Semolina For Babies: When To Introduce, Benefits And Recipes

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The benefits of semolina for babies make it a good option to add to your baby’s diet. Its fine texture makes it suitable for consumption by infants. Additionally, it is a versatile ingredient that can be used to prepare sweet and savory dishes. However, this coarsely milled wheat is a common allergeniXSubstances that cause allergic reactions ; hence, take precautions when introducing it to your baby’s diet.

Read on to know the right age to introduce semolina to your baby’s diet, its health benefits, precautions to take, and some semolina baby food recipes.

In This Article

When Can Babies Eat Semolina?

Semolina is the coarsely ground endosperm of wheat grain. A baby can consume wheat products, such as semolina, from the age of six months when they begin eating solids (1). Therefore, you can introduce it to your baby like any other wheat product, such as infant cereal.

You can cook semolina with vegetables and water to prepare baby porridge of a thin consistency. Older babies can be served thicker porridges. Toddlers can be served other semolina products, such as milk-based porridges, crackers, puddings, and other baked semolina delicacies.

Possible Health Benefits Of Semolina For Babies

Semolina offers several of the health benefits provided by wheat for babies. The regular consumption of semolina as part of a well-balanced diet may provide the baby with the following benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should include semolina when making a baby meal plan for your little one.

  1. Provides energy: Semolina is a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy to the body (2). Babies require energy for growth and to perform various actions, including playing and crawling.
  2. Helps in growth: One cup (167g) of semolina contains 21.2g of protein (3). Infants require an adequate daily intake of protein for muscle growth and to achieve their physical development milestones.

    Semolina aids in the growth of babies
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    Image: Shutterstock

  3. Provides various micronutrients: Sooji/Suji contains small quantities of almost all essential micronutrients, including calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Micronutrients are important for several physiological processesiXVarious physical and biochemical mechanisms responsible for the development and survival of an organism and are considered vital for a healthy immune system (4).
  4. B vitamins help overall growth: Semolina contains several B vitamins, such as vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6. B vitamins are a part of several essential chemical processes within the body and help in healthy growth (5).

Possible Side Effects Of Sooji/Suji For Babies

Semolina is made from wheat, which is a potential allergen. It may have the following potential side effects in some babies (6).

  • Gluten sensitivity: Some babies’ gastrointestinal tractiXA part of the digestive system that includes organs involved in food digestion and waste expulsion could be sensitive to gluten, a protein naturally found in wheat (7). The gut does not tolerate gluten well, leading to symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and vomiting (8). Gluten sensitivity is also called gluten intolerance.
  • Wheat allergy: It is a condition where the immune system mistakenly considers wheat to be a pathogen. It causes symptoms associated with food allergies, such as skin hivesiXItchy, red bumps on the skin caused due to specific reactions from food, medications, or infections , abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and facial swelling (9).
  • Celiac disease: It is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system is susceptible to gluten. The immune response in this condition damages the small intestine’s inner lining, leading to severe inflammation and tissue damage (10). Celiac disease is mostly genetic and persists for life. A meta-analysis from multiple institutes found the incidence of celiac disease is around 21.3 cases per 100,000 children.

Precautions To Take While Feeding Sooji/Suji To Babies

Here are a few things to keep in mind when introducing semolina to babies (11).

  • Prefer organic sooji/suji bought from a trusted store.
Opt for organic semolina for babies
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Image: Shutterstock

  • Introduce a couple of teaspoons a day. If semolina seems to suit your baby, increase the quantity to a tablespoon or two a day.
  • Wait three to five days before introducing any other new food item. This can let you determine if your baby is allergic to semolina.
  • If your baby displays gastrointestinal discomfort, stop feeding semolina and try a few days later. If the problem repeats, consult a doctor.
  • Cook semolina with water. You can add vegetable and fruit purees, too. Once your baby is older than 12 months, you may cook semolina porridge with cow’s milk.

protip_icon Quick tip
Make sure you add enough liquid to a semolina recipe so that the end result is not dry and difficult for your baby to swallow.

Tasty Semolina Recipes For Babies

Here are a few recipes of delicious semolina (sooji/suji ) dishes that are perfect as baby weaning food.

1. Semolina upma (7months+)

Semolina upma for babies older than 7 months
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You will need:

  • 3tbsp semolina
  • ¼ cup boiled mixed vegetables (carrot, beans, peas, potatoes)
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1-2 cups of water

How to prepare:

  1. Place a pan over a medium heat and roast the semolina until it is lightly golden in color.
  2. Carefully add the water while stirring continuously, ensuring there are no lumps.
  3. Add the boiled vegetables to the pan. Add the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Stir well.
  4. Close the pan with a lid and let it cook for five minutes. You can add more water if required.
  5. Let it cool before serving. You may season it with some clarified butter before serving it to babies older than a year.
protip_icon Quick tip
Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves fries in a teaspoon of oil for a distinct flavor.

