Can Babies Have Maple Syrup? – When is it Safe to Give To Your Child

By Maria Wilcox •  Updated: 06/08/22 •  9 min read
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Maple syrup is a deliciously sweet, warm, and deep flavored sauce that can be placed on a variety of foods from pancakes to buttermilk biscuits. But can babies have maple syrup? You may be surprised at the answer! Join us as we set out to answer that question in detail right here in today’s post.

At What Age Can Babies Have Maple Syrup?

What Age Can Babies Have Maple Syrup?

Generally speaking, a baby shouldn’t have maple syrup until he or she is at least one year old.

However, it is typically recommended that most sweets be avoided until your baby hits age 2, especially when it comes to unrefined sugars.

Because babies are still young, their bodies often have trouble processing sugars of any kind. Their digestive systems are still developing. Their bodies are still trying to figure out how to manage their own blood sugar.

As a result, serving your baby maple syrup before the age of one, especially artificial maple syrup, isn’t ideal. it has the potential to spike your baby’s blood sugar which isn’t healthy for your child.

Note: No maple syrup of any type should ever be included in a baby’s diet who is younger than 6 months. A baby this young should only be consuming their mother’s milk because their digestive systems are too immature to handle anything else. Neglecting to follow these guidelines may result in extreme discomfort for your child, as well as pose a risk of choking.

can a baby have sweets early

Can Babies Under 1 Have Maple Syrup?

When Can Babies Have Maple Syrup?

If your baby is under the age of one, you’ll want to skip maple syrup. Maple syrup has the propensity to raise blood sugar levels which could be unhealthy for your child.

Outside of simply being unhealthy and unwise, feeding your baby sweets before, and sometimes even after, the age of one can train your baby’s taste buds to prefer sweet foods. This can set them up for unhealthy eating habits down the road.

Rather than serving your baby maple syrup, you may wish to grab items that are naturally sweet, like fruit. At such a young age, your child will hardly notice the difference, and eating fresh fruit will be a much better choice for your baby’s overall health.

Something else you’ll want to watch for when considering giving your baby maple syrup is whether or not the syrup you’re serving your little one is pure. We will go more into depth about this topic later on in this post, but for now, it is important to note that maple syrups that aren’t marked as being 100% pure should be avoided for children under the age of 2. It should only be consumed in extreme moderation for children older than 2, as this type of maple syrup contains high fructose corn syrup. This can have a variety of detrimental effects on the health of babies, children, and even adults.

Can Babies Have Maple Syrup in Baked Goods?

Can Babies Have Cooked Maple Syrup?

If you want to serve up a naturally-sweetened muffin or another dessert, we recommend you do so only in moderation for children over the age of 1. Still, we prefer this method of sweetening any treats you plan to give your baby as natural sugars like maple syrup offer a slew of health benefits that may prove beneficial for your little one. 

In addition to the health benefits of pure maple syrup, comes the notion that naturally sweetened goods are so much better for your baby than goods loaded with regular sugar. There are many reasons to avoid giving your little one sugar before they turn 2, and there are even more reasons to moderate the amount of sugar you give your little one, even after they’ve turned 2. 

Pancakes with ricotta cheese, breakfast

Can Babies Have Pure Maple Syrup?

Can Babies Have Real Maple Syrup?

As previously mentioned, we don’t recommend giving your baby any maple syrup, including pure maple syrup, before the age of 1. However, after the age of one, it is okay to give your baby very small amounts of pure maple syrup on occasion.

Pure maple syrup is different from “regular” maple syrup (such as Aunt Jemima’s a.k.a Pearl Milling Company Original Maple Syrup) in that it doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or additives. Pure maple syrup is extracted from tree bark and is boiled and strained to produce fresh maple syrup which packs a ton of health benefits. 

Butternut Mountain Farm Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, Grade A (Prev. Grade B), Dark Color, Robust Taste, All Natural, Easy Pour, 32 Fl Oz, 1 Qt

Other types of maple syrup, also known as “pancake syrup”. However, are artificially-derived and contain little to no health benefits. These syrups are jam-packed with harmful additives, including high fructose corn syrup, which has long been associated with unsavory health effects including high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes

Note: Though maple syrup in its pure form is much recommended over maple syrup that has been artificially derived, it is important that you still moderate the amount given to your child. Pure maple syrup can still spike blood sugar despite its many natural and healthful benefits. For that reason, you must use maple syrup carefully and never introduce it before the age of 1. 

