Dalia (Broken Wheat) for Babies: Health Benefits And Recipes

✔ Research-backed

Dalia for babies can be an excellent choice for preparing healthy snacks and breakfast preparations. Dalia is another name for broken wheat or cracked wheat, which is a whole-wheat breakfast cereal often used to prepare wheat porridge.

The cereal is suitable for infants on solids due to its smooth texture and easy digestibility. Dalia also contains fiber and various nutrients that could benefit the baby’s long-term health (1).

Read on to learn about when to feed dalia to babies and how to make nutritious dalia dishes for babies and toddlers.

In This Article

When Can Babies Eat Dalia?

Babies can consume dalia from the age of six months, the age when they can consume wheat and wheat-containing products (2). This is also around the time when weaning can begin. The USDA with WIC recommends starting solids if appropriate and approved by a doctor. The introduction of complementary foods should be done alongside breastfeeding if possible until 12 months. You can make sweet or savory dalia preparations with ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dry fruits. Alternatively, you can try adding cooked dalia to fruit and vegetable purees, soups, stews, and porridge. 

Possible Health Benefits Of Dalia For Babies

Dalia contains several nutrients that contribute to overall nutrition and can provide long-term benefits for infants and young children.

  1. Provides considerable energy: Dalia is a nutritious and energy-dense baby food. One-fourth cup (40g) of uncooked dalia gives approximately 140Kcal of energy (3). During the first year of life, babies need nutritious, energy-dense foods for adequate growth and development (4).
  1. Supplies nutrients for growth: Dalia or broken wheat contains good amounts of protein, calcium, and iron (3). Proteins are essential for muscle growth, while calcium is important for bone health. Iron is vital for several developmental milestones, including the cognitive development of the baby.
  1. Maintains digestive health: Dalia is rich in dietary fiber, which can enhance gastric motility and keep constipation at bay (5). It also acts as a prebiotic and boosts the gut microbiota (6). Healthy gut microbiota is necessary to maintain a healthy immune system in the long run (7).  

Precautions To Take While Feeding Dalia To Babies

These precautions can ensure the safe consumption of dalia in babies.

  • Buy packaged, organic dalia from a reputable store for quality assurance.
  • Prepare dalia in a semi-thick, soup-like consistency with no lumps to make it easy for a baby to swallow and digest.
  • Follow a “three to five-day wait” while introducing dalia to rule out intolerance, sensitivity, or allergy. Add no new food while you are feeding dalia to your baby.
  • Introduce one to two teaspoons of single-ingredient dalia to your baby for a couple of days. Once the baby adjusts to dalia’s taste, texture, and digestibility, increase the quantity gradually.
  • You can also try multigrain dalia recipes with pulses, oats, millets, and rice.
  • If the baby looks uncomfortable or shows signs of intolerance or sensitivity, discontinue feeding, and try after a few days. If the problem persists, consult a pediatrician.
  • Dalia contains gluten, which is associated with allergies. If your baby has any existing allergies, food intolerances, gastrointestinal issues, or if your family has a history of allergies, then consult a pediatrician before introducing dalia.  

protip_icon Be watchful
Some children with celiac disease may exhibit increased irritability, diarrhea, abdominal pain, slow growth, and poor weight gain on consuming wheat (9).

Healthy Dalia Recipes For Babies And Toddlers

Dalia is one of the most nutritious grains that you can include in your baby’s diet. Below are some healthy and tasty dalia recipes that you can feed to your baby and toddler in moderation.

1. Vegetable dalia khichdi (7 months+)

Vegetable khichdi with dalia for babies

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cup dalia (washed and drained)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 small tomato (finely chopped)
  • 1 potato (peeled and chopped)
  • ½ cup green beans (chopped)
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp black pepper powder
  • 1tbsp ghee
  • 4 cups water

How to:

  1. Heat ghee on a stockpot over medium heat and add cumin seeds to it.
  2. As the seeds begin to crackle, add onion and saute until they turn golden brown.
  3. Add tomato, potato, beans, and black pepper powder. Cook the mixture for five minutes.
  4. Add dalia and three cups of water. Cover the pan and let the mixture cook on low heat for ten minutes or until the dalia looks well-cooked. Stir the mixture occasionally to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. At this point, add more water to the recipe, ensuring it has soup-like consistency.
  6. Switch off the flame and transfer the khichdi to a bowl.
  7. Stir in lemon juice, garnish with parsley, and feed immediately.
  8. You can add soy granules, cottage cheese, tofu, and nuts to this recipe for older babies.

