our everyday life

Cooking Garlic for Babies

by Eliza Martinez

If you love your food garlicky, you don't have to relinquish your garlic to the back of the pantry when it comes time to feed your baby. In addition to introducing your little one to new tastes, serving her garlic will expand her palate and increase the chances that she'll eat the foods you enjoy.

Age

You probably won't have much luck getting your baby to eat solid foods if you add garlic to the jar. The intense flavors might turn him off and make it hard for you to get him to try new foods. In addition, garlic can cause an upset stomach if you introduce it too soon. The Baby Center website recommends waiting until your baby is at least eight months old before introducing spices and herbs into his diet. Up to that point, his digestive system is still developing and may not be ready to handle garlic.

Technique

There are many ways to prepare garlic to serve it to your baby. Wrap an entire head of garlic in foil and roast it in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until it is soft. Mix the roasted garlic with butter and spread it on bread to make garlic toast or use it to flavor pasta sauce or meatloaf. Or you can separate the individual garlic bulbs and dice or mince them before adding garlic to pasta sauce, soup, salad dressing or marinades. Keep in mind that strong aromas or flavors can cause your baby to turn her nose up at mealtime, so go easy on the garlic until she develops a taste for it.

Health Benefits

Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur compound that imparts many health benefits. Garlic can help stave off a cold, help prevent cancer, and boost immunity. Cooking garlic can reduce the health benefits, notes the Keeper of the Home website, but most babies will not eat raw garlic. Prepare the garlic, but don't overcook it or let it cook for extended amounts of time.

Tips

It's important to introduce new foods one at a time, according to the Baby Center website. This helps you monitor your little one for signs of a food allergy. If he's never had garlic, don't serve it with other items he hasn't tried. Wait three to five days after serving garlic before offering your baby another new food.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images