The benefits of ragi
A baby’s nutrition is one of the biggest worries for a mother. After the initial months, where breast milk is the only food given to the baby, it is time to introduce him/her to new foods. However, it is important that you choose the right food item that is not only nutritious but also easy to make. Ragi, also known as nachni in some parts of India, is one such cereal that is apt to be given as one of the first outside foods to your baby.
AKA: Nachni or Finger Millet
Ragi: nutritional benefits
Calcium content: During the early years of vigorous growth and development, it is important that the baby has strong bones. Thus, giving adequate amount of vitamin D and calcium is important. Ragi is a very rich source of calcium. It helps in bone development and keeps bone problems like osteoporosis later in life at bay.
Fibre content: Babies need to be fed multiple times in a day. Thus, you need food that digests easily. Ragi contains a high amount of dietary fibre which helps in easy digestion. It also keeps the baby fuller for longer. Ragi is also known to reduce the risk of diabetes in kids.
Amino acid content: Ragi contains amino acids like methionine and lecithin that help in reducing cholesterol levels in the child, thus preventing obesity. It also helps to eliminate excess fat from the liver. The amino acid threonine found in ragi prevents the formation of fat in the liver and helps in reducing blood cholesterol.
Iron content: This cereal is a great source of natural iron. Thus, it is very helpful in kids suffering from anemia. Sprouted ragi also contains high levels of vitamin C, which help in the better absorption of iron in the body.
Antioxidant content: Babies can get anxious or fussy. If your baby feels the same, giving ragi can be a good option. Ragi benefits also include its rich antioxidant content. This can help lift the baby’s mood and ease him/her when anxious.
Protein content: Parents are often worried about their kids not gaining weight as the baby’s weight is an important indicator of a developmental milestone. This high protein content helps in muscle formation. Thus, the benefits of ragi can be seen for weight gain in children.
Including ragi in your baby’s diet
Ragi is very easy to cook and is a must-have item in your kitchen. There are several ways in which you can pass ragi health benefits to your child. Ragi can be given in the form of whole grain rotis, sprouts, and also in a powdered form. For young babies, powered ragi is easy to use.
Preparing ragi porridge
You can introduce ragi to your baby in the form of porridge. Sauté two teaspoons of ragi powder with one spoon of ghee in a cooking pan. To this add one cup of water and half a cup of milk. Stir the mixture well to ensure that no lumps are formed. To this add a little jaggery for taste. As seen above, benefits of ragi for babies are plenty and it should be included in your baby’s diet on a regular basis.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.
Also read: Weaning In the Initial Months
Explore the entire collection of articles: Baby Foods