Coconut oil is being lauded as one of the new healthy must-haves, especially when it comes to kids. Coconut oil is an edible oil that’s extracted from the fleshy white meat of coconuts and it’s being used in foods, medicines and in industry. It has a high saturated fat content which means that it’s slow to oxidise and can last up to two years without going rancid. It’s rich in anti-oxidants and is jam packed with natural microbial and anti-bacterial agents which is probably why it’s recently been taking the health food industry by storm. However, many health organisations (including the US Food and Drug Administration and the UK National Health Service) have advised against the consumption of large amounts, so we’re taking a look at coconut oil to check out whether it’s safe for kids.
Coconut oil is commonly used in South Asian dishes as a flavouring, especially in curries. Recent studies of native diets that are high in coconut oil show that consumers are generally in good health and suffer fewer modern diseases than we do in the western nations where it’s seldom used in cooking. Some of the health benefits reported in adults include:
Some advocates of coconut oil recommend 2 teaspoons of coconut oil daily added to a child’s diet – either straight from a spoon, added to smoothies or added to baked cakes. However, most kids these days get enough fat in their diets and there are other ways of taking advantage of coconut oil for your kids.
It’s a great massage oil and massaging your baby’s skin is a great way of bonding. You can buy coconut oil from you local pharmacy – it’s quite cheap. the oil is usually solid at room temperature, so scoop some out and let it melt in your hand and then rub into baby’s skin. It’s one of the safest oils to use on babies and children.
A teaspoon of coconut oil rubbed into a baby’s scalp will help to eliminate cradle cap and nourish the scalp.
Coconut oil can be applied directly to bites and stings to help relieve the itching and burning and will speed up the healing process.
If your child suffers from hay fever or other allergies, then try rubbing a little coconut oil on the inside of the nostrils – pollen and dust will cling to the oil instead of being breathed into the lungs.
Coconut oil is becoming a popular treatment for nappy rash – it’s soothing and all natural without any chemicals.
When baby is teething, try rubbing a little coconut oil directly onto the gums for some quick relief.
Scrapes and cuts can heal quicker if you apply a little coconut oil – it will act as a barrier to prevent germs getting into the wound.
Whether you choose to let your kids eat coconut oil or not, direct application to the skin is safe and it’s a great natural remedy to keep in your home at all times.