When my son was six months old, I was hounded by a whole lot of people around me, advising me to start him on daal and grains. As much as unsolicited advice is irritating, it definitely got me thinking. I started with ragi and stuck to it for a good 4 weeks. However, later, I began to realise I had to introduce him to other grain forms too. My mom told me that khichadi was a wonderful way to introduce grains to a toddler and that's how I started on different grains. If you are wondering what grains you can introduce to your child other than rice and wheat, we give you a complete list!
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Khichadi is not just a staple in our home but for toddlers it becomes a good comfort food too! Add veggies to make khichadi a complete meal, or simply serve it straight with a good dollop of ghee!
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1. Cracked Wheat or Dalia
Dalia is one of the most easily digestible foods for babies. Broken wheat or dalia is available in thick and thin varieties and is very different from sooji or rawa. While making dalia khichdi you could also mix equal parts of rice and load it with some veggies, to make it a complete meal. Dalia is also rich in fibre, protein, and vitamin, thereby keeping your baby full for longer. Here’s the recipe!
Also add broken wheat in: Upma, kheer, halwa, pulav, whip it with bananas and milk for a healthy milkshake
Image source: yetanotherfoodie.blogspot.in
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If you thought buckwheat was a kind of wheat, you may be wrong! Buckwheat or Kasha is a gluten-free seed, which is tossed into the grain category. Roasted buckwheat or Kasha makes for wonderful hearty foods such as muffins, pancakes, and even khichdi. Buckwheat is high in fibre and also contains Iron, Niacin, Folate and even Vitamin K. So it’s time you include this wonder grain in your baby’s meal! Click here for the recipe.
Also add buckwheat in: Muffins, waffles, cookies, salad, risotto, pancakes, granola, crackers, multigrain bread
Image source: rosannadavisonnutrition.com
Quinoa, like buckwheat, is a seed, which falls under the grain category. Slowly making its way into Indian supermarkets, quinoa is becoming a substitute for rice in many homes, especially for babies. The type of quinoa most commonly available is ivory in colour, but you can also find pink, red, brown and black varieties. And the good news is that you can use differently-coloured quinoa seeds and make your baby’s meal more interesting. Quinoa contains lots of calcium, plus phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins E and B, fibre and iron. It also contains all the essential amino acids and is an excellent source of protein for vegetarian babies. Try the recipe now!
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Also add quinoa in: Pulav, pudding, salad, mix it with berries for breakfast, patties.
Image source: rosannadavisonnutrition.com
While most of us might have introduced ragi to our babies, in the form of porridge, this grain can also be used to make khichdi. Ragi Khichdi is a wholesome twist to a traditional khichdi, making your baby feel full for longer. Apart from being easily digestible, ragi is loaded with goodness in the sense that it is rich in amino acids and fibre and also prevents calcium and iron deficiencies. If you wish to increase your baby’s immunity, then ragi is definitely for you.
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Also add ragi in: Malpua, cookies, dosa, laddoo, mudde,, roti, halwa
Image source: giniann.wordpress.com
One of the oldest foods known to mankind and possibly one of the first cereal grain to be used in homes, millets are available in various varieties in India. Barnyard millet also known as Kuthiraivali in Tamil and is widely used as baby food. While your grandparents at home might have told you about millet kheer and dosa, you could also try and make a tasty khichdi out of this grain. Loaded with proteins, vitamin B12, and iron, millets can benefit your baby in ways more than just one. Foxtail millet, pearl millet, little millet and dodo millet are some of the other forms available in India. Recipe for babies and adults.
Also add millets in: Millet-honey balls, biryani, adai, dosa, modak, idli, kesari, idiyappam, cookies, cakes.
This list would just be incomplete without including our very staple, rice. While you might have mastered the white rice and moong khichdi, give it a slight twist and try red rice. Red rice is low in calorific value and also high in fibre, which means it will keep your baby fuller without feeling heavy. Throw in your usual veggies and you will see how much your baby enjoys it!
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Also add rice in: Pulav, biryani, kheer, kodak, kesari, pongal, cookies, pancakes, dosa, idli, vada, multigrain porridge.
Image source: healthyvelg.com
7. Rajgira atta or Amaranth flour
Until six months, most babies are on exclusive breastfeed so there is no need for extra iron. But post that, there are a lot of nutrients, we need to pump into the baby's system. Yet another grain which gives your baby all the goodness is Rajgira. Just throw in some veggies, a little bit of ginger and your baby is sure to enjoy his meal. Rajgira khichadi is as delicious as it is healthy.
Also add rajgira in: Puris, kheer, dosa, paratha, kadhi, cutlet, halwa, or even rajgira pizza!
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