Butternut Mountain Farm Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, Grade A (Prev. Grade B), Dark Color, Robust Taste, All Natural, Easy Pour, 32 Fl Oz, 1 Qt

Maple Syrup Infant Botulism

Can Baby Have Maple Syrup 6 Month Old?

As you are reading this post, you may be left wondering, “What about infant botulism? Is there any risk when allowing baby to consume maple syrup?” That’s a good question!

Infant botulism isn’t normally associated with maple syrup the way that it is with honey. In case you are unaware, honey should never be given to a child under the age of a year because of its thickness (it can cause choking) and the fact that it presents a risk for your child to acquire infant botulism.

Infant botulism occurs when babies digest certain bacteria contained in honey that make their way to their large intestines and creates toxins there. Babies that acquire infant botulism become very sick and often end up in the ICU. 

Maple Syrup Baby Led Weaning

Maple syrup for baby-led weaning may seem like a good idea especially when it comes to dipping fruits, veggies, pancakes, and waffles. However, we’d caution you against giving maple syrup to babies this young.

Instead, opt for naturally-sweetened foods, like mashed banana or unsweetened peanut butter (assuming your child doesn’t have an allergy) to use as a dip. Maple syrup may be enjoyed once your child is over the age of one. But again, it should only be pure maple syrup and should only be enjoyed in moderation. 

person holding white ceramic cup with syrup

Maple Syrup in Baby Formula

Because maple syrup is sticky, sweet, and not easily digested by little ones under the age of 1, we absolutely do NOT recommend putting maple syrup in a baby bottle.

Remember that you are priming your child’s taste buds from an early age. Making their formula sweet will prime their palate to crave sweeter things later in life. This could be detrimental to their health.

Outside of this, adding maple syrup or any other additive to baby formula is a big no-no as this could disrupt your baby’s gut flora causing constipation, digestion issues, and spiking your baby’s blood sugar. 

Remember that while we as adults crave and eat sweet things all the time, giving these items to your little one, though you mean well, may cause your baby discomfort that you may not know about. And because your baby cannot protest by using words, you will need to give your baby only what he or she can tolerate safely. You never know how what you are feeding affects your baby who cannot speak for themselves.

So be patient when it comes to feeding your baby sweets of any kind…the time for enjoying sweets with your child will come eventually! 

Maple Syrup For Baby Constipation

Some parents have resorted to using various kinds of syrup to help relieve baby constipation. They often wonder if maple syrup will help, too.

Rather than give it a go, we recommend finding the root source of your baby’s constipation, rather than compounding the problem by giving your baby maple syrup. 

Infant constipation is common. It can be caused by a number of things, including difficulty digesting table foods, baby formula, and milk allergies. Please be sure to determine the cause of your baby’s discomfort before adding any kind of syrup to their diet. 

You can try the following (safe) foods for children over the age of 6 months to help relieve baby constipation:

  • Plain Yogurt (with pureed fresh fruit)
  • Peas
  • Kiwi (diced in small pieces)
  • Blueberries
  • Soft-Cooked Beans
  • Spinach
  • Very Ripe Banana (avoid underripe starchy bananas as these can make constipation worse)

Can Babies Have Golden Syrup?

We do not recommend giving your baby any type of syrup. Their digestive systems simply aren’t ready for it.

 

Can Babies Have Maple Syrup? We Don’t Recommend It.

Pure maple syrup has a whole host of health benefits. But giving your child syrup of any kind is a no-no until your baby is at least a year old.

Skip the maple syrup until your baby is old enough to handle it. And even then, use only a drop or two when introducing it. This is so you don’t overwhelm your baby’s body and blood sugar levels.

We hope this helps! Stay safe!

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Maria Wilcox

Former instructor with an M.A. in Education turned grateful stay-at-home mama to one, I look to share helpful insights related to babies, toddlers, kids, and families for the benefit of real people just like you.

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