Dates Syrup for Babies - Benefits, How To Use & Homemade Recipe

Date Syrup for Babies – Natural Sweetener for Infant Food

Babies develop an instant liking for any edible item that is sweet in nature. But using and giving them sugar or jaggery daily may not be the healthiest way to satisfy their needs. New moms are generally advised not to give sugar to babies up until they turn a year old. But, once your little one turns a year old, you can introduce them to the delicious sweetness of dates by making a delicious date syrup. Although it’s a natural sweetener, make sure not to add it to everything as it’s not recommended to enhance the taste of food items to get your baby to eat them. If you’re wondering if date syrup for babies is safe, read on to find out!

Benefits of Using Date Syrup for Infants

Date syrup is a natural sweetener that can be used in baby food, but there is more to it. Dates have many advantages and health-related benefits, which find their way to the child through the date syrup. Find out how the date syrup benefits a child:

1. Reduces Constipation

The presence of fibre helps in reducing constipation faced by your baby, as well as help in stimulating the bowels naturally.

2. Prevents Anaemia

The nutrition present in dates is quite expansive. They are rich in iron, which helps in reducing anaemic tendencies.

3. Liver Protection

The liver can often be prone to various infections in babies. Consume date syrup can help protect the liver and reduce the occurence of such infections.

4. Boosts Immunity

Dates are rich in anti-oxidants and free radicals, which can boost a baby’s immunity if consumed regularly.

5. Healthy Weight

If your baby is having difficulty meeting weight milestones, date syrup can help in increasing healthy weight.

6. Improves Vision

Dates are rich in Vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight. You can give your child date syrup regularly to improve vision.

7. Fever Recovery

Add some date syrup to milk and feed it to your child during fever. It will promote a speedy recovery due to its high nutritional content.

8. Fighting Intestinal Disorders

Dates are a source of good bacteria, and can fight parasitic organisms that cause intestinal disorders in babies.

Risks of Giving Date Syrup to Babies

Although there aren’t too many risks of date syrup for babies, there are some side-effects you should be aware of. Read them below.

  • Excess consumption of date syrup can cause unnecessary weight gain.
  • In rare cases, infants might be allergic to dates. Watch out for symptoms such as hives, redness, vomiting, etc.
  • Unripe dates contain tannins, which are associated with stomach-related reactions.

How Can Date Syrup Be Used?

Tasting a small portion of date syrup will make you aware of its delicious flavour. Using it intelligently with your kid can help in a multitude of ways. Since it is a safe and natural way to sweeten any food items for your child, you can use it in many preparations.

  • Adding date syrup to milk can enhance its taste. Some do believe that chances of iron absorption may reduce since adding date brings about a combination of calcium with iron directly. Therefore, you could get your doctor’s opinion before adding date syrup to your baby’s milk.
  • If your little one has started eating portions of bread or roti, or dosas, and pancakes, you can use the date syrup to coat them before feeding to your child.
  • While preparing any desserts for your little one or family, opt for date syrup instead of sugar or any other sweetener.
  • Even simple preparations such as purees or porridges that are cooked for the baby can make use of date syrup as a sweetening agent.
  • Add date syrup to plain yoghurt and feed to your child.
  • You can also add date syrup to fresh fruit juices to enhance the sweetness.

Homemade Date Syrup Recipe for Babies

Rather than purchasing date syrup from the market, you can make it on your at home without any hassle. Here is a simple and quick recipe to make date syrup for your baby.

Homemade Date Syrup Recipe for Babies

Ingredients

  • A cup of water
  • A cup full of dates

How to Make?

  1. Wash the dates and deseed them.
  2. Once deseeded, chop them.
  3. Put these chopped dates in a bowl and add boiling water to it.
  4. Cover the bowl with a lid and leave it for a couple of hours so that the dates get soft and tender.
  5. After the dates are soaked well, take them out and mash them.
  6. Take another bowl and place a muslin cloth onto it tightly and pour the mashed dates into it squeezing well.
  7. Add water to the squeezed pulp as required.
  8. Put this in a pan and bring it to a boil. Let it continue boiling over medium heat until the solution starts thickening. Stir occasionally to avoid any chance of burning the base.
  9. Once it starts getting thick and dark in colour, resembling honey, you can turn off the flame. Allow the solution to cool down. Get a glass jar and pour the date syrup into it, closing it tightly.

Preparation Time:

Total preparation time to prepare the ingredients is no more than 10 minutes.

Total Cooking Time:

The total time to prepare the final date syrup can range from half an hour to 40 minutes.

Serving Portion:

This recipe can help you obtain around 50ml of syrup with ease.

Tips To Remember

  • Date syrup usually lasts for about a week. So prepare the amount accordingly.
  • Thickening continues even as the syrup cools. So take it off the flame at the right time.
  • Avoid using date syrup repeatedly with the child, or he will develop a sweet tooth.
  • Excess consumption of date syrup can cause undue weight gain.

Using date syrup with milk for babies is a wonderful way of enhancing the flavour as well as providing them with good nutrition. But it is suggested that you use it in moderation and after consulting with your doctor.

References/Resources:

1. Dates, medjool; U.S. Department of Agriculture; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168191/nutrients; January 2019

2. The Sweet Health Benefits of Dates; Cleveland Clinic; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-dates/; June 2023

3. Rahmani. A, Aly. S, Ali. H, et al.; Therapeutic effects of date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera) in the prevention of diseases via modulation of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-tumour activity; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992385/; 2014

4. Khalid. S, Khalid. N, Khan. R, et al.; A review on chemistry and pharmacology of Ajwa date fruit and pit; Trends in Food Science & Technology; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224416304435; May 2017

5. Kwaasi. A, Harfi. H, Parhar. R, et al.; Cross-reactivities between date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) polypeptides and foods implicated in the oral allergy syndrome; PubMed; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12028116/; June 2002

Also Read:

Corn for Infants
Can Babies Eat Hummus
How to Give Almonds to Babies & Their Benefits

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