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7 incredible benefits of ghee for babies and how to use it

A dollop of ghee can make any baby food recipe lip-smackingly delicious, but did you know that it’s also packed with nutritional benefits? Ghee is a source of good fat and provides healthy food for toddlers. There are other numerous benefits of ghee. Here’s why you should feed ghee to your baby!

Ghee or clarified butter is found in every kitchen in India and figures prominently in religious rituals as well. Mixing ghee in food is an age-old tradition. In fact, even children who are lactose intolerant can safely enjoy it because boiling down butter to form ghee destroys the lactic acid that causes an allergic reaction. Here is a list of the various ways ghee benefits babies.

Also read The Ultimate Indian Baby Food Chart for 0-12 Months.

1.  Nutritional benefits of ghee

Very often, babies lose weight when they are weaned from breast milk and start eating solid foods. This is because mother’s milk is rich in fats and they might not get as many healthy fats once they stop breastfeeding. To ensure your baby has enough fat in their diet, add half a teaspoon of ghee to their rice and dal or other recipes.  Remember, however, babies between 6 months to 2 years should not have more than 1 teaspoon of ghee a day.

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30 to 35% of a baby’s daily diet must include fats as they are vital for proper brain development. The healthy fats in ghee are Omega-3 and Omega-9. It also has vitamin A, E and D. All this makes it an important food to include in your baby’s daily diet. One teaspoon of ghee has 120 calories and makes it an easy addition to boost baby’s calorie intake along with other healthy foods.

2. Ghee as a massage oil

In India, massaging baby oil before a bath is a traditional practice. Using ghee derived from cow’s milk for baby massage can help improve blood circulation and keep the skin moistened without the need to add any lotions. In the winter season, particularly at high altitudes where the cold can dry out the skin, cow ghee for baby massage can keep the skin moistened and supple. 

Also read our blog on Common Symptoms of Cradle Cap Parents Should Not Ignore.

3. Ghee to treat eczema

10 to 15% of babies worldwide develop eczema in their first year. It is a genetic condition that can be triggered by environmental factors. Newborn eczema is most uncomfortable as your baby’s skin gets red and itchy. Ghee for baby skin can soothe the inflamed areas. Ghee has antimicrobial properties that prevent the spread of eczema. You can apply a little bit of ghee on the rash. Do this for up to 4 times a day. Ghee also acts as a natural home remedy for dry skin as it softens rough patches.

4. To soothe a bad cough

Ghee for babies with a cough or a cold is an excellent remedy as it can soothe and relieve the symptoms. Chest congestion can make a baby very cranky and restless. Just heat a little ghee and when it is warm, rub it on baby’s chest. It helps open the air passages, allowing your baby to breathe easier. You can make this treatment even more effective by adding a few cloves of garlic to the hot ghee, allow it some time to infuse into the liquid ghee and rub it on the soles of the feet, as well as the chest while it’s still warm. This soothes your baby and makes them more comfortable. Older children can have 3 peppercorns crushed into a teaspoon of hot ghee. Strain it and give the peppercorn infused ghee to your child to swallow.

Also read our blog on Is Honey Bad for Babies? The Not-So-Sweet Truth.

5. Easy to digest

Unlike fats that are present in meats, fats in ghee are easy to digest. Every baby needs a high-calorie diet as they need a lot of energy. Desi ghee, prepared at home is fat-rich and high in calories, making it a perfect energy booster. Ghee for babies also helps in stimulating the secretions of the stomach, helping in easy digestion and reduction of gas.

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6. Regulates thyroid function

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped organ that sits at the base of the neck. It produces the thyroxine hormone which is vital for every cell of your body since it regulates growth and metabolism. Iodine is an essential mineral that is needed to make this hormone. Ghee contains iodine and fats that are good for your baby’s thyroid health.

How to include ghee in your baby’s diet

The biggest plus point of ghee is that baby will love it since it also makes food tastier.  For babies below a year, you can start by adding a few drops of home-made ghee to khichdi or dal. You can also add it to the vegetable puree or mashed potatoes. As your child gets used to solid foods, there are more ways to include ghee in their diet. Ghee rice for toddlers will remain the favourite but you can also spread it on rotis and use ghee on bread instead of butter. Ghee can also replace cooking oil in some dishes. Children up to the age of 2 years should have a maximum of 1 teaspoon of ghee a day, since excess fat will neutralize the benefits. Older children should not have more than 2 teaspoons a day.

To safely prepare food for your baby, it is best to make ghee at home since it will retain more nutrients. Ghee in moderation is a healthy addition to your baby’s diet. For more expert tips on your child’s health, download the mfine app and schedule an instant consultation with your city’s top pediatricians!

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