Cinnamon has been used across the ages as a spice and even for medicinal purposes.
As a result, this woody spice is a common and versatile ingredient in our kitchens. 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 is 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.
1. Cinnamon And Teething Babies
Did you know that cinnamon is said to be helpful in teething babies?
This is because the cinnamon’s spicy flavor and anti-inflammatory properties can soothe the gums. As a result, there are some parents that have given their babies a solid cinnamon stick to chew on when they are teething.
Parents who have used cinnamon to soothe a teething baby say that it has been effective in helping them calm down and provide comfort.
Since this is fairly strong and does not break off easily, it is not a choking hazard. Still, it is important to supervise your baby while holding the cinnamon stick.
Apart from a cinnamon stick, there are some who add cinnamon to water.
When Can Babies Have Cinnamon
With all these benefits, many parents 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 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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1. How To Serve Cinnamon For Baby
If you want to give your baby a taste of cinnamon, you can opt to buy commercially available applesauce. This is because it contains a very small amount of cinnamon already.
Once you discover that your baby enjoys the taste of cinnamon, you can start experimenting with different recipes.
You can simply add it to oatmeal as a delicious breakfast treat. Or you can serve it with these items:
- Apple sauce
- Baked goods
- Cinnamon tea
- Mashed vegetables (pumpkin, squash, sweet potato)
- Pureed fruit or vegetable
- Rice, quinoa, or rice pudding
2. Can You Put Cinnamon in Baby’s Milk?
You can put cinnamon in baby formula. But if your baby is younger than 6 months and has not yet started to experiment with solids, you should avoid putting cinnamon in their milk.
Meanwhile, if your baby has already started to eat solids, you can already start using cinnamon as a way to make food tastier for your baby.
You can use any type of milk but it would be best to talk to your child’s doctor for guidance.
3. Cinnamon Serving Size For Baby
While cinnamon is safe for babies, it’s important to remember to add just a little bit of the spice to their food.
Babies are still getting introduced to food, which is why you need to make it a fun and pleasurable experience.
If you add a lot of cinnamon to their food, they will likely find it too spicy.
A general guide is to add only less than half a teaspoon of the spice per day.
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
1. Is Cinnamon A Common Allergen For Babies?
Even though cinnamon is not a common allergen, there are very rare instances that it can still happen.
Studies show that there are some people who are allergic to spices (as a whole). This number is comprised of only 2 percent of individuals, so it is still a very small percentage.
You may not have to worry about your baby having an allergy to cinnamon at all. But just in case, it’s best to give your baby small amounts at a time.
And when you’re still introducing the spice to your baby, make sure to keep an eye out for a potential allergy.
Once your doctor confirms that your baby is allergic to cinnamon, you have to carefully read all food labels so you can opt for a different brand.
Cinnamon can be found in many other products such as toothpaste, chewing gum, shampoo, etc.
Avoid feeding your baby or child powdered cinnamon by itself. This can cause choking and even lead to death in some situations.
2. Does Cinnamon Have Side Effects?
Eating too much cinnamon can produce some side effects.
If you consume large amounts of coumarin, you may encounter liver damage. This is a component found commonly in cassia cinnamon. Meanwhile, Ceylon cinnamon does not contain too much coumarin.
But in order to have side effects, you would have to consume a lot of cinnamon. If you just add it to your food normally, it should not produce any concern.
Some of the side effects that may occur in your baby include:
- Rash around the mouth or red face – Clean with soap or water. If it gets worse or lingers, use hydrocortisone cream
- Diarrhea – Your baby can get an upset stomach or diarrhea from sensitivity or eating too much cinnamon
Well, after your baby starts eating solid foods, usually after the 6 months mark, you can start introducing small amounts of cinnamon into their food.
Be very observant in case they have an allergic reaction.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much cinnamon is OK for a baby?
It depends on the type of cinnamon you are serving.
The variant you should look out for is cassia cinnamon, which contains a lot of coumarin.
One teaspoon of this cinnamon variety already exceeds the tolerable daily intake for adults.
This means that for an average-sized baby, you can serve just a pinch.
Can babies eat food with cinnamon?
Doctors say that it is safe to introduce cinnamon to babies after 6 months.
It is a great way to add flavor to some of their first foods, such as apple or sweet potato puree.
Just remember to add a pinch and be on the lookout for allergies.
Can a 6-month-old have cinnamon?
Yes. Cinnamon is not a common allergen, which means it is safe to give to your baby when they start eating.
Serve only a small amount per day.
Is it Possible For Babies to Have Cinnamon Allergies?
Unfortunately, yes. Although it’s not that common, some toddlers experience cinnamon allergies.
For instance, some babies develop a rash at the spot where cinnamon contacts their skin.
Other symptoms you might notice due to allergy include a runny nose, vomiting, red sore, watery eyes, and inflammation of the lips or tongue.
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Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.
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