It is pretty rare to come across a kid who does not have a sweet tooth. They just love candies, sweets, and desserts. However, as a parent, you might be concerned if too much sugar can impact their health. Sugar consumption can contribute to obesity and may even cause cavities and gum diseases. But this does not mean that your kids can no longer enjoy their desserts. While it is essential to consume sweets moderately, it is equally important to pay attention to the ingredients used in preparing those sweets. One of the best alternatives to refined and white sugar is natural jaggery. Here is why you should include this natural sweetener in your kid’s diet:
Jaggery is one ingredient that offers instant energy and can also enhance the energy value of your traditional meals. This makes it an excellent component for preparing meals for babies while weaning. Just a teaspoon of natural jaggery powder can augment the taste of your dish and can also increase the energy density of the meal. Since jaggery has long chains of sucrose, it takes longer to digest than sugar. This slows down the digestion process and releases energy for extended periods.
This wonder ingredient also contains many minerals like calcium, sodium, and potassium. Jaggery is loaded with nutrients, making it a great pick for kids and helping their overall development. Jaggery also has traces of a few vital vitamins that can be highly beneficial. It also has high iron content, so when consumed with a balanced diet, it can manage and even prevent iron-deficiency anaemia in children.
Helps in Bone Development
Jaggery is loaded with crucial minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are highly significant for maintaining bone health. So, moderate jaggery consumption can help strengthen kids’ bones and make them denser.
Improves Gut Health
Parents are concerned about their children’s stomachs and would want to feed them something easy on the tummy that aids digestion. Jaggery is traditionally consumed after the meal as it is believed to help digestion. Thus, including it in your meals will also help improve the gut health of your little one. You can even consider giving your child some jaggery water or syrup to improve digestion.
Benefits Immune System
In Ayurveda, jaggery is used to treat various ailments and also improve the immune system. Kids consuming jaggery moderately daily can better combat infections in the long run.
Note: Parents can introduce jaggery to babies as soon as they start eating solids. This is usually around the age of six months. However, it is essential to consult a doctor or pediatric nutritionist first, as each baby’s age may differ. It is better to start with powdered jaggery initially. This can be used in some of the most common and best baby food options, like porridge and purees. While jaggery has many benefits, it is also essential to watch how much you feed your kid.
Overconsumption of jaggery can have side effects and might make the kid addicted to sweets. This information will encourage you to safely and healthily incorporate jaggery into your kid’s diet.