Why I do not recommend Cacao for kids!
There is a reason why I do not recommend Cacao for younger children and toddlers – and it is why I recommend Carob instead.
Cacao contains Theobromine which is considered to be a stimulant. Its effect is caffeine-like and similar to tea. Although theobromine itself does not have caffeine, the stimulation of the heart and nervous system that it causes acts like a caffeine. (The increase in organic activity caused by Theobromine in humans can be major and damaging to dogs, hence why dogs should not eat chocolate.) and it is why I do not recommend Cacao for young children.
Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine. In general, theobromine levels are higher in dark chocolates (approximately 10 g/kg) than in milk chocolates (1-5 g/kg). Higher quality chocolate tends to contain more theobromine than lower quality chocolate. Cocoa beans naturally contain approximately 300-1200 mg/ounce theobromine (note how variable this is!).
I don’t want to take away the benefits of Cacao as there are many. But for little ones and toddlers I personally believe there are much healthier substitutes for your children when making treats for them.
So when it comes to my recipes – its simple when making them for your little ones simply swap the Cacao to Carob! And like any sweat chocolate should always be a treat for little ones!
Benefits of Carob Include:
Carobs are high in protein, contain essential vitamins and are a healthy alternative to most snack foods. Carobs are beneficial as they:
- Contain tannins that are rich in gallic acid.
- Gallic acid provides anti-allergic, antiseptic and anti-bacterial benefits.
- Rich in insoluble fibre.
- Good source of vitamin E.
- Contain Thiamin (vitamin B), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Niacin (vitamin A), alpha-tocopherol, and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2).
- Full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
- High in potassium and magnesium.
- Gluten free.
- Caffeine free.
- 100% natural with no chemicals or preservatives.
According to investigated research, Carob can aid in the treatment of many health issues, such as:
- Carob forms an important commercial stabilizer and thickener in bakery goods, ice cream, jelly, salad dressings, cheese, bologna, sauces, salami, canned meats, fish, mustard and other food products.
- The carob powder is used as a substitute for cocoa powder or chocolate in cakes, cookies and candies.
- Hot beverages are made using carob powder, instead of coffee.
- For making cookies and muffins, carob chips are used in place of chocolate chips.