We know that we can feed babies fruits and veggies as soon as we start weaning them after they turn 6 months old. But what about olive oil?
This type of oil is constantly recommended to adults as it is suitable for cooking and even skincare or hair care routine. When it comes to babies, olive oil is just as beneficial!
Can I give olive oil to my baby for cough too? Read on.
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Can Babies Have Olive Oil?
Yes. You can mix a teaspoon of olive oil with baby food once your baby turns 6 months old. Doing so will help them have a healthy digestive system and heart. .
Olive oil helps the development of the pancreas and liver as well. But you can use this healthy oil in treating constipation or massaging your baby as well as other ways.
When to introduce oil in baby food?
Children ages 1-3 years old should obtain 30-40% of their total calories come from “good” fats.
- Generally, babies require about 6 tablespoons of good fats a day, and it is mostly obtained from breastmilk or milk/formula.
- It is recommended that solid foods be started for babies around 6 months of age because breastmilk is not enough by itself even though it continues to be a vital source of nutrition.
- Contrary to popular belief that fat is bad and has to be avoided, babies need fat, especially good fat, because it is essential for growing babies as it helps with cell repair, brain development, organ, and bone growth, energy, and keeping them full.
- By adding an additional teaspoon or so of good fats like extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, butter, ghee, we can be assured that they are meeting their daily requirements. Go for organic coconut oil for baby food. Added bonus good fat makes food taste better so fuss-free eating regimen too!
Research suggests that extra-virgin olive oil and breast milk contain nutritional similarities, the foremost being omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids content.
- Olive oil is highly digestible, thereby promoting proper gastrointestinal function, like eliminating constipation and colic. It also helps in the absorption of Vitamin D.
- So, doctors in Italy are recommending incorporating olive oil in a baby’s diet, especially when it starts solid food. In some cases, it is also suggested to be mixed with expressed breast milk.
- Adding as little as 1/4 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil for every 2 ounces of solid food like pureed fruit or vegetable, iron-fortified cereals will provide excellent health benefits for the baby. This quantity of olive oil can be gradually increased up to a tablespoon around the 8th month.
Adding Olive Oil to Baby Food for Weight Gain
Many studies have indicated that a low fat or fat restricted diet stunts the growth of an infant in either height and/or weight. Depending on the age of the infant, olive oil can be mixed with breast milk or solid food to enable weight gain too.
Olive Oil for Baby Constipation
When it comes to baby’s constipation, olive oil can be used both internally and externally.
- To relieve constipation, you can add a few drops of olive oil in baby bottle twice or thrice in a day. Olive oil works as a laxative for curing constipation.
- Alternately, you can rub lukewarm olive oil (clockwise circular motion) on the stomach of the baby. Olive oil is one of the natural remedies to assist babies to sleep better and avoids gas. As mentioned earlier, you can also infuse it in your baby’s diet to relieve constipation.
Olive Oil in the Weaning Process
Olive oil can become a regular ingredient in your baby’s meals as soon as you start the weaning process.
- You can mix it with their veggies purees and soups without expecting any side effects.
- However, watch out for potential allergic reactions like you would with any other new food.
- If you don’t notice anything of this sort in 3 days after you introduced olive oil to their diet, there are no risks involved.
- You should only mix olive oil with veggies and not with fruits because the tastes are quite different.
Start with a small quantity of Olive Oil
Babies can digest olive oil just like they can digest any other food.
- However, you need to start with a small quantity and watch the way they react to it.
- Being olive oil, you will not be able to add a lot of it to your baby’s food anyway, so if you stick to one teaspoon a day, they should digest it just fine.
- It will not make any difference in their digestive process. Still, it will improve the well functioning of their digestive system significantly.
Olive Oil for Massage
If you are wondering about other ways to use olive oil for your baby, you should know that it works great as a massage oil.
- If you give them an olive oil massage before bedtime, they will sleep better.
- Plus, you will empower your baby-parent bound at the same time.
- Rubbing olive oil on your baby’s chest can prevent and treat cough if they are prone to this condition.
- It will reduce diaper rash as well as other types of skin rashes that they might deal with, and it is an excellent remedy for constipation.
- All these conditions can be made a lot better by a simple, full-body olive oil massage each evening.
You can find best olive oil for baby skin here.
Olive Oil on Baby Hair
Cradle cap or infant dandruff is a common issue among newborns.
- It’s a scaly rash that starts on the scalp of an infant.
- Gently rubbing olive oil on the baby’s scalp, leaving it overnight helps soften the crust, and washing it with shampoo the next day morning helps to get rid of the cradle cap.
Olive oil is some of the best oils you can give to your baby if you want to add some healthy fats to their diet.
Use it as a general home remedy for preventing and treating colds as well as insomnia. Sooner rather than later, this oil will become one of the essential things you use to take care of your baby.
Even pediatricians recommend olive oil before moving on to more complex treatments as it has no side effects in babies, and it is relatively accessible.
- “Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil or no Oil for Baby Dry Skin or Massage: A Pilot, Assessor-blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial (the Oil in Baby SkincaRE [… – PubMed – NCBI”. Accessed May 09, 2020. Link.
- “A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial of Olive Oil Added to Human Breast Milk for Weight Gaining in Very Low Birth Weight Infants”. Accessed May 09, 2020. Link.
- “The Role of Infant Nutrition in the Prevention of Future Disease”. Accessed May 09, 2020. Link.