Updated: Sep 13
The benefits of extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) for adults have long 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.
We know that it’s great for adults, and there are even studies that show health benefits during pregnancy. A research by Rodriguez et al looked at the benefits of EVOO and the Mediterranean diet during pregnancy and found:
a protective effect (primary prevention) of olive oil use during pregnancy on wheezing during the first year of the offspring's life.
The question is, can EVOO provide benefits for children who consume it as part of their diet too? Is it even safe for children, and how young is too young to have EVOO in their diet?
These are queries that we are often 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.
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Is EVOO safe for children?
Introducing EVOO into their diet is simple too, just add a little EVOO to their 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 has been a range of studies that have taken a scientific approach to the question of EVOO and children. These include reduced risk of respiratory problems, lowering blood pressure, and more.
Combatting childhood weight problems
A combination of diet and a less active lifestyle than previous generations has 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 6 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.