2. Dalia halwa (laapsi) (8 months+)

Halwa or laapsi with dalia for babies

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cup dalia
  • ¼ cup jaggery powder
  • ⅛ cup almond, cashews, and raisins (finely chopped)
  • 1 pod of cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 4tbsp ghee
  • ⅛tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼tsp cardamom powder
  • 3 cup water
  • 2-3 strands of saffron

How to: 

  1. Heat three tablespoons of ghee in a pressure cooker. Add cardamom pod and clove into it and saute until you get a fine aroma.
  2. Add dalia and roast it all  for five minutes or until it turns light brown.
  3. Add two cups of water, mix everything well, and pressure cook for five whistles. Set aside for five minutes to let the pressure release.
  4. Add jaggery and half a cup of water and mix everything well until the jaggery melts completely.
  5. Cook the mixture for five minutes until the jaggery begins to thicken slightly. Switch off the flame and set the cooker aside.
  6. Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a skillet over low heat. Add chopped dry fruits and saute until they turn light brown.
  7. Add roasted nuts, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, and saffron strands to dalia and mix well. The laapsi is ready to serve.
  8. Remove clove and cardamom pod from dalia and feed immediately.
protip_icon Quick tip
For younger babies, you may dry roast and powder almonds and cashews so they do not choke on them.

3. Dalia upma (10 months+)

Vegetable upma with dalia for babies

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cup dalia
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 small tomato (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup carrot (finely chopped)
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp roasted peanut (coarsely ground)
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tsp red chili powder
  • ½tsp turmeric powder
  • 2tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 cups water

How to:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add mustard seeds.
  2. As the seeds begin to crackle, add curry leaves and onion and saute until the onions turn translucent.
  3. Add tomato, carrot, green peas, peanuts, red chili powder, dalia, and turmeric. Mix everything well.
  4. Add water to the mixture and let it cook for ten minutes on low heat with occasional stirring until all the water dries up and the vegetables turn tender.
  5. Switch off the flame and transfer the upma to a bowl. Stir in lemon juice and feed.
  6. You can add pulses, such as chana dal, coconut shreds, and sesame seeds to this recipe, too.

4. Curd dalia (12 months+)

Curd and dalia for babies

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cup dalia (roasted)
  • 1 cup fresh curd
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • 2 whole red chilies
  • 1 black pepper clove
  • 1tbsp urad dal
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp cashew (roasted and roughly ground)
  • 2tbsp sesame seeds oil

How to: 

  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add cumin seeds.
  2. As the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add black pepper, dalia, and roast them for two to three minutes.
  3. Add two cups of water and mix everything properly. Cover the skillet and cook over low flame for eight to ten minutes until all the water dries and the dalia becomes soft.
  4. Switch off the flame and transfer the dalia to a bowl. Let it cool. Then, stir in curd and mix well.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and add mustard seed.
  6. As they begin to crackle, add urad dal, and cook till it turns light brown.
  7. Add whole red chili, curry leaves, cashew, and cook for 40 seconds.
  8. Pour the seasoning over the dalia and feed.
protip_icon Quick tip
If you follow veganism, use vegan curd substitutes made from coconut, cashew, almond, or sesame milk.

5. Sweet dalia porridge (dalia kheer) (12 months+)

Sweetened dalia for babies with the goodness of bananas

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cup dalia (roasted)
  • ½ cup almonds, cashew, pistachio, and raisin (finely chopped)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 ripe banana (thinly chopped into small pieces)
  • 1tsp cardamom powder
  • ½tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1tbsp jaggery powder

How to:

  1. Put milk, cardamom powder, cinnamon powder, and jaggery into a pressure cooker. Heat the mixture for about five minutes over low heat.
  2. Add dalia to the mixture and pressure cook over low heat for two to three whistles. Switch off the flame and keep the cooker aside to cool.
  3. After releasing the steam, gently mash the dalia with a spoon or ladle.
  4. Transfer some of it into a bowl, add chopped banana, and feed.
  5. You can add dried berries, chia or pumpkin seeds, and more seasonal fruits, such as mango, papaya, and apple to this recipe for toddlers.

