Can You Give Babies Oregano? Is it Safe? 

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Whether dried or fresh, oregano is a popular herb used in Italian cuisine that many love for its aromatic and slightly bitter flavor. However, is this herb safe to include in your baby’s food? 

Oregano is a safe herb to give to your baby as long as they are at least six months old. You can include normal food amounts of oregano in your baby’s dishes as long as the foods are prepared in the appropriate texture for their age. However, avoid essential oil aromatherapy using oregano oil because it can irritate the skin.

In this article, we will discuss more information about oregano and how to safely incorporate it into your baby’s diet. 

Can Babies Eat Oregano? Is it Safe? 

Oregano is safe for your baby when they are at least six months old. You can use dried or fresh oregano as long as the fresh oregano leaves are thoroughly washed under clean running water (source: United States Food & Drug Administration [FDA]). Make sure fresh oregano leaves are chopped very small or pureed into the food. 

Brazilian pizza with dried tomatoes and oregano

Many parents tend to shy away from adding flavorful spices and herbs to their baby’s diet. However, it is beneficial to incorporate different flavors (even strong and spicy flavors!) into your baby’s foods to help train them to enjoy these flavors and develop healthy eating habits for the future (source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).

Flavorful spices and herbs in your baby’s diet are also important to accustom your baby to change in their foods.  

Oregano is sometimes found in pizza sauce or pasta sauce, such as pesto. These are safe for younger babies, such as those around six months old, since these sauces are typically a thin and watery puree. Additionally, at six months, your baby can have mashed foods, such as pasta (source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign).

However, once your baby gets older and can have finger foods, around eight to twelve months of age, oregano (or sauce containing oregano) can be added atop pasta that is cooked soft for your baby. 

The beloved herb is also commonly used to season meats such as beef, chicken, and turkey, or fish.

Pasta with sauce or small tender pieces of meat, poultry, or fish can be a good finger food options for baby-led weaning because they can easily grasp and pick up the pasta and bring it to their mouth.

Is Oil of Oregano Safe for Babies? 

It is important to note that no essential oils should ever be given to your baby to eat or drink. However, some essential oils are safe for babies who are at least three months old as long as the essential oils are diluted to anywhere within the range of 0.5% and 2.5% (source: National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy). 

Oregano oil and fresh oregano leaves on the wooden board

When it comes to oregano oil, it, unfortunately, should not be given to your baby because it can cause skin irritation (source: National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy). Your baby has sensitive skin already, so it is best to avoid essential oils (even when diluted) that are potential irritants. 

In terms of other essential oils that are not considered as dermal irritants, do not use them in your baby’s bath water — even though this is commonly recommended online. Avoid this practice because if your baby accidentally drinks bath water, then they will ingest some essential oil, which can be dangerous. 

You can safely use essential oils in a diffuser. However, always speak with your baby’s pediatrician before using any essential oils around them. 

In conclusion, I hope you found this article helpful in discussing how to safely incorporate oregano into your baby’s diet.