9 Health Benefits of Flaxseed for Babies

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Flaxseed are good source of omega 3 fatty acids, reduces risk of anemia, high in phosphorous, high in dietary fiber, has anti-cancerous properties and also good source of protein.

Flaxseed is a plant growing mainly in cooler climates. The fibers of the stem of this plant are considered to be much stronger than cotton fibers. Apart from the use of fibers, flax seeds have been consumed as food and medicine for thousands of years. Flax seeds are also high in omega 3 fatty acids, making them an ideal substitute for vegetarians. In this article, we will discuss the health benefits, along with risks, recipes and other relevant information about flax seeds for babies. Read on to find out everything that you need to know about flax seeds for babies.

In this article:

Is it okay to give Flaxseeds to Your Baby?
9 Health Benefits of Flaxseed for Babies
Measures to be Taken While Giving Flaxseeds to Your Baby
Risk of Allergies
How much of Flax Seed can I Give to My Baby?
Nutrition in Flax Seeds
How to Store Flaxseeds?
Side Effects
Recipes

Is it okay to give Flaxseeds to Your Baby?

You can add flax seeds to your baby’s meal. Flax seeds usually don’t cause any allergic reactions in babies. But it is good to be alert for any unwanted reactions in your baby. The right age to introduce flax seeds to your baby’s diet is between 7-8 months.

9 Health Benefits of Flaxseed for Babies

As you can understand, flax seeds have benefits for both babies and adults alike. Here are some of the health benefits of flax seeds for babies.

flaxseed for babies

Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. Usually fish are the main source of omega 3 fatty acids. However, if your baby is allergic to fish, then you can use flax seeds.

Source of Calcium

The amount of calcium found in flaxseed is immense. You can increase the supply of calcium by adding flax seeds to your baby’s food, that makes bones stronger.

Reduces Risk of Anemia

Flaxseeds are also a good source of iron. Your baby needs iron to produce hemoglobin, because lack of iron causes anemia and low blood count, which can make your baby weak.

Is high in Phosphorus

Phosphorus is another mineral found in flaxseeds. Both calcium and phosphorus help in forming bones. You can make your baby’s bones stronger by giving flax seeds to your baby.

High in Dietary Fiber

Flaxseeds are also high in dietary fiber. This fiber helps in reducing constipation. You can include flax seeds in your baby’s diet to prevent constipation.

Anti-Cancerous Properties

One of the rare constituents that flaxseeds contain is known as lignans. These are known to protect the body from numerous possibilities that could cause cancers presently or later on in life.

Protection from Respiratory Disorders

Many studies have reported that flaxseeds have also ended up substantially reducing the risks of various problems associated with the respiratory system. The culprits in this regard are various compounds that cause inflammation. By hampering their production, flaxseeds reduce the chances of asthma, migraine and other disorders from emerging.

Source of Protein

Proteins play a huge role in a child’s development, providing them with the energy they require for metabolic activities, as well as the internal growth of other organs. Flaxseeds provide all of it within a nice package with multiple compounds to go along with it.

Measures to be Taken While Giving Flaxseeds to Your Baby

Here are some of the measures to be taken while giving flax seeds to your baby.

How to select the Right Flaxseeds for Your Baby

Generally, you can find two types of seeds. One is yellow flax seeds and the other is dark colored flax seeds. Yellow flax seeds are lower in omega 3 fatty acids in comparison to dark colored seeds. So, it is better to bring home the dark colored seeds.

How to make Flaxseeds for Babies

In order to make flax seeds suitable for your baby, you need to soak them in water or boil them and make a paste before you add it your baby’s food. Don’t give flax seeds directly to your baby. There is a high chance that your baby would be able to digest them.

Risk of Allergies

Running into allergies is less with flaxseeds, but you can look out for possible signs of indigestion. If you feel that the baby is not ready for flax seeds, just don’t give it your baby now. Try again when your baby is a little older, say after 1 year.

How much of Flax Seed can I Give to My Baby?

You can start out by adding not more than 2-3 teaspoons of it in your baby’s food. You can increase the amount as your baby gets accustomed to it.

Nutrition in Flax Seeds

According to the national nutrient database from the united states department of agriculture, the nutrition found in flax seeds include

NutritionValue per 100 gNutritionValue per 100 g
Water6.96 gEnergy534 kcal
Protein18.29 gTotal lipid42.16 g
Carbohydrate28.8 gFiber27.3 g
Sugars1.5 gCalcium255 mg
Iron5.73 mgMagnesium392 mg
Phosphorus813 mgSodium30 mg
Zinc4.34 mgCopper1.2 mg
Manganese2.4 mgSelenium25.4 ug
Vitamin c0.6 mgThiamin1.644 mg
Riboflavin0.161 mgNiacin3.080 mg
Pantothenic acid0.985 mgVitamin b-60.473 mg
Folate87 ugVitamin k4.3 ug

 

How to Store Flaxseeds? 

Whether you buy flaxseed powder or grind them yourself at home, it is important to store this powder in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from rotting. Ground flaxseeds stored in the refrigerator in this manner will keep fresh for six months. And if it is stored in the freezer, then it will remain fresh for one year.

Side Effects

Everything has its pros and cons. Flax seeds are no exception. They have certain side effects for babies, which you must be aware of:

  • In certain situations, flaxseeds might increase the susceptibility for easy injuries and bleeding.
  • A lot of kids face the problem of gas after eating flaxseeds.
  • The constituents of flaxseeds can sometimes lead to diarrhea and loose motions if they are eaten in large proportions, owing to its laxative effect.
  • Flaxseeds could interact with ongoing medicines and supplements reducing their intended effect.

Recipes 

Flaxseeds can go with numerous food items; therefore making them a part of your child’s diet is not difficult. There are various recipes containing flax seeds for babies. Which of these recipes you will feed your babies depends entirely on their age.

In a Baby’s Diet

  • Mix a few seeds in your baby’s porridge or yoghurt.
  • If your baby is at the teething stage, you can include flaxseeds in the recipes you use to make edible teething biscuits for your little one.
  • As they come closer to being a year old and starts having meat, ground flax with meatballs and chicken nuggets can be a good meal.
  • Garnishing a few seeds with purees that you give your baby can be digested really well.
  • Once they start having cereals, mixing flax oil or oatmeal can taste better with the other ingredients.

In the Diet of a Child Above 1 Year

As cooperative your baby might have been in the early years, he might not like flaxseeds as he starts growing up, deeming it as a distraction or an unwanted entity. But you can still find great ways to include them without him figuring it out.

  • If your child is a fan of soups and other vegetable stews, mixing the flaxseeds with other garnishing items can work as a great camouflage and a nutritive addition, too.
  • While making ketchup and other dips at home, combine ground flaxseeds with other spices to make these sauces healthier without affecting their taste.
  • The inclusion of flaxseeds in the batter of cakes and cookies can be the best way for your kid to have them in his diet.
  • When making a tasty smoothie for your child, add in flax seeds and he will barely be able to tell them apart.

Flaxseeds are used for numerous purposes by people and even by certain nutritionists. Right from using flaxseed oil for children for constipation to including them as a supplement for enhanced health, your children can benefit from them when administered in the appropriate amounts. Rest assured they will warm up to their presence in the diet after a few instances.

References

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273441906_bioactive_components_of_flaxseed_and_its_health_benefits

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