Fennel Seeds For Babies – Benefits And Precautions

4 min read

Written by Bindu Raichura

Bindu Raichura

Fennel – a member of the carrot family that is completely edible right from its leaves to its seeds is often used in cooking a variety of dishes. The bulb and the seeds are packed with nutrition and can be a good addition to your daily diet. However, is it safe for your baby? Are there any risks involved while giving fennel seeds to babies? Read all about fennel seeds for babies here.

bowl of fennel seeds

Fennel Seeds for Babies

Fennel seeds are small and most commonly used in Indian cooking. However, giving these seeds directly to your baby is not safe.  You can soak fennel seeds in warm water and give the water after filtering the seeds to your baby from a very young age (once you introduce water to them). Fennel aids digestion and fennel water can be good for them.

As a seasoning to add flavor to their foods, you can introduce fennel after 6 months of age, when you start solids for your baby.

Nutritional Value of Fennel Seeds

  • Fennel seeds are rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
  • It is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.
  • It is also rich in other nutrients like iron, phosphorous, and riboflavin.
  • Fennel seeds contain vitamins like Vitamin A and C.

baby drinking fennel tea in bottle

Health Benefits

Fennel has a lot of health benefits attached to them and so it’s a good idea to include it in your baby’s diet. Here are some of the ways you can use fennel seeds for your baby are:

Helps to Alleviate Digestive Issues

Fennel aids digestion. Babies undergo a lot of digestive issues when they start their solid food journey. Simple fennel tea can help relieve constipation and aid in better digestion.

Provide Instant Relief from Colic

Colic issues are very common with small babies. One of the very well-known fennel water uses is colic relief. A regular dose of fennel water can help relieve colic pain and cramps.

Excellent Home Remedy for Cough

The infamous saunf water is known to provide some relief from cough and chest congestion. For bigger babies who can chew well, a few fennel seeds can be given to chew upon.

Improves Bone Health

Magnesium and phosphorous are important minerals for bone development in children. Fennel seeds are rich in these minerals, thus can help in improving the bones in babies as they grow.

Boosts Immunity

The free radicals that help in better overall health are found in abundance in fennel seeds. This can help in improving the immunity of your baby.

Improves Brain Development

Potassium is important for electrical brain activity. Fennel seeds are rich in potassium and can help in improving the brain development of your baby.

Acts as Taste Enhancer

Many parents and doctors are not comfortable adding salt to a baby’s diet until they are one year old. When your baby refuses bland food, you can add fennel seeds powder to enhance the taste in a healthy way. Spices make food taste different and interesting.

Precautions to be Taken

Fennel has a lot of nutritional value and health benefits. However, when you introduce fennel to your baby, you need to take it slow and be cautious.

  • Fennel seeds have a distinctive taste that can take time for a baby to get used to. It is safer to start slow and give your baby time to adjust to the taste before you add fennel seeds to all dishes.
  • Start with fennel water, then move on to fennel powder before you can add full fennel seeds to their dishes like fennel roasted veggies.
  • The quantity has to be in control. Just because fennel seeds have many nutritional benefits, you cannot overload them. You can increase the quantity as the baby grows. Check with your pediatrician to know how much you can give your baby.
  • Small babies can choke on fennel seeds. Though they are small in size, the edges might hurt your baby’s throat. Crushed fennel seeds or fennel seeds powder added to regular or stuffed parathas can not only be safe but also very tasty for your baby.
  • Look out for an allergic reaction to fennel seeds when you introduce them to your baby. If you notice any rashes or other reactions after your baby eats fennel seeds, consult a doctor immediately.
  • In case of a family history of pollen-related allergies or allergies to fennel itself, be cautious when you introduce fennel seeds to your baby.
  • If your baby has any indigestion or intolerance towards fennel seeds, stop giving fennel seeds for a while and try after a few weeks. Some babies just need a little more time to get used to a new food item.
  • The medicinal qualities of fennel seeds might interfere with other antibiotics. Consult your doctor before you give your baby fennel seeds water or tea when they are already on other medications.

Fennel Tea

Fennel Seeds Recipes for Babies

Here are some of the ways you can incorporate fennel seeds into your baby’s diet. These recipes will help to reap all the health benefits the fennel seeds offer your baby.

1. Fennel Water

Fennel water is highly beneficial for colic in babies. Fennel water can provide instant relief from colic and stomach pain associated with it.

2. Tea with Fennel

Simple fennel tea can help relieve constipation and aid in better digestion in young babies who are just getting used to various solid foods.

3. Fennel Roasted Veggies

Roast, powder, and store some fennel powder in an airtight container. For small babies that are yet to chew well and are still on mashed foods, adding some fennel powder can not only spice up the food but can add medicinal qualities as well. If your baby is on a weaning journey, this bowl of flavorful vegetables with fennel can be very tasty and easy to grab for those tiny hands.

Fennel seeds are used in the majority of households in their daily cooking. Getting your baby used to it will help them not only enjoy their food but is a healthy option as well due to the nutritional value.

Bindu Raichura,

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