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EVO oil, ally of children

Often the paediatrician advises parents for the weaning of the child a central ingredient of the Mediterranean Diet, EVO oil. But why is it important to give EVO oil to infants? One of the first aspects to clarify is that, as reported in the publication we are examining on the subject by “fimp”: Italian Federation of Paediatricians in “ilmedicopediatra 2020”, the beneficial effects are only found with high-quality oils that ensure the maintenance of all the nutraceutical properties of the product. Indeed, one can read in a passage of the article “However, only high-quality EVO oil has significant nutraceutical effects, characterized by anti-inflammatory, antioxidant activities and resistance to oxidative stress 17”.

Initially, it should be noted that EVO oil, in addition to its various beneficial properties for the child, is able to enhance the flavours of baby food and thus accustoms the child to the typical flavours of the Mediterranean diet. In general, the Mediterranean Diet (MD) is not simply a way of eating, but a real lifestyle that involves limited consumption of sweets, meat, and animal fats as well as wine and all alcoholic beverages in general. It also includes moderate consumption of fish and fresh cheeses, while recommending high consumption of legumes, cereals, fresh fruit and dried fruits, vegetables, water, and more generally plant-based fats, particularly monounsaturated fatty acids like high-quality extra virgin olive oil. The characteristics we have summarised above are evident in the food pyramid first presented in 1995 by W.C. Willett and D. Trichopoulos.

Let us now analyse how EVO oil is a good dietary ally for the child. During early childhood, the content of fatty acids and polyphenols (tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, ligostroside 14, and oleocanthal) plays a protective role on both the brain and the heart of the child, starting from pregnancy, continuing with breastfeeding, and moving on to complementary feeding. As already mentioned, we are talking about high-quality extra virgin olive oil, the only type capable of playing an important nutritional role in the complementary feeding of the child with epigenetic effects, linked to the antioxidant component, as is the case with other foods such as fruits and vegetables 20. Including EVO oil in the child’s complementary feeding thus becomes a preventive action against the possible development of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in adulthood.

At this point, it is good to delve into how to administer it to the child, whether cooked or raw, for example.

The advice of paediatricians and nutritionists is to use EVO oil raw, at least until the age of 2, although cooking it does not do any harm, because having a high smoke point it does not produce toxic substances for our body.

Additionally, in what quantity should we administer it to infants?

Although considered the elixir of long life and thus a product rich in beneficial properties, it is nonetheless a food with high energy value. Therefore, as paediatricians suggest, the initial doses are 2 teaspoons of EVO oil per day, which can go up to a maximum of 3 teaspoons. EVO oil can be introduced into the child’s diet when solid foods begin to be introduced, which usually starts around 6 months of age.

Romolo from Frantoio Gentili, a fifth-generation olive miller, recommends his Organic Oil for infants, ideal for children in the weaning phase, thanks to its composition of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats, very similar to those in breast milk. “A gesture of love for your child, especially for mothers who have not had the opportunity to provide a supply of micronutrients through breastfeeding. A teaspoon of our organic oil in the first baby foods will help preserve the growth and nervous system of your child, thanks to the abundance of beneficial substances contained in the product.”

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