Is Besan Good For Babies? All You Need to Know
Besan (a chickpea flour made from the Bengal gram chickpea) is an Indian cure-all ingredient, but is besan good for babies too? We all know that besan is a 100% natural ingredient that can be used for many purposes (besan is great for hair removal). But we get extra careful when it comes to using besan for babies, be it besan for baby skin or besan baby food.
In this article we will give you some guidelines, but they are always intended as a general advice that needs to be backed by a pediatrician. Indian ancestors’ customs are often very valuable, but some of them are not safe for babies. In this article, The Indian Rose will explain when besan can be used for babies and answer the question “is besan good for babies?” We will look at different areas:
besan for baby skin (besan baby massage)
besan for baby bath
besan baby food
Besan for Baby Skin
In India babies get massaged everyday, and besan baby massage is very traditional. To be more specific, during massage, a homemade beauty mask is applied on the baby’s body.
The concoction is called Ubtan, and it is basically a paste prepared with:
gram flour (besan)
a little bit of turmeric (haldi)
curd, milk or cream
A few drops of oil to treat dry and flaky skin are often added for the besan baby massage.
But is besan good for baby skin? Or is it harmful?
Many people apply this paste all over the baby’s body. Unfortunately, all too often the reason for applying Ubtan so diligently is the hope of lightening the baby’s skin tone.
Now, if you are planning on using besan to lighten the baby’s skin, you should know that the skin color is decided by the parents’ genes, and you should try and accept your baby as they are. Babies are beautiful, regardless of their skin complexion.
Another top reason why parents use besan on babies is hair removal. Many babies are born hairy, that is normal and it will change with time, there is no need to apply besan. Moreover, besan is more beneficial for hair removal when scrubbed, and scrubbing a newborn with besan is a no-no as it can lead to scratches, thus infections.
However that doesn’t mean besan has no benefits for babies’s skin:
Besan cleanses baby skin from impurities and makes it glow
If you are a fan of using no soap on babies to make their skin grow stronger, then besan for baby skin might be the perfect product for you.
So, when and how can you use besan on baby’s skin? Here are
the golden rules of besan for baby skin
- The baby must be older that 3 months,
- Besan should applied and removed by patting, not scrubbing, as there is a risk of causing rashes or redness on your baby’s skin
- The first time you try besan on your baby’s skin, apply a very small quantity on his/her arm and wait 15 minutes so you are sure there is no allergic reaction.
- Consult your pediatrician before using it.
Let’s see more specifically how to use besan on baby’s skin
If you are asking yourself “is besan good for babies?” you should first of all know that
besan can dry the delicate baby skin
- Besan for baby skin should be mixed with milk, cream or oil
- The besan concotiuon can be patted delicately on the skin, rather than rubbed
- Wash off immedietly afterwards, do not let it dry on your baby’s skin
If you are looking for a good and cheap homemade laundry soap for babies check this out!
So what about besan baby massage? Massaging involves rubbing, so let’s just stick to oil. After the massage, you can give your baby an extra cleansing beauty treatment by applying besan as we just explained.
In conclusion, is besan good for babies’ skin?
According to us, besan is more beneficial to adults’ skin as it is good for reducing facial hair and getting rid of acne. Babies will get some benefit from besan but, taking into consideration the possible side effects, we can conclude that they will benefit much more from natural oils such as sesame, mustard, coconut, or almond.
Besan for baby skin was the first part of: is besan good for babies. Let’s see two other ways besan can be used in baby care.
Besan for Baby Bath
Is besan good for babies’ bath? Being a natural cleansing ingredient besan is great for cleaning the skin. However, depending on how you use it, besan for baby bath can present a few risks. Let’s see why.
The first problem of besan for baby bath is that besan does not completely dissolve in water, so its tiny particles can get stuck up deep in the baby’s skin, even if you can’t see it. That in turn may cause rashes and skin allergies to your baby’s delicate skin. Although the risk is low, better safe than sorry!
Another factor to take into consideration is that when besan is mixed with milk to make Ubtan, it can be harmful to babies who are allergic to dairy products, if it gets into contact with their face.
After you pat besan on baby’s skin, you need to wash it well with water.
So, is besan good for baby bath?
Besan works better with an Indian style baby bath than with a standard style bath in a bath tub because it can be washed off with running water, with no risk of small particles entering in the small cracks in the baby skin.
After one year of age it’s a whole different story as the skin is stronger, and pulse flours should be fine to use in baby bath, after having spoken to your pediatrician.
As we explained before, the first time you try besan on your baby’s skin, apply a very small quantity on his/her arm and wait 15 minutes so you are sure there is no allergic reaction.
In conclusion, if you ask us: “is besan good for babies’ bath?”, we can say that, although besan might be used to clean the baby’s skin, other products such as Aleppo soap seem to be much more useful and beneficial for babies.
Besan Baby Food – Can We Give Besan to Babies
The last area we must consider when answering the question “is besan good for babies” is nutrition.
Besan nutritional benefits are many, and include preventing heart disease and lowering the risk of allergies. In India there is also a popular belief that besan is helpful in preventing and curing a cold in babies. But can you give besan to babies? It all depends on circumstances. Let’s see..
Besan is not a first solid food, as it can be difficult to digest. First foods include vegetables, fruit, and grains. The first pulse your baby can try is red lentils, masoor dal, as that’s the easiest on the digestive system. Once the baby digests lighter pulses such as masoor dal and green gram, you can try feed them besan. So, is besan good for babies? Besan can be a great baby food, but not a first food.
Besan halwa / besan ka Sheera
Indian parents often feed their baby besan in the form of besan halwa, or besan ka sheera. That’s a popular besan baby food as it is believed to relieve the common cold. If consumed warm at night, it can actually make provide great relief on cold nights. So let’s see how to give besan halwa to babies:
A basic besan halwa is made by mixing together besan flour, sugar or jaggery, ghee, milk, and cardamom
Becasue of the sugar and milk content, it is better to avoid giving besan halwa to babies under the age of 9 months
Start with giving a couple of teaspoons and increase the quantity gradually if your baby likes it and can digest it easily
Another way to give besan baby food is the Indian besan omelete, besan ka chilla. You can give it to your baby from 8 months onwards.
In conclusion, can we give besan to babies? As you can see, there is no reason not to give besan baby food to your LOs, as long as they are old enough, and besan is mixed with healthy ingredients.
Did you use besan for your baby? Do you think besan is good for babies? Let us know in the comments below!