‘In general, babies younger than 18 months should avoid chocolate, particularly dark and milk chocolate,’ says nutritionist Lowri Turner. ‘But as long as your little one is active, a little bit of sugar is probably not going to do any real harm, especially if you’re providing a varied diet. But do make sure you brush his teeth well after.’
Because of the high sugar content in chocolate makes enamel-attacking acid in your child’s mouth, which can damage those first teeth.
When we eat a meal, the amount of saliva in our mouths increases and saliva helps to neutralise the effects of the tooth-attacking acid. So if you do give your little ones chocolate, it’s best eaten at mealtimes. And at most, your child should be having a funsize or mini chocolate bar once a day, which contains less sugar than a regular sized treat. At Easter, just make sure to portion the chocolate egg up for your tot.
‘Keep in mind that chocolate should be a treat rather than a part of your child’s daily diet. I suggest mixing up chocolate buttons with pieces of dried apricots,’ says nutritionist Amanda Ursell. ‘The dried apricots are a good source of nutrients and keep your toddler going, while the chocolate provides a bit of a treat.’