In recent years, coconut water has been at the top of the list when it comes to trendy beverages and for good reason. Coconut water is refreshing and has many health benefits.
Coconut water is naturally loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. With so much good nutrition, is it any wonder that we are often asked if coconut water is safe for babies?
Is Coconut Water Safe for Babies?
Can babies drink coconut water: 0-6 Months Mixing with Baby Formula
Baby formula is specifically designed to be a complete source of nutrition for infants. Each scoop of powdered baby formula, when mixed with sterilized tap water, creates the perfect bottle of baby formula by balancing the calories, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals needed for proper growth and development.
When coconut water is used as a substitute for tap water in baby formula, the delicate nutritional proportions are thrown off. Coconut water contains a high sugar and sodium content and when added to baby formula has more vitamins and minerals and extra calories than your little one can absorb.
When an overabundance of nutrients are introduced to a newborn or young baby’s system, it can be very dangerous. This dissymmetry puts stress on the baby's kidneys and digestive system, which leads to short and long term health problems.
Let’s take a look at the nutrients coconut water contains.
As you can see, if you combine coconut water nutrients with the nutrients provided from your baby formula powder, it would completely throw off the necessary levels for your growing baby.
Other risks associated with giving coconut water to newborn and young babies under 6 months old include:
Allergic Reaction: All though very rare, allergic reactions from coconut water is possible. You need to be extra careful if your family has a history of food allergies towards peanuts or other tree nuts.
Hyperkalemia: Coconut water is rich in potassium. Feeding the baby very excessive amounts of coconut water may trigger a condition called hyperkalemia, where the potassium levels in the blood become high. This is very unlikely to happen if you use coconut water in addition to well-balanced baby formula and as a part of introducing solids.
Can 6 Months Baby Drink Coconut Water?
Over the age 6 months you may introduce coconut water. We suggest you introduce it in one or two spoonful at a time and check for adverse reactions as you go along. Just like adding any new food, it is best not to introduce any other new nutrition at the same time as you acquaint your little one with coconut water.
Introducing Coconut Water for Babies
Naturally sterile, coconut water does not need to be boiled before serving to your little one. However, there are a few basic guidelines to follow as you introduce coconut water to your baby's daily feeding routine.
Fresh coconut water: Only the very best for your baby, use freshly extracted water from a green coconut when available. If fresh coconut water is unavailable, then you may opt for bottles or cartons of coconut water.
When using prepackaged coconut water always check for the date of manufacturing and the presence of preservatives. Choose pure organic coconut water from a company that takes in account the entire ecosystem and biodiversity of the area.
Strain: Fresh coconut water needs to be filtered to ensure large chunks or indigestible pieces have been removed before serving it to your little one. Coconut chunks pose a choking hazard to babies, which is why straining is vital.
Slow and steady: Introduce coconut water a couple teaspoons at a time, and then wait for a day or two between to check for possible allergic reactions. If your little one is not allergic and is not rejecting the taste, then you may give coconut water to your 6-12 month old regularly as a supplement to your baby formula routine.
Sometimes, when a family history of nut allergies is present, it is possible for coconut water to show as a cross-reactivity allergy with other food. It will be important to keep your eye out for the next several months for any new developments.
Storing coconut water for baby: Fresh coconut water should be used within an hour and should not be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature for later use. Storage of fresh coconut milk after this time might alter the taste and nutritional value.
For prepackaged coconut water, you may store it within an hour after opening the container or according to the directions on the outside of the bottle or carton.
Is Coconut Water Good for Infants
Coconut water is a naturally rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that have many benefits for older babies. It is important that coconut water is a part of an appropriate and well balanced diet that includes organic baby formula.
Electrolytes: Coconut water contains potassium and sodium, which is perfect for hydration in the heat and serves as a healthy supplement for littles ones with digestive problems. Coconut water is a much better choice over the sugar filled electrolyte balancing solutions.
Healthy Energy: At this age, babies are very active and can benefit for the natural source of energy. Coconut water also contains carbohydrates, to support your little one’s busy lifestyle.
Digestion: Coconut water soothes the stomach, is easy to digest, and can help with constipation that older babies sometimes get from the introduction of solid food to their diet.
Protein: Coconut water is rich in amino acids, like alanine, arginine, serene, and cysteine. Together these can make coconut water a healthy source of protein for a growing baby.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Replace Normal Drinking Water with Coconut Water for My Baby?
Coconut water is high in sugars and sodium, which is why we do not recommend completely replacing fresh water with it. However, you can mix coconut water with baby oatmeal, cereals, blended purees, or boiled chunks of vegetables.
Coconut water can also be given in pure form a few tablespoons a day or simply mixed with clean tap water while your baby enjoys other solid food.
What If My Baby Consumes a Lot of Coconut Water in a Day?
Drinking too much coconut water can lead to electrolyte imbalances in the body, which is why we recommend serving it only to babies over 6 months of age and only in moderation.
Is Coconut Water In line With Our Family’s Vegetarian Lifestyle?
Coconut milk is 100% natural and is completely vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Can Babies Have Coconut: Summary
By the age of six months your little one is ready to be introduced to new foods. While you are introducing different fruits and vegetables it is the perfect time to present coconut water to your little one. Coconut water is perfect to use in all your baby’s purees and mashed foods.
Coconut water is a healthy supplement to use right alongside European baby formulas stage 2 and European toddler formulas stage 3 and 4.
Each of these European baby formulas are specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of babies over 6 months of age with the cleanest and purest ingredients. You never find any
preservatives, chemicals, or GMOs in any box or canister of European baby formula.
My Organic Company invites you to join in our conversation about infant nutrition, European baby formulas, and family life. We look forward to meeting you in the HiPP, Holle, Kendamil & Baby Formula Parent Community.