Traditionally, Ragi is the first millet to be introduced to babies. To aid the developing digestive system, the nutrients are extracted from Ragi in the form of milk and the outer coverings are discarded.
Please do not use store bought powders for babies. Prepare this Finger Millet Milk Porridge(Ragi paal kanji) freshly before every feed. This takes less time, less effort but bestows more energy and more nutrients to your baby.
Ragi is considered as heat generating food, and so ghee is added for the cooling effect. Due to its rich iron content, Ragi might cause constipation and some ways to avoid it are:
- Cook well as raw ragi might constipate
- Add ghee as it acts as a Laxative
- Give more water especially warm water after 10 mins of the feed
- Include Banana in the diet for the day when you feed Ragi.
If you exclusively breastfeed for first 6 months, introduce this porridge at the seventh month. Even if you have started weaning from 4th month, this healthy porridge should be your right choice! Whichever month you introduce, be sure to introduce banana for few days before starting this porridge. Once accustomed to Ragi Milk porridge, from 8th month, whole Ragi porridge can be started.
Ragi paal kanji Recipe – Ingredients
Finger Millet – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1/4 tsp
Water – 1 cup
1. Soak Ragi in water overnight. You can just soak for 1-2 hours too but overnight soaking is preferable as it softens the millet and yields thick milk.2. Just 15 minutes before feeding, wash the soaked millets twice in water. Drain the water and transfer Ragi to Mixie jar.3. Grind it for few pulses and add water. Grind for few more pulses until the milk is extracted well.4. Place a thin cotton cloth on the mouth of a container. Pour the ground stuff over the cloth. Rinse the jar with some more water and pour it over the cloth.5. Hold all the corners of the cloth and squeeze out the Ragi milk. Transfer the extracted Ragi milk to a tawa. Add 1/4tsp ghee.6. Heat the tawa in sim flame and keep stirring. In few minutes, the milk thickens. Switch off the stove when the below shown consistency is reached.Healthy and easily digestible millet porridge is ready! Serve warm!
- Once prepared, feed this within an hour. It is always good to feed fresh food to babies.
- As it thickens quickly, from the start, cook in sim flame, giving some more time for it to cook well.
- Do not tend to add ghee at the end. Let the ghee cook with the milk.
- When you are in hurry, you can even soak for half an hour and extract the milk. In such case, add some more Ragi.
- This is best for breakfast. Any time before evening is preferable. Do not feed this for dinner.
- As I have repeatedly mentioned, I don’t prefer adding salt/sugar for babies below 1 year. I am sure your baby will enjoy this food without any more additions.
- Warning! Mother’s milk is sufficient for babies till 6 months. Think twice and discuss with your Paed before starting other food!
Finger Millet – Protein, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Polyphenols, Amino acids, Folic acid, Vitamins A&B