Olives are super popular here in Lebanon; it’s practically on every breakfast table! With our little ones sitting next to us at family meal time and begging to eat what we do, when is it safe to offer them olives?
Are olives healthy for baby?
Olives are a great source of healthy fat, something we know babies really need (3 times as much as we do actually). Olives also have a sharp and flavorful taste, which helps build adventurous little eaters. They are also low in cholesterol. Lastly, there’s some evidence that shows olives might even reduce the risk of heart disease!
However, we know that olives are really salty.
How salty are olives?
1 olive has around 110mg of Sodium. If we compare it to one of Little Melly’s “saltiest” lunch mixes, the Sodium level for the whole meal (120g) is 65mg. If we were to add two olives to that mix, the total amount of Sodium would bump up to 285mg.
Assuming your baby also eats dairy such as yoghurt throughout that same day, the Sodium level is around 60mg.
Total for the day totals to = 345mg of Sodium
What is the Sodium limit for babies per day?
The Sodium limit for babies under 1 year of age is 400mg per day. Between the ages of 1 and 2, Sodium limit doubles to 800mg per day.
What this tells us is that just 2 olives per day for a baby under 1 year old can lead to your baby reaching or even surpassing their Sodium limit. Going above the Sodium limit can harm a baby’s still-developing kidneys.
Can I introduce olives at 6 months?
Technically, yes, but this would mean you have to highly control what else your baby is eating throughout the day. Portion control would be crucial as well. We recommend waiting until 1 year of age so that you can comfortable offer olives to your baby every now and then.
Are there ways we can reduce the saltiness of olives?
Definitely! If you can purchase olives that haven’t been soaked in a brine, this would remove all the saltiness but also make the olives extremely bitter. Another way is to reduce salt is buying regular olives and then soaking them in drinking water.
Is olive oil as salty as olives?
Olive Oil is made from freshly picked olives that are cold-pressed. No salt is added throughout the process, so olive oil has no Sodium in it! It is an excellent way to include healthy fats in all your baby’s meals.
Are olives a choking hazard?
Yes, the shape and size of olives makes them a choking hazard. Always chop olives before offering to babies and toddlers.