Should You Feed Your Baby Olive Oil?
As adults, we have heard about the health benefits of incorporating olive oil as part of a healthy diet. But what about feeding olive oil to babies?
Doctors in Italy are recommending incorporating olive oil into solid food and in some cases, expressed breast milk. Olive oil contains fatty acids that are similar to those found in breast milk. Olive oil also contains vitamins A, C, D, E and K, plus many B vitamins, and it is a rich source of anti-oxidants. Breast milk is always best, but incorporating minimal amounts of extra virgin olive oil (1/4 tsp for every two ounces of solid food) will provide excellent health benefits for baby. It’s not recommended that olive oil be given to infants before the age of six months. Before introducing your child to olive oil or any other substance, be sure to check with your pediatrician.
Other Uses for Olive Oil and Babies
Massage — After bath time, use olive oil to massage your baby. Infant massage provides a bonding opportunity for parent/child, helps baby relax (and hopefully sleep better!), and the olive oil will hydrate baby’s skin naturally. Click here to learn more about the benefits of infant massage.
Cradle Cap — Cradle cap or “infant dandruff” is a common ailment for babies. Olive oil applied to the affected parts of the head before cleansing has been shown to be an effective and natural remedy.
Diaper Rash Prevention — Make an emulsion of 2 T of olive oil to 1 T water. Once the soiled diaper has been removed and baby cleaned, rub the emulsion on baby’s bottom and replace diaper. The oil creates a barrier on baby’s skin, lessoning the chances of diaper rash developing.
We love that even the very young can benefit from olive oil!
Until next time…..
Susan and Bridget