Poha for Kids, How to Make Sweet Poha Porridge for Toddlers, Kids,

Sweet Poha Porrdige Recipe
Sweet Poha Porridge

I have gotten into this annoying habit of taking afternoon naps. Now I know they say that afternoon naps are good for health; power naps provide a boost in energy and enhance your productivity etc etc… But when that nap stretches to over an hour it is too powerful for my liking. 🙂 I mean think of it, I can get so much done in that time—play Harbor Master on the iPad or Penguin Diner on the PC. 😀 Jokes apart, I really could use the siesta time to get some work done without the supervision of my rambunctious and super-energetic son. It is quite impossible for me to get any work done if Devansh is not kept busy elsewhere. If I’m in the kitchen he’ll follow me, open the trolleys, and pull spoons and vessels out, try to climb on the platform by using the handles on the trolleys as steps, drag a chair from the dining room and place it next to the sink and insist on me washing his hands then and there in the kitchen sink. If I’m folding the clothes, he’ll jump on the clothes shouting “jump jump” with glee—as if his actions need subtitles. If I’m loading clothes in the machine, he’ll insist that he’ll do it. After loading the clothes he’ll open the detergent tray and give instructions “Aai ithe taaban (saaban) ghaal.” (“Mom put the detergent here.”)

While I can’t deny that his antics are endearing and entertaining, it means I can hardly get any work done when he’s around. Doing my chores when he’s sleeping is a good solution. But the problem is he will go to sleep only if I sleep. He is one of those kids who will fight sleep with all his might. This reminds me of my friend Ashwini’s kiddo, Ashvik, who is 6 months older than Devansh. Ashvik thinks sleeping is a waste of time. Although Devansh hasn’t articulated that thought, even he probably thinks along those lines. I am sure most moms of toddlers and kids can totally relate to this scenario. Moms of babies, your time will come. :p Anyways, like I was saying, Devansh doesn’t sleep if I don’t sleep. So I have to sleep next to him—actually “sleep”, not just lie down. Till the time he actually falls asleep, he gets up every couple of minutes to see if my eyes are open. If they are and we make contact, then game over. He’ll spring up in bed immediately—somersaults, jumping on the bed etc etc activities start and we have to begin all over. In the process of lying still for 10-15 minutes and pretending to sleep, I actually do fall asleep and have now gotten very used to taking afternoon naps.

Then the other day, I had slept for only 5 hours the previous day and was feeling quite sleepy. So I ended up sleeping for two hours in the afternoon; Devansh and I woke up at the same time. I had to make him his evening snack in shortest time possible for two reasons—he was hungry and because he wouldn’t let me cook in peace. I considered my shortcut phataphat options; sheera, rava upma, vegetable poha (cooked in water not kanda poha style) came to mind. But Devansh had eaten rava upma for breakfast so I eliminated that option. Sheera would have meant repeating rava, so that too was eliminated. I had a packet of organic poha lying with me for a couple of weeks. Now organic poha or any organic product for that matter has a shorter shelf life as compared to its non-organic counterpart. So less cooking time and the urgency of finishing the poha packet were the deciding factors in my choosing poha.

As you know, poha or flattened/beaten rice doesn’t take long to cook; in fact it can even be eaten without cooking. Many people have raw poha, soaked in water or milk. My mother sometimes has it with curd. Although I have never had eaten raw poha except the occasional “dadpe pohe” that I must have had at some relative’s place. Somehow this Maharashtrian dish wasn’t made at my place all that much. It’s on my to-do list but waiting for some time till Devansh is more enthusiastic about food that requires proper chewing. To come back to Devansh’s evening snack, I didn’t want to make vegetable poha for him because my cooking style for that is almost identical to vegetable upma. I could have made poha carrot kheer but that would have taken at least half an hour to make. In my spinach poha post, I’d mentioned that my doc’s assistant had suggested feeding Devansh, poha cooked in milk. I decided to give that a shot; I added some cardamom, clove, and jaggery, and work it did—Devansh liked this sweet poha porridge. Hope your li’l one does too.

