The nutrition of the baby-child in the first 1000 days of its life affects the development of its brain. A healthy diet will dramatically reduce malnutrition, infections, and even child mortality in very rare cases. Proper early nutrition helps prevent the lifelong risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and some cancers in children.
Knowing that exposure to taste begins in the womb and continues as a child begins to eat solid foods, there is concern that overexposure to sweets during this period will encourage children to develop a preference for them later.
There is a global interest in how parents can encourage their children to eat healthily and help them develop healthy eating habits. Many parents focus on the substances or the amount of sugar that their children consume daily instead of teaching them to eat a variety in moderation. Children grow significantly at school age and have high nutrient requirements. Sugar, especially raw sugar, is rich in minerals and trace elements. But the truth is that unfortunately children eat a lot of sugar and could be likened to sugar drinkers. This is because sugar and alcohol are similarly metabolized in the liver. We get alcohol from the fermentation of sugar and the difference between these two molecules is that in alcohol the yeast takes the first step for metabolism, while in sugar we take the first step by putting it in our body. The liver does not care where the original molecule will come from, so the liver has the same negative effects. According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, children consume a huge amount of sugar with their breakfast. So, the World Health Organization and the US Department of Agriculture have published sugar ceilings because sugar destroys children’s liver and brain like alcohol.
Research has shown that good nutrition can enhance the cognitive function and academic performance of students. A healthy and balanced diet improves the capacity of the brain and studies show that sugar has negative effects on the general behavior of children leading to chronic nerve problems. Children diagnosed with allergies to milk, eggs and nuts should have a varied diet.
Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose and while it is a source of energy it is not essential for humans. That is why when consumed in large quantities it is toxic and manifests diseases such as type 2 diabetes as well as alcoholism without consuming alcohol. Artificial sweeteners that replace sugar hypnotize the body leaving calories and sugars and thus increase blood glucose levels. So natural substitutes are considered better.
Below will be analyzed the properties of the basic ingredients for dessert recipes and the possibilities of their replacement as well as recipe ingredients for children compared to recipes for adults.
Sugar as the most common sweetener is used in sweets to ensure their sweet taste and preservation. It is often thought that brown sugar is healthier than white sugar. Both species contain similar nutrients, and the difference is that white is chemically processed so it has lower potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
A substitute for sugar in baby sweets is often honey. Honey is a natural product rich in vitamins and antimicrobials and is sweeter. It is better to choose natural varieties because in them the nutrients are better preserved and as a consequence, organic honey is the best choice. Maple syrup and agave syrup have the same properties and nutritional benefits.
Part of the popularity of agave syrup is due to the fact that the glycemic index is 30, less than half of the sugar which is 65. In the trade we find 2 types of syrup, but dark retains more nutrients than light. Finally, another sweetener is coconut sugar, which has a low glycemic index and very high levels of vitamin C. Any sweetener offers sweets flavor, aroma, increased shelf life and crust color.
Eggs in sweets have thickening and emulsifying properties as well as foaming. They give them color, aroma and have high nutritional value as they are rich in protein and natural vitamin D that helps children absorb calcium.
An egg, in cases of allergies and other possible diseases of young children, can be replaced by a banana, a tablespoon of flaxseed dissolved in water or a tablespoon of chia seeds dissolved in water. These options are rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, proteins, and antioxidants.
Milk affects the taste and has great nutritional value. Helps in the structure of the preparation giving it a tender, fresh and soft texture. Milk contains protein and calcium giving energy to children and helps build brain tissue while being beneficial for bones.
Pure sugar-free cocoa is high in flavonoids that improve blood circulation, heart function and oral health. They also protect the skin from harmful sunlight. 70% pure cocoa and not processed with alkali is the best choice. It gives aromas and taste to the sweets.
Flour is the milling product of healthy wheat according to the Food and Beverage Code. Flour consists of carbohydrates (76-80% starch), cellulose and other sugars. When baked it contributes to the formation of the crust, the swelling and the texture of the dough. Ground oats, which are often preferred as a healthier option, have similar behavior to wholemeal flour. However, a cup of flour can also be replaced with 425gr of black beans, an alternative for people with gluten intolerance.
Butter and oil give flavor and aroma to the preparations, strengthen the structure, texture and give them elasticity. Replacing butter with oil essentially reduces saturated and trans fats from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that contribute to good heart function. A cup of butter can be replaced with half a cup of apple puree thus greatly reducing saturated fat, half a cup of ground avocado, which has monounsaturated good fats, or half a cup of ground banana rich in vitamins and potassium that has less potassium or less fat. However, the oil can be replaced with ¾ a cup of apple puree or ¾ a cup of Greek yogurt rich in protein and calcium. Yogurt is a stable emulsion obtained from pasteurized cow’s milk and consists of at least 80% fat, 6% water and 0.5% lactose.
Pastry colors are additives used for aesthetic and commercial purposes. Colorful sweets are a pole of attraction for young children. But they can potentially cause behavioral changes such as overstimulation, anxiety and even headaches in children. Colors can be replaced however in a natural way. For the red color we use the beetroot, for the yellow the turmeric, for the green kale greens and for the purple cabbage.