Research-backed

Suji For Babies: When To Introduce, Benefits And Recipes

Suji For Babies: When To Introduce, Benefits And Recipes

Shutterstock

IN THIS ARTICLE

Semolina can be used to prepare several sweet and savory dishes, making it a great way to introduce wheat to babies. Its fineness and good nutritional profile make it an ideal infant food. However, semolina is made by coarsely milling wheat, which is a common allergen. Therefore, its introduction warrants a few precautions.

Read on to learn about the right age to introduce semolina to babies, its health benefits, precautions to observe, and tasty semolina baby food recipes.

When Can Babies Eat Semolina?

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

You can cook semolina with vegetables and water to prepare porridge of 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.

  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.
  3. Provides various micronutrients: Semolina contains small quantities of almost all essential micronutrients, including calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Micronutrients are important for several physiological processes 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 Semolina 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 insensitivity: Some babies’ gastrointestinal tract 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 hives, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and facial swelling (9).
  • Celiac disease: It is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system is extremely sensitive to gluten. The immune response in this condition damages the inner lining of the small intestine, leading to severe inflammation and tissue damage (10). Celiac disease is mostly genetic and persists for life.

Precautions To Take While Feeding Semolina To Babies

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

  • Prefer organic semolina bought from a trusted store. Organic semolina is less likely to contain harmful additives.
  • 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.

Tasty Semolina Recipes For Babies

Here are a few recipes of delicious semolina dishes that your baby will enjoy.

1. Semolina upma (7months+)

Semolina upma (7months+)

Shutterstock

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
  • Salt as per taste

How to prepare:

  1. Place a pan over medium flame and roast semolina until it is lightly golden in color.
  2. Carefully pour water while stirring continuously. Ensure there are no lumps.
  3. Add boiled vegetables to the pan. Add salt, asafoetida, and turmeric powder. Stir well.
  4. Close the pan with a lid and let it cook for five minutes. You can add in 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.

2. Semolina porridge (7months+)

Semolina porridge (7months+)

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 flame. Roast semolina in it for a few minutes.
  2. Add water to the semolina. Stir and cook until there are no lumps.
  3. Turn off the flame. 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. Semolina halwa (1 year+)

Semolina halwa (1 year+)

Shutterstock

You will need:

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

How to prepare:

  1. Place a pan over medium flame. Add ¼ tsp of ghee and roast 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 some water. Add the jaggery and let it dissolve in 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 dry fruits and nuts along with some cardamom powder.
  7. You can add more water to adjust the consistency.

Semolina can be a nutritious addition to your baby’s diet. Since semolina is wheat, you can serve it as one of the first solids for your baby. You can use semolina as a base in several baby food dishes and mix it with vegetables or fruits. Pick organic semolina and stay alert to any signs of allergy for your baby’s safety.

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.
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
The following two tabs change content below.

Sindusha MS

Sindusha is a clinical nutritionist with over two years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She did her Masters in Food Science and Nutrition and has qualified UGC-NET. She interned as a quality control analyst and as a dietitian during her graduation. She was a part of several community nutrition projects and a phytochemical-based nutrition study during the same period.Sindusha freelances for health-based Products articles on MomJunction. Her passion for writing and extensive scientific knowledge help her create easily digestible, research-backed credible content for her readers.Cooking nutritious vegan and vegetarian delicacies, practising yoga, reading novels, solving jigsaw puzzles and participating in animal care are her hobbies.