Ghee for Babies – Is It Safe?
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Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is a nutty-flavoured butter that has a strong aroma. It is made by slowly boiling butter until all the water gets evaporated and the fat is separated, leaving behind only milk solids. These milk solids are then simmered for a few minutes, giving them an aroma and a nutty taste. Ghee is a good source of nutrition, and including ghee in your baby’s diet can be extremely beneficial for her.
Nutritional Value of Ghee
- Ghee is rich in essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-9.
- It contains vitamins A, D, E, and K. The Vitamin K and Vitamin D in ghee is essential for bone development, as it helps in calcium production.
- Ghee contains 108 micrograms of Vitamin A per tablespoon, which is 12-15% of the daily recommended allowance for us.
- Ghee is known for its anti-microbial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Its antioxidant properties help remove harmful free radicals.
- Ghee is known to aid in digestion and improve immunity and eyesight.
- Ghee may also help in removing carcinogens from the body, according to some studies (carcinogens are chemicals that cause cancer). Ghee is also shown to reduce enzyme activity in the liver that is responsible for activating such carcinogens.
- Studies have also shown that ghee can help reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.
- Ghee contains DHA, which helps in brain development and improves memory.
- Ghee is high in calories, and, thus, helps babies gain weight after being weaned from breast milk.
When to Include Ghee in Your Baby’s Diet
Ghee can be included in your baby’s diet from the age of 6 months. You can begin by adding a few drops to your baby’s lentil and rice khichdi. You can gradually increase this quantity as the baby grows. However, you should ensure that you do not exceed one teaspoon per day. As with anything else, ghee should be consumed in moderation.
How Much Ghee Can You Give to Your Baby?
Ghee is very beneficial for your baby’s growth and development. However, it is important to consume a limited amount of ghee per day. Excess ghee can cause digestive problems, loss of appetite, and overweight. This table indicates the amount of ghee and the number of servings that are appropriate for your baby’s age.
|How Much Ghee to Give Your Baby|
|Age of Baby||Quantity of Ghee||No. of Servings Per Day|
|6 months||½ teaspoon||2|
|8 months||¾ to 1 teaspoon||2|
|10 months||1 to 1 ¼ teaspoon||3|
|1 year||1 to 1 ½ teaspoon||3|
|2 years||1 ½ to 2 teaspoons||3|
How to Include Ghee in Your Child’s Diet
Ghee can be included in your baby’s diet in various ways. You can start by adding a few drops of ghee to the baby’s dal or khichdi. You can also add ghee to the baby’s vegetable puree or mashed potatoes. A few drops of ghee can also be added to the baby’s porridge. For toddlers, you can apply ghee on chapatis or parathas instead of butter. Ghee can also be used in small quantities instead of cooking oil. You can use ghee instead of regular salted butter on bread as well.
Benefits of Ghee for Infants
Consuming moderate quantities of ghee can be beneficial for infants. If you are wondering whether ghee is good for babies, here is a list of the various ways in which ghee benefits your baby:
- Helps With Weight Gain: Ghee is high in healthy fats and calories. It can help your baby gain weight after she has weaned off breast milk.
- Helps Strengthen Bones: Ghee contains vitamin K and Vitamin D, which helps in the production of calcium in the body, which is essential for the development of strong bones.
- Improves Immunity: Ghee is known for its anti-microbial and antioxidant properties which help build and improve immunity against infections, coughs, and colds.
- Aids in Digestion: Ghee contains a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid that helps reduce inflammation and improve digestion. Ghee also stimulates stomach acid secretion, which helps in digesting food better.
- Contains Essential Vitamins and Minerals: Ghee contains calcium, which is good for bone health. It also contains numerous vitamins and DHA – these, together, are incredibly beneficial for the eyes, skin, and immunity. Thus, ghee can keep your baby in the pink of health.
- Can Help Treat Dry Cough: Dry cough in babies can be treated with ghee infused with peppercorns. To make this, heat a couple of teaspoons of ghee and add 3-4 smashed peppercorns. Lightly sauté and turn off the heat. Sieve this mixture to remove all the peppercorns and give a small quantity of this peppercorn-infused ghee to the infant.
- Can Treat Eczema: Ghee can be used to treat eczema and itchy skin in babies. Simply sub some ghee on the affected area to keep it moisturised. The ghee reduces inflammation and acts as an anti-microbial agent, preventing infection and the further spreading of eczema.
- Regulates Thyroid Function: Ghee contains iodine, which is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
Is Giving Too Much Ghee to a Baby Risky?
Too much of anything can be bad, and the same applies to ghee. When taken in moderate amounts, ghee has amazing health benefits. However, excessive consumption of ghee can cause problems in the body. It causes indigestion and loss of appetite. Since ghee is high in fat and calories, it can also cause obesity and heart disease when consumed in excessive quantities. Therefore, it is important to limit the consumption of ghee to 1 or 1 ½ teaspoons per day for babies.
Ghee has great health benefits for a growing baby if taken in limited quantities. When babies are weaned off of mother’s milk, they begin to lose weight. Giving them ghee can help them gain and maintain the weight appropriate for their age. Ghee is also high in calories, and so can be fed to toddlers who require a lot more energy once they start walking. However, it is always best to consult your baby’s doctor before making any dietary changes.
Resources and References: Healthline
Also read: Goat Milk For Babies – Benefits & Recipes