While it’s a common household spice, when can babies have cinnamon?
You might enjoy a spoonful of cinnamon in your favorite meals, but is it safe for your baby? And if it is safe to feed a baby cinnamon, when is the right to start feeding your baby cinnamon?
Many parents who love spicing their foods and drinks always wonder whether babies should be fed spices. Before feeding your baby any spices, research the benefits and the right time to introduce them into the baby’s meal. Here’s everything you need to know about the famous cinnamon spice:
Types of Cinnamon
There are four main types of cinnamon spice used in commercial settings, Ceylon cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon, Korintje cinnamon, and Saigon cinnamon.
- Ceylon cinnamon – also referred to as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Sri Lanka cinnamon, Cinnamomum Verum, or true cinnamon. It has a crumbly texture that is also less dense and finer. Its color is also a lighter shade of brown and is believed to be more aromatic with a subtle taste since most of its taste than the Cassia cinnamon is lost through cooking.
- Cassia cinnamon – it’s used mostly in baking thanks to its spicy and strong flavor. Cassia cinnamon the most common type and has a light brown color with a shade of red.
- Korintje cinnamon – also Padang cassia, Indonesian cinnamon, Batavia cassia, or Cinnamomum burmannii. It is quite common in the US and is more affordable. It is mostly used in bakeries and the making of drinks.
- Saigon cinnamon or also Vietnamese cassia, Cinnamomum Loureiro, and Vietnamese cinnamon. It has a sweeter but spicier taste.
Benefits of Cinnamon
The usage of cinnamon spice dates back to the 15th century where it grew in Ceylon, which is present-day Sri Lanka. Since then, the spice has found its way across the world and is used in a wide array of meals.
- It contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.
- Cinnamon contains prebiotic properties that might help in improving your gut health. These properties promote the growth of some beneficial bacteria, which are ideal in suppressing the growth of some pathogenic bacteria.
- It has polyphenol antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects
- Cinnamon is believed to help in reducing blood pressure, although studies are continuing.
- Some studies show that cinnamon can help in the management of diabetes, type 2.
- Cinnamon has been used for ages to relieve the discomfort of the digestive system.
- It helps in improving the baby’s skin.
When Can Babies Have Cinnamon
With all these benefits, many parents to introduce their babies to this spice as early as possible. But how early is early? Most babies start eating solid foods from 6 months of age. At this age, you can use small portions of cinnamon in your baby’s food.
The best cinnamon type for babies is the Ceylon cinnamon instead of the Cassia cinnamon, which is believed to cause allergic reactions in babies.
You can add the cinnamon powder to the baby’s purees or smoothies. If you are looking for it to have more flavor, cinnamon powder is the best. Unfortunately, it does not last long like cinnamon sticks, which can last up to a year when stored in an airtight container.
Some parents give their babies cinnamon sticks to chew when they are teething. The anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon are believed to be soothing. However, talk to your pediatrician first, and never leave the baby unsupervised when chewing on a cinnamon stick.
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How to Know if Your Baby is Allergic to Cinnamon
Some babies are allergic to spices, like cinnamon. That means their immune system is rejecting the cinnamon spice, which leads to the production of histamine. Histamine is what our bodies produce to fight against foreign objects. In this case, you might notice inflammation or some irritation in your baby’s body.
While symptoms vary between individuals, the common ones to look out for include:
- Itching and blisters
- Redness of the skin
- Itchy and red eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Increased heartbeat
When can babies have cinnamon? Well, after your baby starts eating solid foods, usually after the 6 months mark, you can start introducing small amounts of cinnamon in their food. Be very observant in case they have an allergic reaction.