Is It Bad if You Give Your Baby Sweets at 7 Months?

Teaching your baby healthy eating habits by introducing healthy and nutritious foods early on is important to get him on the right track when it comes to diet. Babies that become exposed to sugar-packed candy and chocolate at a much too young age can develop a taste solely for sweet and sugary foods. Giving your baby sweets at a young age can have serious outcomes later on life.

Cute baby with heart shaped lollipop at park
Introducing sweets to your 7-month-old baby can cause health problems later in life. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Sugar and Teeth

Sweets, such as candy, chocolate and dried fruits, contain high amounts of sugar. Processes that lead to tooth decay begin when your baby's teeth become exposed to sugar. Sugar enhances bacterial attachment and growth, and the acids produced by the bacteria can cause tooth decay. The typical age when babies get their first teeth is around 6 to 9 months, although some babies may get their teeth earlier or are even born with one or two teeth. No matter how many teeth your baby has, tooth decay can occur. In addition, introducing sweets to your baby's diet early can lead to overconsumption of sweets later on, when all the teeth have erupted.

Health Conditions

Sweets are calorie-dense foods that are high in sugars and low in other nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins and minerals. Your growing 7-month-old needs a balanced and nutritious diet to provide all the essential nutrients needed for growth and development, which are not provided by sweets. In addition, introducing sweets to a 7-month-old baby can have serious health impacts later in life. Sweets are loaded with empty calories and can promote weight gain. Childhood obesity is a health condition that can increase the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, fatty liver disease and social problems later in life. As of 2011, approximately 17 percent of American children are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Choking Hazard

Hard candy can be a choking hazard for small babies because it can easily slip down the throat and block the airway. Children before the age of 4 should not be given hard candies such as jelly beans and peppermints, according to the BabyCenter.

Guidelines

It is not advisable to give a 7-month-old baby sweets. Babies tend to prefer foods they get accustomed to eating. Serving them sweets at a young age is unnecessary and may result in a "sweet tooth" that lasts throughout life. Your baby needs high-quality food, such as fresh vegetables, fruit and grains, which contain essential nutrients and promote growth. Claudia Gonzales, a registered dietitian, recommends you hold off giving sweets to babies until they are at least 2 years old. If you cannot avoid giving your child sweets, opt for ice cream, which has calcium.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.