The benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) for adults have longed been established. Reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), decreasing blood sugar levels and more have all contributed to the reputation EVOO has as a healthy addition to your diet.
But while we know that its great for adults, can EVOO provide benefits for children too? Is it even safe for children, and how young is too young to have EVOO in their diet? These are questions that we often get asked, but the answers often surprise people.
Here, we are going to look at a number of scientific studies that have examined how children react to EVOO, what it can do for them, and if you should give EVOO to your children.
Is EVOO safe for children?
The short answer is yes, however this only applies once children are 6 months old. EVOO is a great source of fat and can help when weaning. Here, add a little EVOO to baby food, the fats protect the stomach in the early stages of moving to solid food and provide an easily digestible source of fats for the growing body.
It also provides a number of health benefits as children grow, and there have been a number of studies that have taken a scientific approach to the question of EVOO and children.
Combatting childhood weight problems
A combination of diet and a less active lifestyle than previous generations have meant that weight issues are prevalent among children today. A clinical study by Haro-Mora et al looked at the effect of EVOO within children’s diet and whether it could influence bodyweight.
In the study, 18 girls and 74 boys aged between 13 months and 13 years and 10 months in age, and the study included taking cell samples from each of the children. The results found that children who included EVOO in their diet were less likely to have increased their Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who did not.
There have been other projects that also conclude EVOO is good for maintaining weight balance for children too, a later study by Velázquez-López et al included not just EVOO, but the healthy Mediterranean diet itself.
Again, it showed that a healthy diet rich in EVOO helped lower BMI in the children involved in the study.
EVOO for Children
EVOO is ideal for children aged 5 months or older, and it provides the health benefits that adults have long enjoyed. As the two studies highlight, EVOO brings a number of other benefits to children as well, especially in terms of weight management.
Combined with a healthy diet, EVOO can help combat childhood obesity, reduce blood sugar risks such as diabetes and provide valuable nutrients that are great for the skin too. Our quality EVOO products are the perfect choice to help your child eat a healthier diet.