 

Sweet Poha Porridge Recipe

If you're looking for quick but healthy snacks recipes for toddlers or kids, try this sweet poha porridge flavored with cardamom and clove.
Author Mukta Tikekar

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tbsp poha (flattened/beaten rice)
  • 3/4th cup milk (see note below)
  • 1-2 cardamoms
  • 1 clove
  • jaggery as per taste

Instructions

  • Soak poha in some water for 5 minutes or so. (You needn't do this if you are using thin poha. Currently I'm using thickish organic poha that has few pieces of rice husks in it—by-product of it being less processed. So I wash it, take out the rice husks, and soak it in water for sometime to soften it.)
  • Transfer the poha to a pan, add half a cup of water and cook it on medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes. As we're using less water, the poha can get stuck to the pan. So make sure to keep stirring the poha as it cooks. (I don't use a non-stick pan for this recipe. Planning on reducing it's usage to only when necessary.)
  • After the poha is cooked, add milk. Now cook the poha on low heat. You can cook poha in (1 cup) milk directly if you want; especially, if you're using thin poha that doesn't take long to cook. I cooked poha in milk the first time. But I get scared of milk curdling, so now I cook the poha in water first and then add milk after it's cooked.
  • Extract seeds from the cardamom pods, and then add those to the mixture along with a clove. You can powder the seeds if you are making the porridge for babies who won't be able to chew them properly.
  • Keep stirring the mixture till it reaches desired consistency.
  • Turn off heat and then add jaggery. Keep stirring till the jaggery melts. If you grate the jaggery before adding it, it'll melt faster. As I've written in my Carrot Poha Kheer post, adding jaggery earlier will cause the milk to curdle. So add the jaggery only after turning off heat.
  • Remove the piece of clove from poha before serving it to your li'l one.

Notes

For babies younger than one year, cook the porridge in water and then add breast milk or formula after turning off heat.

10 thoughts on “Poha for Kids, How to Make Sweet Poha Porridge for Toddlers, Kids,”

  1. Hi Mukta,
    My baby boy "Reet" is 13 month old… by god's grace he is a healthy baby but one problem he has is constipation. he doesnot poop regularly. May I request you to suggest something which will help him poop regularly with ease and avoid constipation. Thank you !!
    you are doing a great job and it is helping moms like me. thanks again !!

  2. Hi Moumita,

    Following foods are good for constipation..try and include them in Reet's diet:

    Prunes: You get the dried ones easily. Soak them in water for 4-5 hours at least and see if your son will chew them. Best eaten along with the seed, if he refuses to chew them, give him prune juice.

    Pears: Peel them and feed him.

    Pineapple: Give him the juice, it's supposed to be good for the digestive system.

    Figs: These are excellent for constipation. Again if you can't get the fresh ones, you can buy dried ones. Soak them in water for 4-5 hours at least to soften them and get him to eat it. If he refuses grind them coarsely and feed him the paste.

    Oatmeal: These are high in fiber content. Food made from whole grains is high in fiber, so include that in his diet.

    Feed Reet food that is high in fiber and give him lots of fluids.

    I had shared this article about toddler constipation on my FB page a while back. You'll find it helpful. Do take a look:

    http://children.webmd.com/guide/toddler-constipation-causes-treatments

    1. You're welcome Jocelyn…glad you liked the recipe. You can use organic jaggery if you're concerned about the chemicals in jaggery. Jaggery is a good source of iron…of course consult your LO's pediatrician if you're concerned about including in your daughter's diet. I use organic jaggery in our daily cooking as well. 🙂

  3. can we put sugar instead of jaggery as jaggery is not available in my kitchen. my baby is 2 yrs old… plz tell.

    1. Simar I really would advice against sugar. Try avoiding sugar for your baby as much as you can. Where do you stay? Jaggery is available with most grocers easily. Finding organic jaggery requires some work but jaggery can be found easily. Whenever you need to sweeten your child’s food it’s good to use jaggery as it has good iron content. Sugar is chemically processed and regular intake from young age leads to many health problems later on in life.

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