6 Amazing Health Benefits Of Garlic For Babies

Benefits Of Garlic For Babies

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“A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.” – Unknown

Garlic is that pungent! But it is also high on medicinal values. It is so good for health that you cannot deprive yourself or your family of its benefits. Therefore, the medieval Western healthy life style program Salerno Regimen of Health says: “Since garlic then hath powers to save from death, bear with it though it makes unsavory breath.”

We know that you understand the benefits of garlic as much as you are aware of its smell. But is garlic good for babies, and how can it benefit them? MomJunction explains just that. Also, go through the recipes at the end to know in what various ways you may include garlic in your baby’s diet.

But before going into details, you might love this trivia: Babies seem to like garlic even before they start solids! Studies conducted in 1991 showed that babies nurse better when their mothers have eaten garlic (1)!

When Can Babies Have Garlic?

You can begin giving garlic to babies between 6 and 8 months of age. However, some babies may find it difficult to digest it, while some could develop an allergy.

The reaction to garlic can manifest in the form of cramps, swelling, vomiting or diarrhea. Visit a pediatrician if you observe any of these symptoms. Seek medical advice right away if your baby has breathing trouble or severe reactions.

But is it worth taking a risk with garlic when it could result in such side-effects? Yes. You will know the reason in the next two sections.

[ Read: Benefits Of Ginger For Babies ]

Nutritional Value Of Garlic

Garlic is a good source of vitamin B6, manganese, selenium, potassium, and iron.

NutrientUnitValue per 100 g
Energykcal214
Proteing3.57
Carbohydrate, by differenceg17.86
Fiber, total dietaryg3.6
Calcium, Camg0
Iron, Femg1.29
Sodium, Namg446
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg0
Vitamin A, IUIU0
Cholesterolmg0

Source: ndb.nal.usda.gov

Health Benefits Of Garlic For Babies

1. Your baby can escape from regular bouts of common cold

Babies are susceptible to common cold, fever, flu, pneumonia, asthma, and many other respiratory problems. Garlic helps fight them. Garlic soup helps reduce the severity of cold and flushes out toxins from the respiratory system. The volatile oils in garlic help open up the respiratory passages and relieve the condition. The antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic protect your baby from common cold (2).

2. Antimicrobial properties regulate infections

Garlic possesses antimicrobial properties that help regulate the growth of the infection causing bacteria. Phytochemicals present in garlic are highly effective in killing bacteria in the colon and small intestine. However, garlic is harmless on the pro-biotic microbes residing in the baby’s digestive system.

Antimicrobial properties of garlic help heal wounds quickly. Include garlic in your baby’s diet and the healing will begin soon after she consumes the condiment. Mix the fresh juice of garlic cloves with fruit or vegetable juice and feed the concoction to your baby (3).

3. Kills harmful intestinal worms in babies

When intestinal worms such as tapeworms enter the baby’s body in the form of eggs, they settle in the intestines and feed on the nutrients, eventually leading to infections and ailments. Garlic can act as an effective anthelmintic drug to kill the intestinal worms (4).

4. Keep baby’s heart healthy

Garlic could help lower the cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and strokes in later life.

5. Sulfur can prevent cancer

Crushed garlic is high in sulfur compounds (garlic organosulfur compounds or OSCs), which are high in antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. The power of garlic to elicit anti-inflammatory immune responses protects the baby from various types of cancer including colon, oesophagal, larynx, oral, ovary and renal (5).

6. Anti-inflammatory effect supports immune system

Garlic stimulates cell types such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells, and eosinophils, thus building your baby’s immune system. Also, it regulates cytokine secretion, which could help in the treatment or prevention of obesity, metabolic syndrome, etc (6).

When we say garlic is good for your baby, we mean a limited quantity of it. Give him the right amount to enjoy the benefits of this food.

How Much Garlic Is Safe For Babies?

Initially, serve one garlic clove a day. Check for any allergies. If he does not show any reactions, you may gradually increase the quantity but remember a baby cannot eat garlic like an adult does.

How To Select, Store And Use Garlic?

Use fresh garlic rather than the paste or powder. Select the one that is juicy and white. Peel off the skin, mince or crush and add it to the diet. Chopping or crushing aids in the secretion of OSCs.

Keep crushed garlic aside for 10 minutes before cooking. This would allow OSCs to develop completely.

[ Read: When Can Babies Eat Spicy Food ]

Serve garlic soup to your little one, by adding a pinch of sugar to camouflage the strong flavor. Store garlic in a warm, dry place.

Note: If you are bothered by the smell from your baby’s mouth, try adding fresh parsley.

Don’t give a whole to your little one as it is hard to chew and may pose a choking hazard. Instead, add it to the various recipes that you make for him.

Garlic Recipes For Babies

Here are some simple recipes containing garlic:

1. Chicken-garlic soup

Chicken-garlic soup

Image: iStock

Preparation time: 40 minutes

You will need:

  • 50 gm boneless chicken
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 3-4 garlic (chopped)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • Pepper
  • Salt

How to:

  1. Transfer all the ingredients to a pressure cooker and cook on slight flame for 10 minutes and low flame for 15 minutes.
  2. Strain the broth after cooling it down and serve warm.

2. Tomato rasam (Indian recipe)

Tomato rasam

Image: iStock

Preparation time: 40 minutes

You will need:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2-3 black peppercorns
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt for taste
  • 1/2 tsp oil

How to:

  1. Heat oil, add cumin seeds, garlic, and peppercorns. Sauté.
  2. Add water and tomatoes. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove off the flame and let it cool.
  3. Mash well. To remove the tomato skin, strain the mixture.
  4. Add the sautéd mixture.
  5. Feed it as soup or serve with mashed rice.

3. Homemade garlic salve for cold and cough

Homemade garlic salve for cold and cough

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 10 minutes

You will need:

  • 8 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil

How to:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Make a smooth paste.

Note: Lavender oil is used for its calming and soothing scent. Ensure that your baby is non-allergic and non-sensitive to the oils used in the recipe.

[ Read: Benefits Of Turmeric For Babies ]

4. Garlic bread (10 months)

Garlic bread

Image: iStock

Preparation time: 15 minutes

You will need:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 ciabatta (Italian white bread)
  • 50g softened butter
  • 1tsp fresh parsley (chopped)

How to:

  1. Add butter, parsley, and crushed garlic clove in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Spread the mix as a thin layer on both the sides of the bread.
  3. Bake the bread in a preheat oven at 200oC/Gas mark 6 for five to 10 minutes.
  4. Bake both the sides until brown.

Garlic bread is a yummy snack for a teething baby. They enjoy feasting on it as it soothes the pain in the gums.

In conclusion, if you wish to add a strange food to your baby’s diet, garlic is the best option. Garlic has numerous health benefits and is a power pack of nutrients. It helps in boosting the little one’s health besides making the food tastier.

Did you experiment with garlic in your baby’s food? How did he like it? Tell us your story here. Leave a comment below.

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