides and pesticides that no doubt end up in a bottle of Heinz ketchup. It also won’t contain artificial ingredients like HFCS because those aren’t allowed in an organic product. Some of them won’t use sugar, and the ones that do will have to use all natural forms of sugar like pure cane sugar. What you’ll notice is that when the sugar is all natural they don’t need to use a lot of it to sweeten things up, and the resulting product will be nowhere near one third sugar. A side benefit is that you can use this ketchup too in order to keep your sugar intake down.
Buy organic or make your own ketchup at home to make sure that your baby is getting the best. Giving them foods like commercial ketchup is only setting them up to crave sweets and sweet things, and it provides a sort of gateway to other sugary foods like colas and candies later in life. Once in a while these are nice as a sweet treat, but for the best health of your baby, now and as they grow to be a child and adult, it’s best to keep the processed and refined sugars to a minimum.