Millet in Baby Food Recipes – When Can Baby Have Millet? Age for Introducing Millet is around 6-8 months
Millet is often thought of a “bird seed” and while it is an ingredient in bird seed, it is also a nutritious and versatile grain to offer to babies. Millet can be made soft and creamy or into couscous or even a main ingredient in pilaf.
Like barley, the size and shape of barley also makes it a great finger food! When your baby is moving on to finger foods, cooked millet makes a great food to help get baby’s pincher grasp pinching.
The Goodness of Millet for Baby
Millet is rich in B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and is even considered a good protein source. Millet is very versatile and may be used as a cereal, as a pilaf or in any dish that uses rice.
Millet (one cup, cooked) Protein 6.11 g
Vitamin A – 5 IU
Vitamin C – 0 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – .18 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – .14 mg
Niacin – 2.3 mg
Folate – 33 mcg
Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.
Potassium – 108 mg
Phosphorus – 174 mg
Magnesium – 77 mg
Calcium – 5 mg
Sodium – 3 mg
Iron – 1.09 mg
Also contains small amounts of manganese, copper and zinc.
When can Millet be introduced to baby?
Introduce millet to baby from 6-8 months of age. Making homemade millet baby cereal is great way to first introduce millet to you baby. As with all other foods, you should always consult your pediatrician when introducing solids as generalities may not apply to your baby.
How to select and store Millet for baby food
Whole Millet may be stored for several months in a cool dry place. Most packaged millet will have a “best if used by” date on the package to help you with storage times. Millet should be stored in an air tight container and preferably in your refrigerator. You can store millet in a cool dry place however ensure that you check on the status of the grains if you use them infrequently.
When using and storing ground millet for baby cereal, the natural oils that come from the grain may become rancid without refrigeration. When purchasing any type of milled whole grain, it’s always best to buy smaller quantities to ensure that your whole grains are used prior to them going rancid.
The same “rules” apply to rice powder or oat powder, barley powder etc. that you have ground (milled) for your homemade baby cereal. You should store it in an air tight container, in a cool dry place but preferably in the refrigerator if your home is warm.
The best way to cook Millet
When cooking ground millet “powder” for homemade baby cereal, use about 1/4 cup of powder per 1-2 cups of water – more or less as you see fit. The key is to whisk whisk whisk as you are cooking to avoid clumping.
If you soak whole grain millet for a few hours, you may cook it like rice. It will take about 20 minutes. Millet will add texture to soups and stews. You can also add it (in its dry, un-soaked form) to baked goods much as you would add wheat germ.
Millet will expand much like rice so a good rule of thumb is 1 cup of millet per 2-3 cups of water when using it without it being ground.
Add pureed fruits and vegetables to baby’s homemade millet cereal – ensure that you have followed the 4 day wait rule.
Millet Baby Food Recipes
Toasted Millet Baby Cereal
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil – use olive oil for more nutrition.
- 1 cup whole grain millet
- 2 cups boiling water
Step 1: In a large pan, heat oil. Add 1 cup millet and saute. Stir the millet in the pan until it begins to “toast” and turn brown.
Step 1: Add 2 cups of boiling water. Cover the pan and simmer 30 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Let stand for five minutes and then “fluff” a bit.
Step 1: You may add spices such as cinnamon, ginger and vanilla, and also fruits, veggies and/or other foods that are age appropriate for your baby.
Millet , Carrots and Apples Stew
- 3 cups diced carrots
- 1/2 cup millet, uncooked
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup apple juice (you may use water if you wish)
- 1/2 cup diced apples
Step 1: In medium saucepan, combine carrots, the 1 1/2 cups water, the millet, diced apples and the apple juice.
Step 2: Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer your millet stew covered for approximately 20 minutes.
Millet Veggie Salad
- soft cooked millet(not pureed.)
- soft cooked carrots – diced
- soft cooked peas – smooshed if needed
- soft cooked chicken or beef – diced or shredded into small bits
Step 1: Toss all ingredients together in a bowl
Step 2: Serve as a finger food meal or snack.
Foods Good to Mix With Millet for Baby Food
Fruits, vegetables, yogurt and meats are all good foods to add and mix with barley homemade baby cereals. Try cooking Millet in a Homemade Veggie, Chicken or Beef Stock.
† Millet Information from Walton Feeds