Using silverware for feeding the baby is something that is predicted from ages. We also tend to make the baby wear silver bangles and anklets. But why do we use silverware? Why is silver the most commonly gifted item during baby ceremonies? Is it just to show off affluence and luxury (remember the phrase “born with a silver spoon”)? or are there any other reasons behind the widespread use of silver? Like most Indian age-old traditions, usage of silverware also appears to have some underlying medical reasons that makes it a popular cutlery option across the world. Let us look at some of the benefits of using silverware for babies.
Using silverware for babies has been practiced since decades, and it is believed that eating from silver has the same benefits as eating from a banana leaf. Top 5 benefits of using silver cutlery for babies are:
Silver has the unique property of preventing bacteria cells from building up chemical bonds for its survival, making it antibacterial. Unlike other synthetic and plastic utensils, you do not have to sterilize silverware as it is bacteria-free. The antibacterial property of the silver is the reason why medicines are usually given to small babies in a silver pallada or sangu.
The fact that you can clean the silverware with just water and soap, and not sterilize, makes it easy to use and maintain silverware. However, silverware used for babies should not be polished regularly.
Silver has the property of killing germs, and so it can be a boon to health. It is believed that traces of silver are infused in the food eaten by the babies. This can improve the immunity of the baby and generally improve health.
Unlike other metals and plastic ware, silver is not known to cause any cancers, reproductive or neurological damage or any adverse health conditions. Silverware is non-toxic and hence safe for babies.
Silverware is also known to kill various germs, bacteria and viruses in the food. In fact, in olden days, silver coins were added to milk to keep it fresh for a longer time. History has it that water and wines were kept in silverware to retain their freshness and enhance taste.
These benefits mentioned here are not newly found. The usage of silverware was very common in ancient India, of course, for the affluent class as silver is a precious metal.
While ancient Indians knew about the antibacterial and non-toxic nature of silver, their use of silver was not limited to plates, bowls and cutlery. They leveraged the therapeutic properties of various metals, including silver, for healing in Ayurveda. The basis of this usage was that when silver (and other metals) comes in contact with water, it transfers its healing quality to the water and then this water could be used in Ayurvedic therapy.
Silver-charged water is specifically known to do wonders to people who are having digestion related problems. The anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti fungal properties of silver eases problems in tummy, digestive tract and intestines. This water is also known to keep urinary problems at bay. In temples, the holy water is always stored in silver containers for the same reason. And as mentioned before, milk was kept fresh for a longer time using silver coins. So there! There is a lot of evidence from ancient India that supports the silverware’s claim to fame.
There are many kinds of miniature silverware available for babies. The popular ones are:
Some of us might, understandably, brush off the above-mentioned benefits as pseudoscience with no real proof. But considering silver is definitely non-toxic and antibacterial in nature, we believe that it is definitely harmless to use them. Maybe you can give one meal a day – preferably a warm food like soup – in silverware. Furthermore, when you compare silverware with the alternative, that is plastic utensils, we feel that plastic items are a bit disadvantaged.
Here, we have listed the advantages of silverware for babies over plastic:
Silver is non toxic unlike plastic. There are chances that the plastic may melt and get infused in the food when anything hot is served. Studies prove that plastic causes cancer and harm the reproductive and neurological system too.
BPA is added to plastic to make it more durable. And this can leach into food items. BPA is known to create hormonal imbalance and obesity in humans. It is also known to increase risks of infertility, prostate and breast cancers. So unless you buy very high quality “BPA free” plastic utensils, you are in the danger of BPA side effects
Pthalates, another common ingredient in plastic, are known to cause immunity and fertility related issues in men.
Since prolonged use of plastics definitely is not in the best interest of you, your baby or even the earth at large. It is again a good idea to look for alternate safe options, like silverware
We have covered the dangers of using plastics for baby here.
Using silver utensils for feeding the baby is the simplest way to use silver for babies. Use a silver glass to give juices and water, large silver bowls with a silver spoon for rice, khichdi, daal ka paani and mashed roti. Use smaller silver bowls for mashed fruit purees like apple, carrot, green peas, banana and peach.
Silver jewellery has been worn by both men and women since ancient times owing to the medicinal properties of the metal. Being antibacterial,wearing silver jewellery is believed to fight infections of cold and flu. It also helps provide a cover against potential toxic substances. Silver reacts and changes color when it comes in contact with toxic chemicals. For this very reason, babies and adults alike wear silver jewellery. Babies are often made to wear silver anklets and bracelets to boost immunity and for positive energy. And of course for the tinkling sounds!
Though silverware for babies might not have any proven medicinal and health benefits, it is a great option to serve food for your baby, owing to its antibacterial properties. And it eases your work as a parent as it need not be sterilised before every use. Choose spoons, bowls, and plates that are easy to handle, quick to clean, and safe to use to make feeding time more fun and worry-free. So, go ahead and choose the best for your baby.
Yes it has quite a few. Silver prevents bacteria formation. This keeps the food fresher and safer for longer.
Silver is a metal. Food reacts with this metal positively. This in turn is healthy for a baby.
Yes, in every sense! Silverware do not have the risk of BPA or phthalates. It does not cause any harm to the baby, like plastics.
Yes, many traditions believe it does. It can also aid brain development. Many people also consume silver in tiny quantities for the benefits.
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