You have been feeding your baby only breast milk and formula solution all this time. Are you are now considering giving her coconut water? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. Here is all the necessary information about coconut water for babies and its health benefits.
Why Is Coconut Water Good For Babies?
Coconut water is a natural source of necessary supplements that your baby requires. It is a refreshing wonder tonic that gives your little one instant energy. Coconut water is complete food for babies next to mother’s milk because of its lauric acid contents. Usually, your little one’s body uses lauric acid from milk or coconut water here, to form monolaurin compound that helps to fight against diseases. Therefore, it is one of the recommended foods for babies and nursing mothers as well.
100 grams of coconut water contains the following nutritional value:
|Nutrients||Values for 100 grams||Nutrients||Values for 100 grams|
|Energy||19 kcal||Iron||0.29 mg|
|Water||94.99 gm||Potassium||250 mg|
|Total lipids||0.20 gm||Phosphorous||20 mg|
|Protein||0.72 gm||Zinc||0.10 mg|
|Fiber||1.1 gm||Sodium||105 gm|
|Carbohydrate||3.71 gm||Thiamin||0.03 mg|
|Calcium||24 mg||Vitamin C||2.4 mg|
|Sugars||2.61 gm||Niacin||0.08 mg|
|Magnesium||25 mg||Riboflavin||0.057 mg|
|Folate||3 ug||Vitamin B6||0.032 mg|
When Can Your Baby Have Coconut Water?
Instead of coconut flesh or chunks that could be hard for chewing and digestion, you should prefer coconut water that has incredible benefits. It aids digestion and also enhances taste, aroma and flavour. You can add coconut water to your baby’s diet as follows –
- You can add it to rice
- You can add it to mashes and purees
- You can boil it in vegetables and mash them
Health Benefits Of Coconut Water For Babies:
If your baby doesn’t show any allergic symptoms, it is perfectly fine to feed her coconut water for its significant health benefits. They are as follows:
1. Rehydration Agent:
During hot summers, coconut water is the best source of rehydration. Infants, babies, kids and adults are vulnerable to heat stroke that could lead to dehydration. Often when you are down with a fever water evaporates from your skin in an attempt to cool you down. When compared to the other rehydration drinks available, like sodas, coconut water is a better option. It is the purest liquid next to the water. It a sweet natural liquid with the just right amount of minerals, vitamins and salts.
2. Curative For Gastrointestinal Diseases:
Stomach bug in your little one could cause fluid loss through vomiting and diarrhoea. Dehydration can thus lead to various gastrointestinal diseases like indigestion, gastric ulcers, dysentery piles. Coconut water is the best remedy to prevent such conditions.
3. Relieves Constipation:
Constipation in babies is something that worries parents a lot. The main reason for constipation in children is due to lack of water or fibre in diet or having excess dairy or fatty food. By giving coconut water on a regular basis, you can avoid constipation. Coconut water being a good source of fiber and naturally rich in electrolytes helps in relieving constipation.
4. Treats Cholera:
Diarrhoea caused by cholera in several cases leads to dehydration and thus results in various complications. Oral rehydration is one of the treatments required for Cholera. But it’s not possible to consistently depend on IV fluids. And also in certain areas in the tropics where the medical supplies are distant, coconut water is the best alternative to keep the hydration levels in balance. As it’s easily available and easy to administer and is one of the most common remedies for babies.
Three novel antimicrobial peptides are present in coconut water which possesses antimicrobial activities. Coconut water contains monolaurin, an antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal monoglyceride that is used to kill lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, Herpes, cytomegalovirus, flu and various pathogenic bacteria. Coconut water by nature in a thorough purification process – is far safer than the municipal systems which leave up 600 toxic disinfectant by-products.
6. Treats Urinary Tract Infections:
Babies are much more vulnerable to urinary tract infections. The bacterial infection can stay in kidney or bladder thus worsen the condition. Coconut water contains cleansing and healing properties which can cure urinary problems. It can also cure bladder infections and dissolves kidney stones as it dilutes urine and flushes out various chemicals. When given as a regular part of diet, it helps maintain a healthy urinary system.
7. Palliative For Bilious Fever:
A fever along with vomiting and nausea is bilious fever. Coconut water helps prevent dehydration and also relieves fatigue by replenishing the natural salts lost by the body when you sweat.
8. Coconut Water And Infant Formula:
Some people use coconut water as a substitute for water along with the infant formula. In Thailand, the first solid food tasted by a baby is coconut flesh which is made soft for them. Coconut milk is also as an alternative to infant formula in few countries. But it’s always good to take coconut milk after consulting a paediatrician.
9. Reduces Vomiting:
Vomiting upsets your electrolyte balance and causes dehydration. Coconut water has a soothing effect on the stomach that is an excellent remedy for tots. Also, as it tastes sweet, it is preferable to the electrolyte drinks.
10. Treats Intestinal Worms:
Coconut water is very effective in treating intestinal disturbances in babies. It kills intestinal worms. Another alternative is coconut grate. Take one tablespoon of freshly ground coconut at breakfast, followed by 30 to 60ml of castor oil mixed in 250 to 375ml of lukewarm milk after three hours, should be taken.
11. Aids Weight Loss:
Coconut water is known to increase metabolism in the body and thus aiding weight loss.
12. Anti-Aging Property:
Coconut water is a rich source of cytokines. Cytokines which regulate growth in plants are known to have an anti-aging effect on human cells and tissues.
Measures To Follow While Giving Coconut For Babies:
You have to take these measures while offering coconut water to your little one:
1. Serve Fresh:
Always prefer serving fresh water made from the green coconut. Coconuts are always available in the tropics. Coconut tends to lose its nutrients if not fresh as it mixes with the environment.
If fresh coconut water is not available, then opt for the various vendors selling coconut water. But always check out for the ingredients and date of manufacturing. These days coconut concentrate is also widely available in the market.
2. Take It Slow:
Make sure your little one consumes coconut water slowly sip by sip. Your child will enjoy its benefits only when she drinks it slowly, not by gulping down quickly.
3. Watch Out For Allergies:
Though coconut allergies are rare, you need to watch if your young ones are allergic to coconut water. You can try to identify the allergic symptoms in the early stages. Also, when you prefer taking coconut water from vendors, check out for the ingredients as your child might be allergic to some ingredients that are present for flavour.
There is still a debate as to if a Coconut is a fruit or a nut. So if your child has nut allergies serve with caution.
4. Storage And Consumption:
Raw tender coconuts can be kept at room temperature for 5- 10 days. But once opened the water tends to get sour due to enzymatic activity. You can store your coconut water for 24 hours in a refrigerator. But, the water should not be served cold.
If you still have doubt whether it is safe to offer coconut water for your little, check with your child’s paediatrician. Moms, share with us how you have given coconut water to your babies in the comment section below.
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