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‘Ghee’ is a clarified form of butter that possesses high nutritional value for your baby’s development. Ghee is a healthy source of fat and is rich in fatty acids, and has considerable measures of vitamin A, D and E. It is as well renowned for its anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties which can boost eyesight, immunity, digestion and helps your baby achieve optimal growth.
I have seen its benefits with my 15 months old daughter. Earlier, I was also reluctant to introduce Ghee to her, but we started by just giving her body massage in the initial days and then later introduced in her diet.
For the baby, we always prepare fresh ghee at home only since from her birth. Ghee is essentially prepared from cow’s milk by simmering butter obtained from cream. It separates from the cream leaving a liquid residue, with a yellowish color and a strong fragrance.
There are various ways to use ghee for babies and here are some ways which I have used for my daughter in her initial months-
Body massage- Giving body massage to baby using ghee is good for better blood circulation and strong bones development for the infants. During the winter season, especially in high altitudes and cold areas, ghee is used to massage the baby. This will also help the baby’s skin to become smoother.
Rashes and dry skin- Rub pure ghee in the dry and itchy area of the baby around two times daily. ‘Ghee’ will act as an excellent moisturizer and soften the rough and infected skin, avoiding further cracking of the skin.
Bloating and Gas problems- Sometimes, babies are not able to digest formula and even mother’s milk due to swallowed air during feedings. In this case, applying asafoetida (hing) in warm ghee on baby’s tummy and lower abdominal is beneficial.
Immunity- Rubbing warm ghee on your baby’s chest in case of cough and congestion is a tried and tested home remedy. Vitamins in ghee will boost your baby’s immune system and keep him free from diseases. For kids above 6 months, regular consumption of ghee in moderate amount will provides better immunity against cold, cough and fever. It also prevents skin disorders and digestive problems.
Helps in brain development- Ghee has the accurate amount of DHA and EPA which along with Vitamin A, D, E and K helps in brain development. Ghee is also known to improve memory which will help your infant in the long run. Giving head massage with ghee till 6 months and later in food is beneficial for the baby.
Bone development- Once baby is 6 months old, you can add ½ a spoon in daily meals and let him digest the small offerings. Afterwards you can start cooking his meals in 1 spoon ghee or can also add in a boiled khichdi. Ghee not only strengthens and develops the baby’s bones but it also helps with the lubrication of the bones as it is required once they started crawling.
Strong metabolism- It is recommended that you add a few drops of ghee to your baby’s semi- solid food like dal or dalia. A little bit of ghee will help your baby to digest the food easily.
Helps to gain weight: Mother’s milk is the primary source of fat for a child during initial months, when the child begins to walk he needs extra calories. It is advisable to give adequate amount of ghee to the child to maintain the balance.
I preferred to cook food in ghee for my baby once she got familiar with ghee. Here are some food ideas-
Ghee when given in the right amount can be very beneficial. It is a general misconception that ghee acts and provides the same nutritional value as butter. Unlike butter, ghee is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and if consumed in moderate amounts it can help tremendously with the growth and development of a baby. It is not advised to give salt to babies till they are an year old, so adding a bit of ghee in their food will boost the flavor.
Always prefer homemade ghee for the babies. Ghee has a higher smoke point hence cooking it for more than the required time can burn the nutrition in the food. Do not bring drastic changes in your baby’s diet. Give your child ample time to get familiar with ghee. Excess use of ghee will result in loss of appetite and overweight so keep a close eye on the quantity of ghee consumed by your baby. Serve no more than 2 tbsp of ghee to your growing baby. If you are already using ghee for your baby, do share with us your experiences in the comments below.