Before baby turns 4 months old, baby should be exclusively breastfed or should have formula milk only, even plain water should not be given to him or her.
When your baby reaches 4 to 6 months old, it is a good idea to introduce some healthy food to his diet to meet his daily requirement of minerals and vitamins, but no sugar should be added to his food. Food that is high in sugar should also be avoided. These food includes soft drink, sweet and chocolate.
Harmful effects of sugar on your baby
1. Harder to try healthy meal
Food that is high in sugar is usually low in nutrient. Healthy food like vegetable does not contain any sugar. If your baby gets a taste for sugary foods, it may be harder for parent to persuade the little one to try healthy food like vegetable or rice.
2. Childhood obesity
Excess sugar and obesity go hand in hand. A high sugar diet supply more calories above and beyond what your baby needs, although your baby is very active. All the unburned calories lead to excessive weight gain.
If your baby experiences childhood obesity, he will be more likely to experience obesity in later part of life.
3. Tooth decay in children
Sugar can lead to tooth decay in children.
At any time, there is a lot of harmful bacteria in the mouth. These harmful oral bacteria feed on the sugar that your child. At the same time, these harmful bacteria produce acid that can destroy the tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the shiny, protective outer layer of the tooth. If these harmful bacteria are not killed, they will cause cavities. Cavities are a bacterial infection created by acids. These cavities will cause your baby’s teeth to experience a hole in them. Without proper treatment, cavities can progress past the enamel and into the deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain and possible tooth loss.
4. Your baby may reject formula milk or breast milk
Before your baby turns one year old, most of the food he eats, including breast milk, formula milk or healthy supplementary food may be tasteless. If you add sugar to his diet, he may end up rejecting tasteless breast milk or formula milk.
5. Behavioral problem
When your baby eats food that is rich in sugar, the sugar level in the bloodstream will increase. When it reaches a high level, your baby’s body will respond by producing a large amount of insulin, a hormone that sweeps sugar out of the blood and into body cells. Blood-sugar levels may then drop very quickly, this can cause your child to feel shaky or look sluggish due to low sugar level in the bloodstream.
Not only this, low blood-sugar level can trigger a craving for more sweet, which creates a vicious cycle.
6. Bad eating habit
Sugar is mainly added to sweeten milk, fruit juices, fruit mashes, porridges, puddings and yogurt. By adding sugar to your baby’s food, you increase the sweet cravings of your baby. As the baby grows, he or she would eat only those foods laced with sugar and can refuse to accept any other healthy foods.
When he becomes older, he will most likely eat food that is rich in sugar.
7. Higher risk of diabetes in the future
Many studies have confirmed that high sugar content in your baby’s diet can increase the risk of diabetes when he becomes adult.