The many benefits of olive oil for your baby and toddler

by Aruna Kamath

Olive oil In India is not really a common household product because it’s a little too pricey and falls into the premium category. Also, extra virgin olive oil is primarily used for consumption. So, those who use it on a regular basis are either affluent or extremely health conscious – or both. There are some others, who buy it but use it sparingly – probably only during preparation of exotic dishes.

What most of us don’t know is that olive oil, besides being the healthiest cooking oil, has some amazing benefits as an external applicant – for both adults and babies. In Western countries olive oil is the equivalent of coconut oil in India. It is a common practice to use olive oil for baby’s massage as it is considered to be safe on baby’s delicate and sensitive skin. But this apart, it is known to have a wide array of benefits for your baby and toddler. Here’s a list of the many benefits of this wonder oil.

 

Keeps baby’s hair smooth and glossy: Olive oil helps strengthen baby’s hair and is also your answer to smoothen child’s dry, frizzy hair.

 

Hydrates baby’s skin and keeps it soft: Oilve oil is a great moisturizer and can help you overcome baby’s dry skin problems. However, you must exercise caution if your baby has eczema or any other skin problem. Oilve oil can worsen the problem as oleic acid can increase moisture loss through baby’s skin. In such cases, it is advisable to consult your child care specialist and follow her instructions.

Soothes and heals diaper rashes: Diaper rash is a common problem that shows up in infants and toddlers. Olive oil, like coconut oil has moisturizing properties and helps soothe skin and cure diaper rashes effectively. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in 1 teaspoon of water and apply it to the affected area.

Promotes growth and development of baby’s brain: When you start on formula food for baby, olive oil can be included in baby’s food small amounts (only after 6 months). However, it is advisable to use extra virgin oil, as it the purest form and contains greater amounts of antioxidants. The oleic acid is known to aid in the growth and development of baby’s brain.

Excess consumption of olive oil can lead to diarrohea. So it is advisable to restrict the use to less than ¼ teaspoon.

Stronger bones and muscles: It has been proved that a massage with olive oil aids muscle and bone development in babies

Relieves constipation (external application): When you introduce solid foods for baby, there is a possibility he could suffer from constipation – since formula is more difficult to digest than milk.This is where olive oil comes in handy.

A natural remedy for lice: Olive oil is one of the best ways to combat head lice. It can be applied in generous amounts and left soaking for 2-3 hours. Do remember to cover the hair with a shower cap. The oil asphyxiates the lice. Wash the hair using a mild shampoo. Comb the hair with a lice comb to remove the dead lice.

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