Millet For Babies – Everything You Need To Know

Millet For Babies

Image: Shutterstock

Millet is a wonderful grain for your baby. It is gluten free, nutritious, versatile, easily digestible and least allergenic grain suitable as a solid food for your baby. Also, the size and shape of millet resemble barley which makes it an excellent finger food. The smooth texture ensures its easy digestion. Read through to know more about the goodness, benefits and some amazing recipes to cook millets for babies.

Is Millet Good For Babies?

Millet is one of the best protein sources and is rich in vitamin B, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and magnesium. One cup of cooked millets contains the following nutritional values:

  • Protein – 6.11g
  • Vitamin A – 5IU
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) – 0.18mg
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – 0.14 mg
  • Folate – 33mcg
  • Niacin – 2.3mg
  • Phosphorus – 174mg
  • Potassium – 108mg
  • Sodium – 3mg
  • Calcium – 5mg
  • Magnesium – 77mg
  • Iron – 1.09mg

[ Read : How To Cook Barley Cereal For Babies ]

Millets also contain trace amounts of copper, zinc and manganese.

Millets contain high amounts of fiber, essential amino acids like lecithin and methionine, and photochemical phytic acid that helps reduce the risk of cancer and lowers blood cholesterol.

When Can Your Baby Eat Millets?

Give millet to your little one when she is around six to eight months. When you introduce on the first day, just give a spoonful and then gradually increase its quantity. Homemade millet cereal for babies is the best option. But before introducing this food, you should consult the pediatrician.

Health Benefits Of Millet For Babies:

Millet has a mild flavor with protein content similar to rice and wheat. It will, therefore, satisfy a hungry baby’s appetite. Following are the amazing health benefits of millets for babies:

[ Read: How To Increase Baby’s Appetite ]

1. Easily Digestible:

Millets are alkaline, non-glutinous and soothing cereals. Thus, they possess smooth digestion properties.

2. Maintains Metabolic Rate:

The essential mineral phosphorous helps metabolize fat and repairs damaged tissues.

3. Cures Iron Deficiency:

Millet is an excellent source of iron and cures anemia in babies.

4. Bone Development:

Millet contains a high proportion of calcium and regulates the bone development process of small and growing children.

5. Treats Constipation:

Millet has got hydration properties. They hydrate the colon and, therefore, keep your baby safe from constipation.

[ Read: Natural Remedies For Constipation In Babies ]

6. Calms Mood:

Millet is a complex carbohydrate that helps in producing serotonin in the body. The serotonin has properties to calm your baby’s mood.

Selection And Storage Of Millets For Babies:

You can store whole millet for several months in a dry and cold place. If you choose packaged millet, you will also have an expiry date that helps you know the storage period. Store them in airtight containers and put them in a refrigerator.

If it is ground millet, you have to be extra careful. The natural oils from the cereal turn rancid if not kept in the fridge.

Also, make sure you check the grains if you don’t use them frequently. It is always advisable to buy them in smaller quanitities so that they do not become rancid.

How To Cook Millet For Baby:

Now that you know why millet is right for your baby, let us look at some millet recipes.

1. Millet Porridge Cereal:

Millet For Babies - Millet Porridge Cereal

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 3 tbsp Millet
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt

How To:

  • Boil one cup of water in a saucepan.
  • Grind three tablespoons of millet to make a smooth powder.
  • Add the ground millet and a pinch of salt into boiling water.
  • Stir the contents continuously.
  • Cover the saucepan for 10 minutes.
  • Millet porridge for baby is ready now.

2. Millet, Carrots And Apples Stew:

Millet For Babies - Millet, Carrots And Apples Stew

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • Diced carrots
  • Diced apples
  • ¾ cup of Apple juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt to taste

How To:

  • In a saucepan, add diced carrots, water, diced apples and apple juice.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and cover the stew for 15-20 minutes.
  • Season the mixture with salt.

[ Read: Health Benefits Of Rice Water For Babies ]

3. Toasted Millet Baby Cereal:

Millet For Babies - Toasted Millet Baby Cereal

Image: Shutterstok

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup whole grain millet
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, preferably olive oil

How To:

  • Take oil in a large pan and heat it.
  • Add millet and sauté it. Continue stirring until the millet turns brown.
  • Add two cups of boiling water and keep on simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir it until it fluffs a bit.
  • You can now add spices like ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla, fruits, and veggies that are appropriate for your little one.

4. Millet Veggie Salad:

Millet For Babies - Millet Veggie Salad

Image: iStock

You Will Need:

  • Soft cooked millet, peas, carrots and chicken or beef breast

How To:

  • Toss all the above ingredients in a bowl.
  • Mix properly and serve as a snack or a meal.

5. Apple Pear Millet Porridge:

Millet For Babies - Apple Pear Millet Porridge

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 2 tbsp millet
  • One-and-a-half cup water
  • 1/2 small green apple, peeled and cored
  • 1/2 small pear, peeled and cored

How To:

  • Rinse millet under running water by placing it in a coffee strainer.
  • Take it in a pot and cook for half-an-hour until the porridge attains thick consistency.
  • Mash apple and pear pieces using a fork and add to the porridge.
  • Let it stand for some time and then serve your little one.

6. Organic Pumpkin Millet Porridge:

Millet For Babies - Organic Pumpkin Millet Porridge

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 2 tbsp millet, hulled
  • 20gm pumpkin
  • 2 or more cups water

How To:

  • Take water in a pan and allow it to boil.
  • Add millet and pumpkin and keep it to boil.
  • Keep it in simmer over medium flame and add water if required.
  • Cook for about 40 minutes until the porridge is ready.
  • Cool for some time and then offer it your baby.

By including millet in your baby’s diet, you will help improve her health and boost her immunity. Remember, different foods contain different nutrients, so don’t feed them with the same food all the time.

A Word Of Caution:

Millet is highly nutritious and has many health benefits for your little one. However, if she suffers from wheat allergies or other conditions, check with her pediatrician before you include millet in her diet.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Wheat Allergy In Babies ]

Have you tried any millet recipes for your baby? Does your child love the taste? Which one is her favorite recipe? Tell us about it by leaving a comment. Do share your recipes with other mommies here!

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