Spinach Poha for Babies and Toddlers

Spinach Poha

Spinach Poha

When you have a baby who’s recently started eating food, one of the standard questions you’ll get is what are you feeding him. 🙂 And that’s how it was when I was speaking with my doctor aunty’s assistant. After she heard what I was feeding Devansh, she asked me why don’t you give him poha. I said how can I feed poha to a baby who can’t chew food. She asked me to cook it in water or milk like you would a khichdi or porridge. I can’t thank her enough for this suggestion as poha is one of the quickest dishes to cook. As I’ve said earlier, I didn’t want to introduce cow/buffalo milk in Devansh’s diet till he turned 1. So I decided to cook this in water with haldi and hing. You’ll notice that I cook practically everything with haldi and hing. 🙂 We Indians are familiar with the medicinal benefits of haldi and hing. Also, I think using them in a lot of our cooking is a Maharashtiran habit. 🙂 If you don’t have spinach at the time of making this, you can use mashed vegetables. See I told you storing mashed vegetables in bulk can help you in many recipes. 🙂

Spinach Poha Recipe

Easy and simple, yet a very nutritious poha recipe for babies and toddlers that will come in handy when you've run out of ideas for meals for li'l ones.
Ingredients
  • 5 tbsp poha (flattened rice)

  • Pinch of hing (asafoetida)

  • Pinch of haldi (turmeric powder)

  • 1/4th tsp jeera (cumin seeds) powder

  • Pinch of red chili powder (optional)

  • 1 tbsp homemade ghee (clarified butter)

  • 2-3 tbsp pureed spinach

  • Salt to taste

Steps
  1. Wash poha properly before using it for cooking.

  2. Heat 2 cups of water in a pan/vessel and bring it to a boil.

  3. Add poha, haldi, hing, jeera powder, and salt.(Note: 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.)

  4. Stir for 5-10 minutes till the poha has the desired consistency. For smaller babies, you’ll want to ensure that the poha has dissolved in the water completely so it’ll almost be like porridge.

  5. Add pureed spinach. Make sure that the spinach is cooked for at least 5 minutes before it is pureed or your child may find it difficult to digest. (If your baby has just started eating solids, use just 1-2 tsp of spinach. Gradually go on increasing the quantity of spinach.)

  6. Stir for 2 minutes and then turn off heat.

  7. Serve with homemade ghee. Ghee is supposed be good for nerves, brain, digestion, and boosting our immune system. In addition, it enhances the taste of the dish. So I always add ghee to Devansh's food.

For older babies and toddlers you can try the following slightly less bland variation
  1. Follow steps 1-4 as listed above.

  2. Heat a pan and add 1 tsp of homemade ghee to it.

  3. Add about 1/4th tsp of jeera powder to the ghee and stir it. You can choose to not add jeera to poha earlier if you are adding it now.

  4. Add pureed spinach. If your baby’s older than a year or so and you want to introduce spicy food (teekha khana) to him/her, add a pinch of red chili powder. For toddlers, you can mash boiled spinach leaves coarsely instead of pureeing them. You want them to start chewing food gradually. 🙂

  5. Stir for a couple of minutes.

  6. Add cooked poha and stir well before turning off the heat.

  7. Serve with homemade ghee.

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