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We love to spice up our food as it gives a new life to the food (and makes it taste delicious). The various spices that we use add a flavour to a dish plus they offer various medicinal properties. According to Ayurveda, different herbs and spices help in curing various medical conditions. Some people recommend giving spices to babies – one such spice that your baby may benefit from is nutmeg or jaiphal. Yes, nutmeg can be very beneficial for your little one. If you are wondering how you can use this aromatic spice and what all benefits it will offer to your baby, we suggest that you read the following article.
What Is Nutmeg?
Nutmeg or jaiphal is an aromatic and warm spice, which is obtained from the nutmeg tree. This fragrant spice is now used all over the world in various culinary delights and for medicinal properties. It has been in use in Indian culture for centuries to spice up the food and also to heal various medical ailments. It is also supposed to have many benefits for a baby too.
When to Add Jaiphal to Your Baby’s Diet
Nutmeg (jaiphal) can be added to a baby’s diet as soon as the mother plans on introducing solid food to the baby. However, it will be a good idea to wait for at least six months before you add any spices to your baby’s diet. Though spices are safe for babies and many times, elders of the family may recommend its usage during weaning ceremonies like annaprashan, you must wait before he turns six months of age.
Nutritional Value of Nutmeg
If you wish to know the nutritional content of this fragrant warm spice, have a look at the below table. The values mentioned in this table are the approx values in 100 grams of nutmeg.
Health Benefits of Jaiphal for Babies
Nutmeg can offer various health benefits to your little one, and if you give this spice to your baby on a regular basis, then your baby can benefit immensely. Following are some of these benefits:
1. It keeps tummy problems at bay.
Giving nutmeg to your baby may prove to be beneficial for his tummy. Babies are prone to gas or colic. But adding jaiphal in his diet may keep such problems at bay. It can also help cure stomach cramps or pain in babies.
2. It can help a child sleep better.
From a long time, mothers have been effectively using nutmeg for their babies as this fragrant spice helps in inducing better sleep in them. When you mix this spice in your baby’s milk, your baby may feel relaxed and calm, and thus, he may sleep peacefully. Also, the use of this spice is beneficial in keeping stomach problems at bay, which may sometimes hamper with your baby’s sleep.
3. It can cure the problem of indigestion.
As babies do not have a fully matured digestive system, it may lead to indigestion issues in them. As you introduce various kinds of solid foods in your baby’s diet, his immature digestive system may not function smoothly and he may have a stomach ache, gas, or even diarrhoea. Giving nutmeg for diarrhoea in babies may prove to be effective in treating the symptoms of this ailment.
4. It can help treat a cold and cough.
This wondrous spice provides warmth to the body and thus helps in treating the symptoms of cold and cough in babies. Giving jaiphal for baby’s cold is one of the most effective home remedies.
How to Select and Store Nutmeg for Baby Food
Whenever something concerns your little baby, we know you will want nothing but the best for him. And when you plan to get nutmeg for your baby, you will definitely want to choose the best quality nutmeg. This is why we recommend that you buy an organic variant in comparison to anything that is available in the market. Also, buy fresh nutmeg as far as possible because the flavour and aroma of this spice can easily wither away with time. Pay heed to the size of the spice too, the bigger the size, the better it is.
For storing this aromatic spice, we recommend that you store it in an airtight jar, preferably a glass jar. As mentioned earlier this spice is used for its peculiar aroma and flavour, and when it comes in contact with air for longer periods, it tends to lose both these qualities. Keep checking your stored spice; if at any given point of time you feel the spice has lost its fresh fragrance and flavour, it’s time to replace it.
How to Give Nutmeg to Your Child
After knowing the various health benefits of this amazing spice, we know you must be tempted to add this spice to your baby’s food. To add this spice in your baby’s diet, first, you will have to grind it. Take a grinding stone and wash it. Next, wash and clean the nutmeg, now put a few drops of milk or water on the grinding stone and start grinding the nutmeg on it in circular or in to and fro motion. In a few minutes, you should get a paste-like consistency. You may take this paste in a spoon and add it to your baby’s milk, porridge, cereal, etc.
What Is the Recommended Dosage?
The uses of jaiphal for babies are immense; however, when it concerns your little munchkin, you must exercise great caution. You should not give jaiphal or any other food or beverage to your baby until he turns six months of age. If your baby is over six months of age, you may give 0.5 mg of jaiphal once a day during summers and 0.5 mg twice a day in winters. However, include jaiphal in his diet only after consulting your baby’s paediatrician.
Precautions to Take While Giving Jaiphal to Your Baby
Before you add this amazing spice to your baby’s diet, you should exercise the following precautions:
Make sure you thoroughly wash and clean the spice to get rid of any dirt and grime settled on it.
No doubt this spice has multiple benefits to offer to your baby but never ever give in more than the recommended dosage.
Make sure you grind the spice well so that your baby may not choke on the pieces of the spice.
This spice may show an allergic reaction in some babies, if that may be the case with your baby, refrain from giving this spice to him again.
This spice is known to generate body heat, and some babies may not be able to withstand such changes, so look for the symptoms and stop the usage of this spice.
Many new moms swear by this spice to maintain the health of their babies; however, we recommend that you include this spice in your baby’s diet only after consulting with your doctor. Every baby is different and thus may react differently to various foods and spices – so be careful!