Today it is kind of trendy if your baby doesn’t get any refined sugar under the age of one. There are lots of alternatives at whole food stores like fruit sweetened cookies, sugar free drinks or coconut water. But that wasn’t always the case. When my mother started living on a sugar free diet in 1995 I was just 6 years old and it didn’t really bother me. I got to eat sweets (I didn’t know they didn’t contain sugar) and I had the great opportunity to exchange my chocolate and gummy bears for stickers. Do you remember that time when everybody had a sticker album and stickers were exchanged? I was always happy to give my mom some of grandma’s Christmas chocolate and to receive a new glittering sticker to glue into my album in exchange. I was always keen to be at my friend’s house where I got to eat Nutella or eat sugary pancakes. But I didn’t miss them at home. I even disliked a lot of sweets and I didn’t like drinks like coke, lemonade or sweetened juices. I guess I had quite complex taste buds that always knew whenever something was not natural. My friends were always curious about the things that were growing inside my mother’s kitchen: sprouts, soaked buckwheat or just salt sole.
My own path convinced me and my husband to do it similar with J. We don’t give him sugar. He doesn’t need to get used to its oversweet taste. Everything made with sugar tastes the same: sweet and sugary. It puts you to a level from which it is very difficult to step down again. Until he was 18 months old we only gave him natural sweeteners: banana, date and applesauce. Now we start him very easily on honey and rice syrup. I am very careful with agave syrup and other sweeteners. They are produced concentrates that are not occurring in nature and I would always prefer honey from agave syrup.
One other reason why I don’t follow the agave syrup hype is that it isn’t much different than refined sugar with a very high fructose share. Normal white sugar exists of 50:50 fructose and glucose. Glucose is quite innocent, but it’s the fructose that is the highly toxic part for our teeth, stomach mucosa and of course for our brain, as it may lead to addiction symptoms. Now when talking of agave syrup we again talk about a blend of fructose and glucose. But this time we have a relation of 7-8 parts fructose to 1 part glucose. There are several papers and reviews that deal with the association of fructose and different diseases such as inflammation, insulin resistance, digestive disorders, fat liver or cancer (See the sources attached in the footnotes).
Our banana bread is free of any refined sugar as it only contains bananas and raisins. We will try out other versions soon, but this version is perfect. We first gave it to J when he was 1 year old, but I guess you could start at 10 months. We started to introduce eggs at 10 months (1 per week at most) and we introduced spelt with 8 months. Supported by immune components from my milk he was perfectly protected to get introduced with these foods. We still eat a lot of gluten-free alternatives, but only a lot, not always as with everything. We don’t like to be too restrictive with that.
Banana-Blueberry Bread You will need: 125g whole grain spelt flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons cinnamon 75g raisins 50g melted butter 2teaspoons vanilla 1 egg 1 tablespoon milk 3 ripe bananas, mashed 2 handfull blueberries/blackberries/raspberries Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a caster shaped baking tin with baking sheet. Mix Flower, baking powder, cinnamon, raisins. Mix butter, vanilla, egg, milk, babana in another bowl. Mix the two blends with each other. Fill half of the quantity into the baking tin and cover with the other half. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Enjoy Folks! 🙂
Basciano, H., Federico, L., & Adeli, K. (2005). Fructose, insulin resistance, and metabolic dyslipidemia. Nutr Metab (Lond). 21;2(1):5.
Charrez, B., Qiao, L., & Hebbard, L. (2015). The role of fructose in metabolism and cancer. Horm Mol Biol Clin Investig, 22(2), 79-89.
Dornas, W.C., de Lima, W.G., Pedrosa, M.L., & Silva, M.E. (2015). Health implications of high-fructose intake and current research. Adv Nutr. 6(6), 729-37.
Herman, M.A., & Samuel, V.T. (in press). The Sweet Path to Metabolic Demise: Fructose and Lipid Synthesis. Trends Endocrinol Metab.
Tappy, L.,& Le, K.A. (2010). Metabolic effects of fructose and the worldwide increase in obesity. Physiol Rev. 90 (1), 23-46.
Tappy, L., Le, K.A., Tran, C., & Paquot, N. (2010). Fructose and metabolic diseases: new findings, new questions. Nutrition, 26 (11-12), 1044-9.
Tappy, L., Le, & K.A. (2012). Does fructose consumption contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease? Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol, 36(6), 554-560.