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Ghee is clarified butter with a strong aroma. It is prepared by slowly boiling butter until all the water evaporates and the fat separates, leaving behind only milk solids. After this, it is simmered for a few minutes to give it an aromatic, nutty flavour. Ghee is a good source of nutrition. It is very beneficial for babies if ghee is included in their diet.
Nutritional Value of Ghee
Ghee is rich in essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-9. It also contains vitamins A, D, E and K. Ghee is known for its antimicrobial properties. It also acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping to remove harmful free radicals. Ghee is known to aid in digestion and improve immunity and eyesight. The vitamin K helps in calcium production, which is essential for bone development.
Ghee contains 108 micrograms of vitamin A per tablespoon, which is 12 to 15% of the daily recommended allowance for us. A study has also shown that ghee helped in removing carcinogens from the body. Carcinogens are chemicals that cause cancer in the body. Ghee also reduced 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, also called low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) in the body. Ghee contains DHA which helps in brain development and improves memory. Ghee is high in calories and 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 teaspoons||3|
|1 year||1 to 1 ½ teaspoons||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 it on bread instead of the regular salted butter.
Benefits of Ghee for Infants
Consuming limited quantities of ghee can be very beneficial for infants. If you are wondering, is ghee good for babies, here is a list of the various ways in which ghee benefits your baby:
- Helps To Gain Weight: Ghee is high in healthy fat and calories. It can help your baby gain weight after the baby has been weaned from mother’s milk.
- Helps Strengthen Bones: Ghee contains vitamin K 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 antimicrobial properties and also acts as an antioxidant, which helps 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.
- Contains Essential Vitamins and Minerals: Ghee contains calcium which is good for bones. It also contains vitamins A, D, E and K which are good for the eyes, skin, and improved immunity. Ghee contains DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, which is an important structural fat present in the eye and the brain.
- Removes Carcinogens: Studies have shown that consuming moderate quantities of ghee helped in expelling carcinogens from the body, thus preventing cancer.
- Lowers Bad Cholesterol Levels: Research has found that eating small quantities of ghee regularly can help lower the LDL cholesterol levels in the body. LDL cholesterols are responsible for blocked arteries and heart disease.
- Can Help Treat Dry Cough: A Dry cough in babies can be treated by giving them ghee containing the essence of peppercorn. To make this, heat a couple of teaspoons of ghee, add 3-4 smashed peppercorns to it, lightly sauté and remove from the heat. Sieve this mixture to remove all the peppercorns and give a small quantity of the peppercorn infused ghee to the infant to treat a dry cough.
- Can Treat Eczema: Ghee can be used to treat eczema and itchy skin in babies. Rub ghee on the affected area to keep it moisturised. The ghee reduces inflammation and acts as an antimicrobial agent, preventing infection and further spread 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. The same applies to ghee, too. When taken in moderate amounts, ghee has amazing health benefits. However, excessive consumption of ghee can cause several problems in the body. It causes indigestion and loss of appetite. Since ghee is high in fat and calories, it also causes obesity and heart disease when consumed excessively. Therefore, it is important to limit the consumption of ghee for your baby to 1 or 1 ½ teaspoons per day.
Ghee has great health benefits for a growing baby if taken in limited quantities. When babies are weaned from 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, which is necessary for toddlers as they require lots more energy once they start walking. However, it is always best to consult your baby’s doctor before making any dietary changes.
Also read: Goat Milk For Babies – Benefits & Recipes