Giving Coconut Water To Babies

6 min read

Coconut water is a very good and economical source of certain essential vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, and Magnesium. It has umpteen medicinal properties and cures gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence, vomiting in babies, and is often called a ‘perfect food’ as well.

This natural water possesses antimicrobial properties, is helpful in treating urinary tract infections, and is also used to treat bilious fever. The ancient science of Ayurveda claims that giving coconut water to babies can be used as a laxative and can help prevent vomiting, though evidence through scientific studies lacks in this field. In fact, coconut water is highly beneficial for both the mother and the baby.

coconut and coconut water

Is Coconut a Nut?

No, though it is coconut, it does not qualify to be from a family of nuts and seeds. It grows on coconut trees, a part of the palm family, and is said to be a palm fruit. It has layers, and the outer layer is covered with thick and dense light-brown or green fibers, and the inner layer is an oval-shaped fruit. This fruit has water and pulp; the younger the coconut, the more water it contains. The whole of the coconut tree is used for one or the other purpose. For this reason, it is also known as Kalpa Vriksha which means it has all the essential necessities for sustaining life. It is also called the ‘tree of life‘ in the pacific islands.

Giving Coconut Water to Babies During Constipation:

Is it ok to give coconut water to babies? Yes, it is!

Coconut is not only a good source of various minerals and vitamins but is also rich in lauric acid. Lauric acid – the same ingredient found in breast milk that renders it easily digestible and increases immunity. The body converts lauric acid to monolaurin, which has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. These help in combating gastrointestinal infections. Giving coconut water to babies (just one cup every day) can relieve baby constipation.

Sometimes, the tender flesh from young coconuts is mixed with bananas and given to babies to avoid constipation. Tender coconut water for babies is believed to be a natural laxative. Coconut water for babies is also an excellent remedy for indigestion and dysentery, should your baby get these. Remember, giving coconut water to babies is only second to the best hydrating drink in the world- water.

mom feeding water to baby in bottle

When can I Give Coconut Water to Baby?

Usually, infants below six months do not need anything else other than breast milk. There is an increased risk of developing allergies and therefore giving coconut water to babies above six months is the best. The timeline should be somewhere between 6 to 8 months when the baby has started on solids quite comfortably.

Coconut can be used in various forms such as coconut oil, water, desiccated, and chopped. Coconut flesh could be hard to chew and digest, even when grated. Hence, you can opt to give coconut water to babies, which has absolutely amazing benefits. It not only enhances flavor, aroma, and taste but also facilitates digestion. You can add coconut water for babies in the following forms:

  • Add coconut milk to purees and mashes
  • Include coconut water for babies in their rice
  • Boil vegetables in coconut milk and then mash them
  • Strain coconut water for any large chunks before mixing it in the feeds or serving it to your baby

Coconut Water and Infant Formula:

Some people would suggest giving coconut water to babies by mixing it with formula instead of plain water. Though it should be okay, yet it would be wise to check with your pediatrician. In Thailand, for example, the first solid food that a baby tastes is coconut flesh, made to a custard-like consistency. Some people also recommend substituting coconut milk for baby formula; in fact, it is learned that some countries use coconut milk as an alternative to baby formula. Again, we strictly suggest that you must check out with your pediatrician before feeding your baby coconut milk instead of formula.

coconut and coconut water

Benefits of Coconut Water for Babies:

If your baby does not have any allergies, it should be fine to give coconut water to babies. Some of the amazing health benefits of coconut water for babies are:

  • It is natural and has no added sugar
  • One of the best hydrating agents, which can help babies feel cool during hot weather
  • It is low-calorie, low-sugar, and zero cholesterol
  • It is naturally sterile so you can have it anywhere without worries
  • Coconut has diuretic properties, i.e., it can effectively keep urinary tract infections at bay
  • Coconut has antifungal and antimicrobial properties which can help combat intestinal worms
  • Giving coconut water to babies helps in relieving constipation and aids digestion
  • Also, the electrolyte benefits of coconut water restore the loss of salts from the body during diarrhea and prevent dehydration
  • It is a rich source of fiber
  • Just like breastmilk, coconut water is a good source of lauric acid – this helps in boosting immunity
  • If your child has had cholera, coconut water can help in compensating for the loss of bodily fluids
  • Coconut water for babies serves as an effective remedy against prickly heat rashes and helps prevent itching
  • If your baby has been vomiting, giving them coconut water can soothe their tummy and provide relief from irritation
  • If the baby has a bilious fever with nausea, coconut water can be offered in small amounts. However, do consult the doctor first.

Risks of Giving Coconut Water to Babies:

There are no known side effects to giving coconut water to babies unless one comes up with an allergy – which is quite rare. Mentioning of allergy – there are very rare cases of people developing allergic reactions to coconut water and this was evident only in those sensitive to tree nuts. Therefore, introduce coconut water to your infant slowly. Avoid introducing too many new foods at the same time. It simply makes it easier to identify which one is not yet suited for your baby. And follow the tips below on selecting fresh coconut water for your baby. Coconut water for babies is a high source of potassium, so you need to keep a check on other substances containing potassium, such as a banana so that you don’t feed them excess potassium.

baby having cold been checked for temperature

Can I Give Coconut Water to My Baby if S/he has Cold and Flu?

It is advisable not to give coconut water to babies in the winters or if your baby is suffering from cold or flu. Though it is used as a remedy to treat cold and flu in adults, it is not recommended for babies.

Tips to Feed Coconut Water to Babies:

  • Always feed fresh coconut water to babies
  • Make sure the coconut is young, i.e., green so the chances of obtaining sweeter coconut water for babies increase
  • The benefits of coconut water are yielded only when drunk sip by sip and not everything down quickly!
  • The coconut should be cut open in front of you
  • You can feed the tender coconut cream from young coconuts
  • Keep away from mature coconuts – the water is bland, and is not tender

Coconut water is a natural beverage loaded with everything healthy. Good news for nursing mothers: due to the resemblance of immunity-boosting ingredients (lauric acid) present both in coconut water and breast milk, it’s recommended for nursing mothers to drink coconut water. And we all know the dangers which aerated, fizzy drinks pose to our children’s health that contains just empty calories! So say goodbye to the packaged fruit juices claiming all the goodness and beat the heat this summer, the natural way – say yes to coconut water for babies!

Responses (2)

Please check a captcha

M

Momof1

Jan 13, 2016

Coconut is a wonder food and has many health benefits for infants. Few include supply of essential vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, treats gastrointestinal diseases, useful in treating cholera, improves constipation in children, effective in treating diarrhea in babies, possesses antimicrobial properties, can treat urinary tract infections and acts as a remedy for bilious fever.

U

Upendra Mishra

Jul 06, 2015

It has not been specifically mentioned about the time of taking the coconut water. Please advise whether in empty stomach or any time of the day.

M

Momof1

Jan 13, 2016

Coconut is a wonder food and has many health benefits for infants. Few include supply of essential vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, treats gastrointestinal diseases, useful in treating cholera, improves constipation in children, effective in treating diarrhea in babies, possesses antimicrobial properties, can treat urinary tract infections and acts as a remedy for bilious fever.

U

Upendra Mishra

Jul 06, 2015

It has not been specifically mentioned about the time of taking the coconut water. Please advise whether in empty stomach or any time of the day.

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