Millet For Babies – Everything You Need To Know

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Millet is a nutritious grain that is safe for infants as well. It can make for a healthy, wholesome meal that is easily digestible, gluten-free, and versatile. The benefits of millet for babies are numerous as it is rich in iron, minerals, calcium, and more, aiding in the healthy and steady growth of the baby.

In addition, millet can be easily digested due to its smooth texture. The grain is also versatile and can be incorporated into your baby’s diet in different ways, such as through porridges or stews.

Continue reading to know more about millet and its benefits, as well as some healthy and delicious millet recipes for babies.

Is Millet Good For Babies?

Millet is a good protein source and is rich in multiple vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and magnesium. One cup of cooked millet contains the following nutritional values (1):

  • Protein – 6.11g
  • 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 – 1.1mg

Millet also contains trace amounts of copper, zinc and manganese. It has high amounts of fiber, essential amino acids like lecithin and methionine, and phytic acid that help reduce the risk of cancer and lower blood cholesterol.

When Can Your Baby Eat Millets?

Give millet to your little one when they are around six to eight months. When you introduce a new solid food, give only 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 your pediatrician (2).

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 millet for babies (3):

1. Easily digestible:

Millet are gluten-free and soothing cereals. Thus, they possess smooth digestion properties.

2. Maintains body processes:

The essential mineral phosphorus helps form bones and utilize fats, carbohydrates, and protein for various functions to keep our body working properly.

3. Improves iron deficiency:

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

4. Supports bone development:

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

5. Helps with constipation:

Millet contains soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps improve constipation.

6. Calms mood:

Millet is a complex carbohydrate that helps in producing serotonin in the body. Serotonin can help calm your baby’s mood and help them sleep well (4).

Selection And Storage Of Millets For Babies

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

Regarding ground millets, 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 good to buy millet in small quantities so that it does not get rancid.

Cooking Millets For Babies

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

1. Millet Porridge Cereal:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 3 tbsp millet
  • 1 cup water

How To:

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

2. Millet, Carrots And Apples Stew:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • Diced carrots
  • Diced apples
  • ¾ cup of apple juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • Millet (powdered)

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. Add the powdered millet and cook for 5 more minutes.

3. 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 fruits, and veggies that are appropriate for your little one.

4. Millet Veggie Salad:

Image: iStock

You Will Need:

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

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:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 2tbsp 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 five minutes and then serve your little one.

6. Organic Pumpkin Millet Porridge:

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • 2tbsp millet, hulled
  • 1tbsp 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.
  • Simmer it over medium heat and add water if required.
  • Cook for about 40 minutes until the porridge is ready.
  • Cool for some time and then offer it to 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. Millet needs to be processed in a wheat-free facility.

Millets for babies are a healthy option to provide the required nutrients for their growth. They are easy to digest and are gluten-free. Ensure to choose and store millets carefully. Millets may be introduced in small quantities to babies when they start other solid foods. They can be prepared in several ways, such as porridge and toasted cereals, or cooked with other vegetables for enhanced taste and nutritional benefits. Though millets are considered safe for babies, it is best to consult a doctor, especially if your baby has food allergies.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Jessica Albert

Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has prior experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor. Being a mother herself, she puts all her knowledge into creating content about...
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Abby Black

(RDN, CDE, CLT)
Abby Black graduated in Dietetics and Nutrition, Fitness, and Health from Purdue University. She has 18 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and 14 years as a Certified Diabetes Care Education Specialist (CDCES). Subsequently, she became a  Certified LEAP Therapist. Her private practice AB Nutrition Solutions, provides public speaking, corporate training, change management, training, and healthcare consulting...
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