In this brief article, we’ll explore the query: “Can babies eat cinnamon?” Also, we’ll focus on how babies can eat cinnamon, what are some properties attributed to cinnamon, and what are the contraindications of cinnamon.
Can babies eat cinnamon?
Yes, cinnamon is safe to give to babies, after they’ve turned about six months.
It shouldn’t be fed to newborns as they still aren’t accustomed to solid food, but at around six months, which is the average time when babies begin to eat solids such as pastes, puddings, and baby cereals, cinnamon can be added.
However, it should be added in moderation, and properly mixed in, as the fine powder can irritate a baby’s throat and even cause swelling inside a person’s lungs.
How can babies eat cinnamon?
Ideally, cinnamon sticks should be used for flavoring a baby’s food. Their larger size means they won’t go unnoticed when spoon-feeding a baby, and can easily be set aside before they pose a choking hazard.
Cinnamon can be used for flavoring baby foods such as puddings, cereals, pastes, cooked fruits, and vegetables.
There are several recipes online for baby food to which cinnamon can be added, and it is often considered touted as an ingredient that helps babies’ palates develop.
Ground cinnamon may be used, although it’s extremely important that it be appropriately mixed into the baby food to avoid accidental inhalation.
Also, it’s important to note that out of the two types of cinnamon commonly available, which are Ceylon (true cinnamon) and Cassia. Parents should procure Ceylon cinnamon for babies, or use Cassia cinnamon sparingly as the latter has been shown to have higher concentrations of coumarin, which is noxious in high amounts, and may cause kidney and liver damage.
What is the nutritional content of cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a good source of calcium, potassium magnesium, and phosphorus.
On average, 4.2 grams of cinnamon contain:
- 6 calories
- 0 grams of protein
- 0 grams of fat
- 2 grams of carbohydrates, of which 1g is fiber and a negligible amount (less than 1 gram) is sugars.
As cinnamon is rarely used in large volumes when mixed in baby food, its nutritional content is scant.
What properties are attributed to cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a rich source of polyphenolic antioxidants and has been shown to positively affect insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease, help moderate blood sugar levels, and it may have some positive effects on patients diagnosed with neurological diseases.
Its antioxidative properties are important in protecting against oxidative damage to cells, which has been associated with the onset of some cancers, type II diabetes, heart disease, and other disorders.
Additionally, cinnamon has antimicrobial properties. The characteristic metabolite that is found in cinnamon; cinnamaldehyde, has been shown to curb the growth of bacteria and treat respiratory infections caused by fungal pathogens.
Using it as an ingredient in oral hygiene may also slow the onset of polymicrobial diseases such as tooth decay, and treat halitosis.
What are the contraindications of cinnamon?
Excessive consumption of cinnamon is not recommended for patients diagnosed with liver or kidney disease. That said, excessive consumption isn’t recommended to a healthy patient either, as the coumarin present in cinnamon (more so in Cassia type) is noxious to both organs in high amounts.
The metabolite present in cinnamon may interact with some medications, especially those prescribed to treat heart disease, diabetes, or liver disease.
In diabetic patients, its unbridled consumption may cause dangerously low blood sugar levels, and lead to symptoms such as a sudden onset of dizziness and fatigue.
Diabetic patients should monitor their blood sugar levels closely and avoid sudden spikes and drops in their levels.
Coumarin is also theorized to increase the risk of certain cancers, as in studies it has been shown to precipitate the development of tumors in the lungs, liver, and kidneys, though these studies have not been carried out in humans.
Coumarin is thought to damage DNA over an extended period, which may render carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects.
Cinnamon is also an irritant; it can cause minor lesions in the oral cavity (sores) in those with allergies, and if inhaled, it will irritate the throat, mouth, and airways.
Patients with allergies and respiratory conditions such as asthma should be wary of cinnamon and if possible, eschew it.
In this brief article, we have explored the query: “Can babies eat cinnamon?” Also, we have focused on how babies can eat cinnamon, what are some properties attributed to cinnamon, and what are the contraindications of cinnamon.