Coconut oil is often thought of us a healthy alternative to other oils because of the vitamins and minerals it contains in addition to the fatty acids that can help with things like cholesterol and weight loss.
This is all well and good for adults, but when you’re talking about a baby do you really need to be concerned about their cholesterol levels? Babies start off as blank slates basically and as long as you’re not feeding them a diet that would lead to high cholesterol, they shouldn’t need any special supplements. But of course you can always keep things running more smoothly by giving them nutrient dense foods, and coconut oil would definitely qualify.
So it’s not really a matter of your baby needing this oil, but more a way of making sure they’re getting the proper nutrition they need. By the time your baby is ready to eat solid foods you will already have introduced them to other oils, so you should start including coconut oil as well, and perhaps phase out some of the other, less beneficial oils. You don’t want to get to the point where you’re exclusively using it, as there are benefits to other oils that you’ll be missing out on.
Can I Give My Baby Coconut Oil? Answer: Yes.
The best way to give your baby the benefits of coconut oil is to consume it yourself while you’re still breastfeeding. Once they’re past that phase you can start to use it in their foods when they move on to solids. It’s a great alternative to most every oil out there, with the exception of olive oil. Some people use it for all sorts of things, including skin care and hair care.
There are many benefits to coconut oil, and some people not only eat it, but use it as a moisturizer or a lotion. Aside from cooking with it, you can consume it directly. Depending on who you ask there are various claims as to what it can do. It has generally been agreed that it can help with heart disease, as well as weight loss and digestion. It’s also been shown to be a good boost to the immune system. For that reason alone a lot of parents end up giving their baby some coconut oil, to help them develop a strong and healthy immune system.
There is also the possibility that this can help with the functioning of the different organs in the body, as well as in strengthening bones. It’s up to you how many things you want to believe this oil can prevent or correct. Some proponents seem to go a little overboard with the claims, and likely have a vested interest in having you buy some coconut oil. It’s best to keep a level head and agree that it has some good health benefits, but not make it out to be a miracle cure.
Like anything you give your baby, moderation is the key. Babies don’t need a ton of oil in general, so you don’t want to overdo it. Just giving them a little of it now and then should be all they need. Also, you don’t have to feel like it’s a requirement, or that your baby won’t develop well without it. It’s not exactly the cheapest oil you can buy, so you don’t have to feel obligated to giving it to your baby in any amount.
Most of the data that exists on coconut oil relates to adult consumption. While not everything translates well from adult to baby, all of the signs point to this being a beneficial additive to their diet. Of course it’s always best to check with your pediatrician to get their take as to whether your child can have it or not, based on their unique medical history. Knowing the right time to give your baby foods is just as important as what you give them, so it’s good to take a strategic approach to this and use your best judgement.
In the end, you’re the one that gets the final say as to what your baby has, so your number one goal is to always strive to give them wholesome and nutritious foods, with coconut oil making it onto that list.