From what age can cocoa be given to a child?
Cocoa for many adults is associated with childhood, mother's care and warmth. And it is not surprising that mother wants to treat a growing up child with such a tasty drink. In order for the baby to receive only pleasant emotions and benefits from him, one should know from how many months it is allowed to try such a drink, what is the benefit and harm, and how to cook it for a child.
What is cocoa
A drink called "cocoa" is made from the fruits of an evergreen tree of the same name. For the first time it was cooked by the ancient Aztecs, calling it "bitter water." When the fruits came to Europe, the drink from them was brewed only for royal persons. It was only in the 18th century that ordinary people began to drink it. Now beans for the manufacture of cocoa powder are grown mainly in Africa, and the drink is distributed throughout the world.
- Baby will receive valuable proteins, fiber, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, vitamin B9, iron and other substances.
- Stimulates endorphin synthesis, thanks to which cocoa improves mood.
- Rich in polyunsaturated fats that are important for the formation of cell membranes. Such fatty acids reduce the level of harmful cholesterol.
- It attracts with its pleasant chocolate flavor and perfectly satisfies hunger. It is useful to give thin children.
- Theobromine in composition is able to slightly inhibit the cough reflex, therefore, the drink is recommended for dry cough, which torments the child.
- If the baby refuses milk, then cocoa will help to get out of this situation without conflict, After all, for its preparation they usually use a recipe on milk.
- The biologically active compounds that it contains have a positive effect on mental activity. Drunk in the morning cocoa to improve the performance of the student and relieve stress from stress during the lessons.
- He has the ability to accelerate the recovery processes in the muscles after exercise, Therefore, this drink is recommended for children attending sports clubs.
Harm and contraindications
- Allergies may occur therefore, with a tendency to allergic reactions, acquaintance with such a drink is postponed to a later age (at least up to 3 years). A negative reaction is manifested by spots on the skin, an itchy rash, inflammation of the eyelids and other symptoms. When they appear, you should immediately cancel the drink and consult a doctor.
- It acts as a source of caffeine and theobromine, whose properties are similar. These compounds in excess amount increase the activity of the child and excite the nervous system. For this reason, cocoa should be abandoned for hyperactivity, as well as toddlers with choleric temperament.
- Cocoa drunk at night can prevent a child from falling asleep.
- Preparation of the drink involves the addition of milk and sugar, so the cocoa is quite high in calories. This causes the restriction of its use in children with excess weight.
- If you give the child it before meals, the baby may refuse to eat, because the drink is quite satisfying.
- It is contraindicated in children who have impaired kidney function, and also have problems with purine exchange.
- Too frequent use may provoke constipation.
- Drink may cause migraine.
How many years to give children
Doctors do not advise giving cocoa to a one-year-old child, but it is recommended to try such a drink for the first time since only 2 years old. Unwanted intake in 1 year is associated with an increased risk of allergies. In addition, the extra sugar and increased activity for such a small child also does not need anything. That is why the first cup should be offered to a two-year-old toddler or an older child.
The first portion should be a small amount of drink - just a few spoons. So mum can understand, whether the child transfers cocoa well or acquaintance should be postponed for age of 3-5 years. If after the morning portion of the drink in the evening the child does not have a rash on the skin and other signs of allergy, the next time you can double the volume of the product. The portion increases gradually and very carefully until the age norm.
How much can you drink a child
At the age of 2 to 5 years, the optimal portion of cocoa per day is 50 ml, and the frequency of drinking should not exceed 4 times a week. It is best to offer cocoa to children for breakfast. Let such sweet drink at preschool age be a rare delicacy, and from 6 years old you can drink it more often (even every day). A pupil under 10 years old can drink 100 ml at a time, and at an older age the portion can be increased to 150-250 ml.
Komarovsky calls cocoa useful for a child's drink, but it also emphasizes the attention of parents that it acts as a source of energy. According to the popular doctor, there will be no harm from one cup of cocoa per day, but mother should remember that cocoa will increase the activity of the baby, so you should not drink this drink at night.
A short commentary from the doctor in the video below.
How to choose
When buying cocoa powder for baby food, carefully read the label and find the expiration date. Prompt, which drink is better, the composition of the product will help you - it should not contain preservatives, flavors and dyes.
The stores have cocoa drinks, one of which is Nesquik. But, despite the active advertising, they are inferior to the usefulness of the usual cocoa powder. For this reason, young children only buy a natural product.
Opening the package, make sure that the powder is homogeneous, consists of small particles and has a rich chocolate color. It is better to get rid of gray or whitish cocoa powder, as it is spoiled. Store it in a dry place in a tightly closed container.
How to cook
To make a delicious drink, pour 1.5 teaspoons of cocoa powder into a saucepan. Add the same amount of sugar and mix thoroughly to avoid lumps. Pour in 100 ml of hot water and, heating over moderate heat with constant stirring, wait for boiling, then pour in 150 ml of milk (it should be preheated).
Reduce heat and continue to heat the beverage, removing it from the stove before the cocoa boils. Take a whisk and beat the drink for 15 seconds until foam appears. So you more thoroughly mix the components and prevent the formation of a film (many children because of her refuse from such a drink).
The proportion of sugar and cocoa powder can be changed according to the preferences of the child. Someone likes a sweeter drink, and someone loves more chocolate. If cocoa is served with cookies or another sweet product, the amount of sugar in the recipe should be reduced. You can diversify the recipe by adding vanilla, cinnamon, condensed milk, melted milk or cream while cooking.
A child of preschool age can drink it either warm or chilled. Some kids love to feast on them through a cocktail straw.
For older kids, you can make a dessert by pouring a scoop of ice cream on cold cocoa and decorating with whipped cream and chocolate chips on top.
Schoolchildren in the cold season can offer a cocktail rich in vitamin C, For the preparation of which you need to combine with a blender 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, a glass of milk and 3 tablespoons of rosehip syrup. In this drink, you can also add any berries or fruits to taste.
Cocoa or hot chocolate
When a child tasted cocoa and fell in love with this drink, many moms get the idea to make hot chocolate made from natural chocolate and cream However, this delicacy is less preferable for the children's menu, since the beverage is very fat, thick and high-calorie. Include it in the children's menu is not earlier than 10 years.
If we are talking about instant hot chocolate, which is bought in a supermarket, children do not need to get acquainted with such a drink. It is good if it happens as late as possible, because the composition of such a product includes many stabilizers, flavors, emulsifiers and other additives. These substances are not useful even for adults, so children do not need such “hot chocolate”.
For information on when to give a child cocoa, and why it is considered safer than coffee or tea, see the transfer of Dr. Komarovsky.
You will learn more about the benefits by watching the program "Live is Great".