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There might have been numerous instances where you have heard mothers using fennel oil for babies in order to treat certain digestive issues or for improving their health. The benefits of fennel have been known for quite some time, but its use for infants can still cause many parents to hesitate and they worry if fennel is truly safe for a child.
Is Fennel Safe for Babies?
Giving your little one fennel is completely safe, as long as the quantity is controlled. Usually, the best way to go about it is to make fennel water for babies, but there are other methods as well. It is not recommended to give fennel seeds directly to an infant.
Nutritional Value of Fennel
The nutritional benefits that fennel seeds provide are quite extensive. A mere 100g of fennel consists of a nutrient distribution as described below.
|Vitamin A||136 IU|
|Vitamin B6||0.5 mg|
|Vitamin C||21.5 mg|
Health Benefits of Fennel for Infants
You might have come across the benefits of fennel tea for babies, amongst many others. On a general note, fennel seeds themselves provide numerous health benefits for infants in various ways.
1. Protection from Microbes
Infants always face the risk of infection from different bacteria and fungi. Fennel seeds have been known to contain various properties that are antimicrobial. These provide protection from multiple pathogens and help keep infants healthy.
2. Reduction in Respiratory Issues
For infants that suffer from constant respiratory issues and diseases such as bronchitis, asthma, frequent coughs and so on, fennel seeds are an absolute blessing. Most of the times, the leaves of the fennel plant are used to extract juice and give it to the child. Fennel tea also provides a similar effect in this regard.
3. Relief From Constipation
Many infants continue to have bouts of constipation, causing them a lot of problems and irritation. This is observed in bottle-fed babies as well, since the proliferation of infectious bacteria leaves no space for good bacteria to thrive in the gut, giving rise to digestive issues. Since fennel is a natural laxative, giving your baby some fennel tea helps in stimulating bowel movement and clearing up the intestine easily.
4. Treating Disorders of the Digestive System
Your baby might be constantly farting or suffering from a bloating sensation in the stomach, which are all indicative of the digestive system working incorrectly. Instead of opting for any medication, give your child some fennel water by boiling the seeds in it and straining them out. The effects are instantaneous and quite effective
5. Remedying Any Colic Issues
When any gas remains present in the stomach, it can start causing painful cramps in the child. If a baby cannot pass a fart, he might start crying uncontrollably. In such a case, fennel water or fennel oil can be quite effective in reducing the instances of such colic problems from occurring.
6. Increased Lactation and Indirect Benefits
For mothers who are worried about their babies taking in fennel directly, they can function as a channel to pass on the benefits of fennel seeds indirectly, by drinking fennel tea or consuming fennel seeds/oil themselves. The little one will get the best parts directly from the breastmilk. Furthermore, fennel seeds have also been linked to increasing the lactation in a nursing mother.
Precautions to be Taken While Giving Fennel Tea to Babies
While fennel tea for newborns might have some benefits, there are some precautions that you ought to take in order to avoid any side effects that could be harmful to the little child.
1. Check for the Presence of Allergies
As with any other food item that you might introduce to your child it is extremely necessary to check if he has any kind of allergic reaction towards the item before continuing it for him. Start with a small amount at first, and wait for a couple of days to check for any signs of allergies, such as rashes or inflamed skin. If all seems fine, you can continue giving your baby fennel in the form of tea or oil.
2. Prepare the Fennel Seeds Appropriately
When preparing fennel water, it is necessary to boil the seeds in the solution but the temperature shouldn’t be too hot. Boiling on a large flame can cause the antioxidants within the seeds to evaporate. Use a low flame and let the water boil gradually.
3. Never Give Fennel Seeds Directly
While there’s no direct harm in giving seeds to your little one, there are chances that your baby might choke on them while swallowing. Therefore, using those seeds to prepare fennel water or tea is the best way, and crushing them in the process is highly recommended.
Fennel Recipes for Baby
When making sure that your baby gets the best benefits of fennel, you can make use of some easy recipes that are customised specifically for infants.
1. Fennel Tea
With fennel tea, baby constipation can become a thing of the past as well as provide a lot of health benefits along with it.
- Honey– 1 tsp
- Dandelion leaves- 1 tsp
- Water- 1 cup
- Fennel seeds- 1 tsp
Here’s how to make fennel tea for babies the right way.
- Take a cup of water and boil it well.
- Put together the dandelion leaves and crushed fennel seeds and pour the water over them. Let this heat for around 10 minutes or so.
- Strain it and add a little honey for some flavour.
2. Fennel Water
Fennel water for colic babies is highly recommended since it can provide relief from the pains almost instantly. Preparing fennel water is quite easy and consists of simply leaving some fennel seeds in hot water overnight. Readymade fennel water is available in markets as well.
Fennel tea for newborn babies along with water and oil can relieve numerous issues and enhance the health of a child. Of course, getting a doctor’s recommendation is highly necessary before proceeding with any kind of herbal remedy for your infant.
Also Read: Flaxseeds for Babies