Everyone knows that extra virgin olive oil is a very complete ingredient at a nutritional level, but it is common to doubt whether or not we can give it to our baby and when is the right time to start introducing it into his diet. The answer is clear: yes. We have to do it because it is very beneficial for their growth. In fact, its composition has many similarities with breast milk.
What are the benefits of olive oil for the baby?
Among the more than 150 components of extra virgin olive oil are vitamins A, D, E and K, and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, which helps control cholesterol by lowering LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and increasing HDL (“good” cholesterol). Here are some other benefits for your baby’s body.
- Extra virgin olive oil is made up of 99.9% vegetable fats, rich in good calories, essential for your baby’s growth.
- It is an important source of antioxidants that act on a preventive level in the oxidation of cells against free radicals.
- It improves the assimilation of micronutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K, and important minerals for the body.
- It is a very interesting option to prevent and relieve constipation in the baby, as it helps to regulate intestinal transit. If consumed regularly, their stools are softer and intestinal inflammation is reduced. But remember that it is not an immediate and miraculous remedy, its effects are noticed in its daily consumption, and you should not give him “more oil” when he is constipated.
When can I give olive oil to the baby?
In view of the above-mentioned benefits, we are not exaggerating when we point out that babies should drink olive oil even before they are born. The consumption of extra virgin olive oil is especially recommended during pregnancy, both for the benefits it brings to the mother, as well as the help it provides to the good development of the fetus. In fact, it is well known the great importance of a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy, which can even influence the baby’s body mass index.
Extra virgin olive oil can be introduced into the baby’s diet when complementary feeding begins, starting with small amounts, for example, with a drizzle on a slice of bread.
How can we give olive oil to the baby?
The best way to consume extra virgin olive oil is raw, as this way we take advantage of all its nutritional properties.
The best ways to introduce it in the baby’s diet are:
- Adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the puree just before mashing it.
- Adding a few drops to bread when we have already introduced it in their diet.
- In any type of food we make: omelets, casseroles…
- When the baby starts to chew solid foods such as vegetables, it is recommended to dress them by adding a little extra virgin olive oil.
What is the best olive oil for babies?
In the market you can find many different types of oil: extra virgin, virgin, olive oil and pomace oil. The one you should give your baby is extra virgin olive oil (also known as EVOO), because it is the one with the highest quality and the lowest acidity.
The varieties of olives used to make the oil give it different flavors: hojiblanca, arbequina, picual, cornicabra and a long etcetera. Among them there are relevant variations in terms of their fruitiness and level of bitterness and pungency (we remind you that bitterness and pungency are positive attributes of a high quality EVOO), so we recommend a learning process, starting with fruitier oils, such as the one from the arbequina olive, and gradually introducing you to the rich (and complex) world of extra virgin olive oils. In a little more than 6 months you will be able to enjoy oils with a marked herbaceous fruitiness and a significant level of spiciness and bitterness, such as our hojiblanca variety.