Parents often wonder when is the correct time to introduce certain foods, like garlic, to their baby. We know that our children should start with bland, basic foods to get them used to new tastes and textures and not overwhelm them. But what about adding a little bit of flavor to their food? When can your child enjoy the seasonings you do?
After your baby has started solid foods, usually around four to six months of age, they can start trying other foods instead of the usually fruits and vegetables. Around eight to nine months of age, babies can start receiving foods that have been flavored and are not so bland, including garlic.
Garlic is a species of the onion. It is easy to grow, and many people grow garlic in their own homes because it can be harvested all year long. Garlic is used in many culinary dishes, and should be stored in a warm, dry place. Along with fresh cloves, it also comes in powder, salt and paste forms.
Can I Give My Baby Garlic? Answer: Just a little after 6 Months
Garlic is considered healthy to consume and contains a good many nutrients that are good for people of all ages. It is a great source of vitamin C, and it also contains vitamins B6 and B1, manganese, selenium, potassium and iron.
There are many benefits of garlic. Garlic is known to help your body fight infection. Some people even use it when they catch a cold. Garlic contains a compound called allicin. This compound gives garlic its potent odor and contains antibacterial and antiviral properties, which is why people use it when they get sick.
Garlic is also known to be an anti-inflammatory agent. These properties are believed to help prevent arthritis and reduce symptoms related to asthma. Some people even believe that eating a good dose of garlic can protect the body from certain cancers. Again, it is the allicin found in garlic that is believed to fight against cancer.
Garlic is also great for your heart. Eating garlic regularly has shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
In order for your baby to receive the benefits of garlic, they should consume fresh garlic instead of powder, salts or paste. If you are going to cook with garlic, it should be chopped. Chopping the garlic helps produce the allicin. Do not overcook your garlic either, as overcooking will get rid of its healthy benefits.
It is best to introduce a small amount of garlic to your baby during the initial introduction. Some garlic may be more potent than others and may hurt your baby’s stomach. Like with any food, garlic should be introduced to your baby at the right time. After the initial introduction, watch for signs of a food allergy. It is recommended to wait at least three days before introducing another “new” food to your child. Typical signs of an allergic reaction can include swelling, cramping, rash, diarrhea or vomiting. Milder symptoms should result in a phone call to your child’s doctor right away. If your baby seems to be having trouble breathing, or is showing any symptoms that are more sever in nature, call 911 immediately.
Garlic has also been used medicinally for over a thousand years. It is even noted as being used by people in the Bible. These ancient uses were for things like respiratory problems, parasites, low energy and poor digestion. Garlic is alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels, boost testosterone levels, prevent scurvy and remedy digestive disorders and fungal infections.
Garlic is also believed to have religious and/or spiritual powers. It has been used as protection against white magic and some people believe it will keep them safe from demons, werewolves and vampires. In both Jainism and Hinduism religions, garlic is believed to increase one’s desires, and some Buddhist religions think it is known to increase both aggressiveness and sex drives.
Remember, garlic is perfectly safe for your baby to consume around seven months of age. It has many health benefits, and should be chopped up before giving it to your baby. Garlic should be added to your child’s food and not given directly, as it is too hard for your baby to chew and may pose as a choking hazard.
If you have any questions about the use of garlic in your baby’s diet, it is best to consult his or her physician. They will be able to better discuss your concerns more thoroughly.