Flax seeds are a part of most weight watchers’ diet & are considered a super food. With all their benefits, the question is: Can I give my Baby Flax Seeds?
Once people decide to start eating healthy, there are a few things that nearly all of them will put in their supermarket cart – dark chocolate, brown bread and nuts and seeds. While there are many varieties in the nuts and seeds section, one common kind of seed which people most definitely get are flax seeds.
The flax plant is believed to have originated in India, but has been grown across the world for thousands of years. According to archaeologists, flax has been around as early as 3,000 BC in ancient Babylon. Due to this, flax is considered to be one of the oldest crops in the world.
At present Russia is the biggest flax cultivating country in the world, although most of the varieties grown there are for their fiber to use in linen production. Flax is usually of two types – brown and golden, although both are equally nutritious, being a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), omega-3 fats and fiber.
Flax seeds are a versatile food ingredient. They can be added to smoothies, salads or even desserts. The powdered form is also used along with other flour. Flax seed oil should not be used for cooking due to its high smoke point, it forms harmful compounds when exposed to high heat.
Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
- Promotes Digestive Health
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Improves Heart Health
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Reduces Fatigue
- Boosts Immunity
- Prevents Diabetes
- Helps to Improve Appetite
- Reduces the Cancer Risk
- Maintains Skin Health
- Maintains Eye Health
- Helps in Brain Development
Can I give my Baby Flax Seeds?
With flax seeds being such a super food for adults, it’s natural to wonder whether they can be given to babies. Most people think they can’t but the truth is that they’re perfectly safe for babies over 8 months. The magnesium, tryptophan and omega-3 fatty acids present in flax seeds are good to increase the levels of sleep-regulating substance serotonin in the body. They also help in preventing restless leg syndrome and night terrors.
Initially, it’s recommended to introduce flax seeds as powder. Start with 1/4 teaspoon a day, slowly increasing to 2-3 teaspoons on alternative days. You can easily add flax seed powder to porridge, cereal or other baby food. Avoid raw flax seeds, as they might have toxic compounds and can also cause indigestion.
Even though flax seeds aren’t known for triggering allergies in babies, some babies may be allergic to flax seeds and flaxseed oil. Even if baby has no allergies, taking large amounts can cause side effects. As with everything else, it is better to be safe by following the 3-day rule and starting with a small quantity in the beginning. If the baby displays symptoms like watery eyes, canker sores around the mouth, itchy rashes, abdominal pain, burning sensation in the mouth, swelling of the face or shortness of breath, he needs to be rushed to the doctor right away.
Tips for Buying and Storing Flax Seeds
Even though flax seed powder is better for babies, it’s better to buy whole seeds rather than powder, since whole seeds last longer and retain their nutrients. Flax seeds can taste bitter when rancid. You can identify if they’ve spoiled by smelling the seeds.
Store flax seeds in an air tight container in the fridge or the freezer. Whole seeds can last up to a year, but it is recommended to grind fresh batches for baby. Powder can be stored for up to six months in the freezer. Always check the freshness before feeding babies.
Flax Seed Recipes for Babies and Kids
- Butternut Squash with Cherries and Flax from Baby Foode
- Flax Seed Oatmeal Recipe from yummytummyaarthi
- Raspberry + Lemon Steel-cut oats from babyfoode
- Oats Flax Seeds Roti Recipe from tarladalal
- Anti-Inflammatory Flaxseed Porridge from picklesnhoney
- Flax Seed Raita from tarladalal
- Apricot + Coconut + Nutmeg + Flax seed Mini Muffins from babyfoode
- Flax Seeds Podi/ Flax Seeds Chutney Powder Recipe from indianhealthyrecipes
- Flax Seed Smoothie from allrecipes
- Mango Lassi Muffins with FlaxSeeds(Without egg) from cookpad
- Protein powder for kids from cookpad