Can Babies Eat Xylitol?
Xylitol is a food additive and a sugar substitute, which occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables like strawberries, plums, pumpkin and cauliflower. In the industrial production xylan is extracted from biomass originating from agricultural waste from the processing of wheat, maze or rice. Xylan polymers are hydrolyzed into xylose, which is in its turn hydrogenated into xylitol.
Xylitol is usually used as a sugar substitute in manufactured products like dietary supplements, drugs, toothpastes and chewing gums. It is not a popular household sweetener, but it can be used in baking. It has adverse laxative effects, like any other polyols and due to this effect, it is banned from soft drinks in the European Union.
There are many studies on the topic of xylitol, studies, which target the beneficial effects of xylitol for preventing dental cavities, middle-ear infections and its consequences in lowering blood glucose and insulin responses in people suffering from diabetes.
Is Xylitol Safe For Babies?
Xylitol is a good alternative for sugar, but it is not recommended to be consumed by infants, whose teeth are just erupting. If parents give too much xylitol to their babies, it can cause diarrhea and intestinal gas. There is a limit of 20g of xylitol, which should not be exceeded in the case of children, the limit in the case of babies being lower.
Banana Oat Muffins
Ingredients: 100g plain flour, 5g baking powder, 5g ground cinnamon, 60g toasted and shredded coconut, 90g rolled oats, 90g xylitol, 2 very ripe and mashed bananas, 250ml milk, 1 egg, a pinch of salt.
Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a muffin pan with muffin papers. Mix the plain flour with the baking powder and the cinnamon in a large bowl, add the coconut, oats and the xylitol. In another bowl whisk together the mashed bananas, milk, egg and salt. Add this mixture to the dry one and stir until well combined. Spoon the muffin mixture into the prepared muffin papers and bake the muffins for about 20 minutes, until they turn golden brown.
What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a food additive and a sugar substitute, used in manufactured products, less as a household sweetener
How healthy is xylitol?
Xylitol is a good sugar substitute for people suffering from diabetes, and there are ongoing studies regarding its other possible beneficial effects.
When can you start giving xylitol to your baby?
You can start using xylitol in baking for your baby at the age of 1 year old.
The risks of giving xylitol to your baby?
Xylitol might have laxative effect, so pay attention to the quantity you expose your baby to.