The importance of dessert
Liking sweets is the only thing you’ll never have to teach your child. We’re born with a sweet tooth because breast milk is sweet. You’ll do your child a big favour by waiting as long as possible before introducing sweets, cakes and raisins. That may sound boring, but sweets and sugar are completely unnecessary.
Raisins stick in teeth
When it’s time for a snack, offer your child unsweetened crackers, or pieces of cucumber, apple and other fruit. Raisins are a popular snack, but they easily get stuck in little teeth and are actually pretty sugary.
Dessert is recommended
Dessert is highly recommended after both lunch and dinner. But that doesn’t mean ice cream, pie or chocolate pudding. Puréed fruit or berries, a smoothie or a fruit salad are yummy and provide a real vitamin injection. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron which is so important at this age.
Fruit or berries are also good with porridge. But choose unsweetened fruit purée and save jam for later.
Drink water with meals
Water is unbeatable as a mealtime drink, and is also the best thirst-quencher. You can introduce water alongside breast milk or formula from around 7 months.
The longer you hold back on giving your child sugar, the better their diet and teeth will be. It’s probably impossible to stave it off forever, but remember, when you do introduce sugar, to make sweets a special treat instead of a habit and to save fizzy and other sugary drinks for special occasions.