We know that when we’re introducing foods to our baby, we should start with bland, basic foods with no added sugar and salt. But did you know that you can also add seasonings like garlic to make the food more appealing?
Eating garlic while breastfeeding makes baby nurse better
Studies have actually shown that babies nurse better after their mothers have eaten garlic. One 1993 study found that nursing infants spent significantly more time feeding when their mothers had ingested garlic compared to a control group that had no garlic.
The benefits of garlic
Garlic has plenty of health benefits, but in order for your baby to receive all its benefits, they should consume fresh garlic—not powder, salts, or paste. If you are going to cook garlic, chop the garlic to help draw out the allicin, but don’t overcook—overcooking only lowers its nutritional value.
- Garlic is a great source of vitamin C, B6 and B1, manganese, selenium, potassium, and iron.
- Garlic also contains the compound allicin, which contains antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Allicin also helps reduce symptoms related to asthma.
- Some people also believe that it fights cancer.
- Garlic is good for your heart—it reduces bad cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
- Garlic also kills harmful intestinal worms in babies.
On the next page: how to introduce garlic to your baby.
How to introduce garlic to your baby
Before introducing any food to your baby, you should check with your doctor.
Your baby should be able to start solid foods around six months of age, and around seven to nine months old, they can start receiving foods that are a little more seasoned.
Garlic should be added to your child’s food—not given directly, as it is too hard to chew and may pose a choking hazard.
If you’re thinking of introducing garlic to your baby, offer it for the first time with a food that your baby has been eating for a while. This way, if you observe any negative reactions, you’ll easily know what caused it.
READ: Adding herbs and spices to baby food: What you need to know
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