Ragi malt is a very simple vegan and gluten-free porridge preparation for babies. Ragi or finger millet is rich in calcium and iron and highly recommended for babies (and adults alike!).
Ever since we started exploring cooking with millets, ragi has been one of my favorite to cook with. I totally love the nutty, earthy flavor of Ragi (finger millet). It is super healthy, especially with high calcium and iron content. Ragi malt and ragi and banana cereal drink are two of my go-to breakfast meals. And I am so glad that Sarah also loves the malt!
I feed her this ragi porridge for either breakfast or mid-morning snack. For mumma and papa, the basic preparation remains the same. I just add a generous sprinkle of seeds, raisins and nuts on top of it. They make it a complete breakfast and also add more texture to the smooth malt.
How to make Ragi Malt for babies?
Basic ragi malt is made with just 3 ingredients — water, ragi flour, and a little jaggery. When just starting, start with a small quantity of 1 tbsp ragi flour cooked in ½ cup water and just a pinch of jaggery.
- Mix 1 tbsp of Ragi flour in a little water to make a paste without lumps.
- Boil remaining water with jaggery in a small saucepan till the jaggery dissolves.
- Add the ragi flour paste and stir continuously till there are no lumps. Cook till it bubbles and is thick enough.
- Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature before feeding.
Consistency of Ragi Malt: I prefer a thick consistency and feed it with a spoon but it can also be made as a runny drink. Once the ragi malt is cooked, adjust the consistency by adding more water for thinner or cooking more on low for thicker consistency.
I have been using regular organic ragi flour for making malt for ourselves but with Sarah I have now switched to sprouted ragi flour. As she grew older (8m+), I also started adding some more flavors to the malt like a little cardamom powder or cinnamon powder. For older kids, add powdered/chopped dry fruits as well.
Ragi Malt (Ragi porridge) for babies
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 2 tbsp ragi flour I use organic sprouted ragi flour
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp jaggery powder
- 1 pinch cardamom powder optional
- In a bowl, mix the ragi flour with about ¼ cup water to make a paste.
- Put on high heat, the remaining water with jaggery in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
- Slowly add the ragi flour paste with constant stirring. Stir till there are no lumps and bubbles appear in the malt. Mix in cardamom powder (if using).
- Continue to cook on low heat for a thicker consistency or add more water for a thinner consistency. *
- Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature before feeding your baby.
- Nutritional Information is approximate information for 1 serving for an 8-10 month old baby.
- *The malt will become slightly thicker when it cools down.
- When you baby is 8months+ and if you are introducing spices in her food, you can add some cardamon powder or cinnamon powder to the malt while cooking it.
- When making for adults, adjust sweetness according to your taste and top with seeds and nuts for more nutrition, flavor and texture.
Is Ragi Malt good for babies?
Finger millet (Ragi) stands tall among all grains in nutritive value and safety. Naturally gluten-free, alkaline and very easy to digest. Ragi is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and Vitamin B1 and B3. But ask your doctor before you start your baby on Ragi.
Our daughter has been eating ragi malt since she was 5 months old and it continues to remain one of her favorite breakfast cereal even now at 10 months.
When to give your baby Ragi Malt?
In India, especially in the South, Ragi malt is used to initiate solids in infants (at around 6 months). It has been the same with our daughter. But it totally depends on you and your baby. Some signs that your baby is ready for solids are:
- She is between 4 and 6 months old.
- She has doubled birth weight.
- She can sit upright with support and has the ability to “lean in” for more food.
- She can turn away to express “no more”.
- She seems interested in what you are eating.
- She can bring an object to her mouth.
Before starting solids, always consult with your pediatrician and also tune into your baby. While most babies are ready for solids between 4 and 6 months, every baby has her/his individual development. Don’t hurry and don’t worry if s/he doesn’t take it!
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What solid food did your baby start with? It is a good idea to introduce millets before they become too picky with food. Whole millets can easily be a healthy alternative to rice or make healthy millet cookies which you will not have to keep at a height they can’t reach! Click here for more millet recipes.
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