2. Semolina porridge (7months+)

Semolina porridge for babies older than 7 months
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Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 3tbsp semolina
  • ½ cup apple puree
  • ½ tsp dry fruit powder
  • 1 cup water

How to prepare:

  1. Place a pan on a medium heat. Roast the semolina in it for a few minutes.
  2. Add the water to the semolina. Stir and cook until there are no lumps.
  3. Turn off the heat. Add the apple puree and dry fruit powder. Stir until they are all mixed. Serve immediately.
  4. You may add cow’s milk to the porridge if serving to babies older than one year.

3. Sooji/Suji halwa (1 year+)

Sooji/Suji halwa for babies older than 1 year
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You will need:

  • 4tbsp of sooji/suji
  • 2tbsp of organic jaggery powder
  • A pinch of cardamom powder
  • Dry fruits and nuts (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup cow’s milk
  • ½ tsp clarified butter (ghee)

How to prepare:

  1. Place a pan over a medium heat. Add ¼ tsp of ghee and roast the semolina for a few minutes until you get a nice aroma. Transfer it into a separate bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ghee to the pan. Roast the dry fruits and nuts until they turn golden. Transfer them to a separate bowl.
  3. In the same pan, pour in some water. Add the jaggery and let it dissolve in the water. Now add the milk and let it boil.
  4. Slowly, add the roasted semolina. Stir continuously to avoid lumps.
  5. Keep stirring it until the semolina is properly cooked.
  6. After the halwa reaches its desired consistency, add the roasted dried fruits and nuts along with some cardamom powder.
  7. You can add more water to adjust the consistency.

An anonymous mother tried making momos with sooji/semolina for her children and this is what she has to say about it. “Most of the time, I make momos made with rice flour. Rice flour momos are indeed very healthy but they are thicker than regular momos. This time I made momos made with 100% suji, trust me these are super healthy and much more easier and quicker to make as compared to regular momos and rice flour momos (i).”

protip_icon Point to consider
Add mixed nut powder to the halwa if your baby is too young to be able to eat the chopped nuts safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is semolina a cereal?

Semolina is a coarse flour derived from grinding wheat. It is a form of raw grain. On the other hand, wheat cereals are processed and are usually puffed, shredded, or rolled.

2. Is semolina good for baby weight gain?

Semolina may help meet your baby’s nutrition requirements and promote weight gain if served as part of a well-balanced diet. Semolina is rich in carbohydrates and protein (3). It can be used to prepare several dishes potentially rich in calories, such as porridges.

3. Is it safe to give flavored or sweetened semolina to babies?

According to the CDC, babies younger than 24 months should not be fed foods that contain added sugar or flavoring agents (12). Thus flavored or sweetened semolina may not be recommended for babies.

Semolina is a favored choice for babies as it helps in their growth, keeps them energetic, and provides essential micronutrients. This versatile food can be introduced as your little one’s first solid food and can be easily made into a sweet or savory depending on the preference. Since semolina is a wheat product, it may cause allergies and celiac disease. Therefore, feed only organic semolina for babies and initially introduce only a small amount. Always consult a doctor if your baby faces any discomfort after eating it.

Infographic: More Semolina Recipes For Your Baby

Semolina is one the ideal foods for babies that can be served with different ingredients to increase its nutritional value. So here are some more such healthy and quick recipes to keep your baby’s taste buds tingling. Pin this infographic to your kitchen wall and cook a new semolina dish for your baby daily.

sweet and savory semolina dishes for babies (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Semolina is a coarse flour of wheat grain and may be introduced to babies above six months of age.
  • As a part of a well-balanced diet, semolina can provide vitamins, micronutrients, and energy to your baby.
  • Start with little portions of semolina, in the beginning, to rule out wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity in your baby.
  • Scroll down for some nutritious semolina recipes, such as upma, porridge, and more.
semolina for babies_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Learn to make four uncomplicated and nutritious recipes using sooji, suji, rava, and semolina in this video. It is a very easy-to-make recipe for babies and toddlers aged 6 to 12 months and for busy mothers.

Personal Experience: Source


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. What To Feed Your Baby; NHS UK
2. E Jequier,Carbohydrates as a source of energy; U.S. National Library of Medicine
3. Semolina, unenriched; U.S. Department of Agriculture
4. Adrian F. Gombart, Adeline Pierre, and Silvia Maggini, A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System–Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection; U.S. National Library of Medicine
5. B Vitamins; U.S. National Library of Medicine
6. Anthony Porto, When should I introduce wheat into my baby’s diet?; American Academy of Pediatrics
7. Celiac disease; Harvard Medical School
8. Symptoms of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity; Beyond Celiac
9. Celiac Disease – Frequently Asked Questions; University of Chicago
10. Celiac disease; U.S. National Library of Medicine
11. When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods; CDC
11. Foods and Drinks to Avoid or Limit; CDC

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