When Devansh started eating solids, a lot of my Maharashtrian friends and relatives told me to give him nachni satva (ragi malt), as ragi is rich in calcium. Ragi is undoubtedly one of the healthy foods for babies. Usually ragi malt is given to babies mixed with milk. However, I didn’t want to start giving Devansh cow/buffalo milk till he turned one. So, I cooked ragi malt in water. I bought sugarless ragi malt and so I used to add jaggery to it. Devansh didn’t like this sweet ragi porridge at all. He’d eat a couple of spoonfuls and then turn his face away. Even 7 month olds know how to be extremely stubborn. So I had to relent and gave up trying to feed him ragi porridge. But I was desperate to include ragi in his diet. That’s when a dear friend of mine, Sangeeta, told me to try giving him ragi porridge with garlic added to it. I decided to give it a try. And much to my delight Devansh liked the garlicky version much better. He still wouldn’t eat as much as I wanted him to. So I tried adding a little jaggery to it and voila this ragi porridge was a hit. Discussing healthy food ideas with others sure helps. 🙂
I have to admit, initially I was very skeptical to start giving garlic to an eight month old but Devansh loved it. Garlic is known to be good for digestion and if the mother is eating spicy food during the time she’s breastfeeding the baby, the baby is familiar with the spicy taste anyways. So it’s really up to you when you want to include garlic in your baby’s diet but I’d say this porridge is suitable for eight month and older babies. Just make sure that you grate the garlic finely so your baby can swallow it properly. Give it a try. 🙂
A healthy ragi porridge recipe for babies, toddlers, and kids—made using calcium-rich finger millet (ragi/nachni) and good-for-digestion garlic.
- 4 tbsp ragi (finger millet) flour
- 1/4th tsp jeera (cumin seeds) powder
- 1 tbsp homemade ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/4th tbsp grated jaggery
- 1 medium clove of garlic
- Salt to taste (Optional. See note below.)
- Take a bowl and mix ragi flour with half a cup of water in it. Ensure that there are no lumps in the mixture.
- Add salt and a cup of water.
- Grate a clove of garlic finely. If you think your baby won’t like his/her porridge too garlicky, you can use one small clove of garlic.
- Heat a pan and add ghee to it.
- Immediately add jeera powder and stir it.
- Add grated garlic and stir.
- Add the mixture in the bowl to the pan. Remember that ghee heats up very quickly and you don’t want the burnt taste so you need to quickly add jeera powder, garlic, and flour mixture one after other.
- Add jaggery and stir well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring continuously.
- Turn off heat. This mixture will thicken after it cools off. So decide on the consistency accordingly before turning off the heat.
- It is recommended to avoid adding salt in babies' food till they turn one.
- However, in my case I found that Devansh just wouldn't eat his food without salt. Hence, I started adding little bit of salt in his food. You can decide whether you want to add salt or not after talking to your child's pediatrician.
- If you're using readymade ragi flour, I strongly recommend that you use an organic one. I doubt if the grains are washed properly before powdering them, which results in plenty of pesticide residue in the flour.