In some of my previous posts, the health benefits of garlic and its potential to fight off illnesses both in adults and children have been mentioned several times. Today, I will discuss its benefits for your child; how you can best prepare it and make it tasty for the little one, even for kids who don’t want (or resist) to eat this nutritious herb.
Benefits of Garlic to Children
Okay, let’s first talk about why you would want to give garlic to your child. For thousands of years, garlic has been known to be one of earth’s natural medicines. It contains antioxidants that help avoid and combat viruses that cause the common cold and flu. So it’s not quite surprising why garlic comes up as one of the natural ways to prevent illnesses during the flu season.
If your child is suffering from hay fever or cold, the vitamin C content in garlic will aid your child’s recovery. What’s even more interesting is garlic has manganese that is good against free radical damage, and vitamin B6 that is helpful for cleansing the liver. Vitamin B6 is also necessary for the production of red blood cells.
Basically, that’s a pack of health benefits all in one clove that my children ought to know!
Ways with Garlic for your Child to Enjoy
Now this is the harder part. We could go on the entire day talking about how great garlic is for your child’s health. But what good are these benefits if your child resists whenever you offer him garlic? It’s a challenge many parents face – convincing their children to eat healthy food, including garlic.
And while it may take several tries to actually get your kids to eat garlic, hope is never lost. Here are some ways you can make eating garlic more enjoyable for your little one:
Mix it with honey
If you are offering your child raw garlic alone, you can expect to get a “no”. Perhaps the reason why kids (and many adults too) don’t like eating raw garlic is because of its pungent smell and burning taste.
So what’s the trick here? Coat the taste with something that your child will love. A little of honey or maple syrup is perfect for this. You can take clove, crush it into smaller bits that are easy to swallow and mix it with honey. You have to try it yourself first, of course, just to make sure that the sweetness of honey overpowers the garlicky taste.
You can also make use of your food processor to mix the ingredients so that the garlic becomes really fine and smooth on the tongue.
Prepare warm chicken broth or soup (and this is really perfect for someone who is not feeling well), and add in some minced onions, thyme or sage. You can use crushed garlic, but minced bits seem easier to gulp down especially with the warm soup. To make the most of the benefits of garlic, don’t let the garlic stay too long in the heat. You can add it in about five minutes before the end of cooking time to make sure you preserve its nutrients.
If you continue to struggle with getting your child to eat garlic, then a tea recipe would be a great alternative. Cut a few cloves of garlic and simmer it in water for about an hour. Garlic tea is best served warm, and you can add a tablespoon of honey for that sweet blend.
While garlic is known to be safe to consume, if you are planning to start giving your children garlic when they are still babies, it is recommended that you only start introducing garlic when they are about 8 months. And even so, it has to be given in small amounts. You should also watch for allergic reactions and immediately seek medical help if your child experiences severe symptoms of allergy such as difficulty in breathing.