6. Dalia vegetable salad (12 months+)

Dalia vegetable salad 12 months+

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • ½ cup dalia (broken wheat)
  • salt to taste
  • ½tsp oil
  • 1 cup cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, finely chopped and parboiled
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup lettuce, finely chopped
  • ½ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

How to:

  1. In a pot, bring water to a boil, adding salt and oil, ensuring thorough mixing.
  2. Add broken wheat, and boil for 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
  4. Prepare the mint lemon dressing by blending mint leaves, lemon juice, black pepper, salt, and extra virgin olive oil.
  5. In a bowl, combine all ingredients, including the cooked broken wheat, then pour the dressing and toss thoroughly.
  6. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is dalia good for weight gain in babies?

Dalia is a healthy choice to promote weight gain in babies. Although it is not a rich source of fats, dalia is high in carbohydrates, which may contribute to weight gain (8).

2. Can I give dalia to my baby with diarrhea?

Dalia is rich in fiber. A hundred grams of dalia contains 4.5g of fiber (8). Since low-fiber foods may help improve diarrhea, it is safe to consume them. However, you may seek the advice of your pediatrician to know if dalia is safe for your baby during that period.

3. Can dalia be given to babies at night?

Dalia is rich in complex carbohydrates and may keep a baby fuller for longer. If your baby is not allergic to dalia, you may include it in their dinner.

Introducing broken wheat or dalia to your baby’s diet is recommended since it is a good calcium, protein, and iron source. The benefits of dalia for babies also include improved digestive health, and it offers sufficient energy for adequate growth. However, you should take certain precautions while feeding dalia to babies. For example, ensure the preparation has no lumps so that it is easy to swallow. Also, introduce it to your baby’s diet gradually and in small amounts to check for allergies. Further, with our healthy dalia recipes, you can feed your baby nutritious and tasty meals.

Infographic: Instant Dalia Mixes For A Quick Meal Preparation

Dalia or broken wheat is a natural source of fiber, proteins, and much-needed vitamins and minerals during the baby’s growing months. However, if you are a new mom struggling to squeeze time to prepare baby meals, we bring you easy, healthy, taste-filled powder recipes with dalia in this infographic.

instant dalia mixes for a quick meal preparation (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Dalia, also known as broken wheat, is a wheat cereal often used to prepare breakfast.
  • You may introduce this energy-rich nutritious grain to babies after six months by adding it to their soups and purees.
  • Try giving smooth textured Dalia khichdi or curd Dalia; these are easily digestible for babies.
  • If your baby is comfortable eating Dalia, you may prepare delicious preparations such as Dalia porridge or halwa.

Delicious and nutritious broken wheat recipes for babies could be ideal for babies who just started eating solid foods! Learn how to make broken wheat porridge, kichadi, and more for your 7-month-old.


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.

1. AlokJha et al.; Optimization of instant dalia dessert pre-mix production by using response surface methodology; NCBI
2. When should I introduce wheat into my baby’s diet?; American Academy of Pediatrics
3. Cracked Wheat, FDC ID: 473921; Fooddata Central, USDA
4. Feeding your baby: 6-12 months; UNICEF
5. Jing Yang et al.; Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: A meta analysis; NCBI
6. Danielle N. Cooper et al.; Does Whole Grain Consumption Alter Gut Microbiota and Satiety?; NCBI
7. The Microbiome; Harvard T.H. Chan
8. Bulgar, cooked; USDA Nutrient Database
9. When should I introduce wheat into my baby’s diet?American Academy of Pediatrics

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Jennifer Swallow

Jennifer SwallowMS, RDN, LDN

Jennifer Swallow has 14 years of experience with the plant-based diet. She has studied nutrition and with a dietetics license from the state of Florida, she works as a clinical and wellness dietitian. Jennifer graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Bowling Green State University with a Masters in Nutrition. In 2009,...read full bio