Baby Food

After I had baby, I have been getting a lot of requests for baby food. Many readers are asking for those traditional recipes which are fed to babies from many generations in India. I haven’t prepared anything special for my baby so far, accept this baby food. Ishaan is almost 8 months old now and I pretty much feed him what we eat, I usually cook one side dish daily that he can eat. I rely on Earth’s best/Gerber baby foods, rice cereals etc when he is at daycare.

My parents sent the ingredients of this baby food. Aayi collected this recipe from a cousin – Aditi, who has a small baby. Usually this can be fed for babies of age 6 months and up. It has proteins in the form of dal and also Ayurvedic roots which are good for health. Because Ishaan does not take cow’s milk yet, I just make it in thick paste and feed him with spoon.

Most of the ingredients here, are very common day to day ingredients.

Vayuvilang(Vidang) is added to food for it’s medicinal properties. It helps in getting rid of gas and worms. It looks a lot like peppercorn. It is also added to gravies many times to avoid gas.

Baje or Ekkand is sometimes mixed with water and applied to baby’s tongue, people say that it helps in learning to talk early (Bhashe evche in Konkani).

Ashwagandhi is a root with medicinal properties.

Ingredients for powder:
1/4 kg basmati rice
200gm moong dal
125gm parboiled rice (ukdo tandul/matta rice)
125gm wheat
60gm finger millet(ragi/nanchno)
50gm toor dal
50gm dried peas
2 almonds
15gm pista
1 piece ashwagandhi
1/2 tea spn vayuvilang
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
3 black raisins(sukkil drakshi)
1 small piece baje(ekkand)
2 peppercorns
1 small nutmeg(jaiphal)
2 cardamoms
1-2 dry dates (uthuthi)

Method:
Keep all the ingredients for a day or two under hot sun.
Powder them and store in a air tight container.

While Feeding:
Heat 1/2 cup water. In a bowl, mix 1 tea spn of powder in a little cold water to remove any lumps and add it to boiling water. Keep mixing with a spoon to avoid any lumps. When the mixture thickens (it turns a lighter color), take it off heat.

You can add a little salt or sugar to it while feeding the baby.

I add a drop of molasses(liquid jaggery/pattal god) to it while feeding. Sometimes I mash up a banana or some other fruit mix with it for the sweetness instead of adding molasses.

If the baby takes milk, add enough milk to it and feed (like a drink).

Important Notes:
- Doctors here in US advice against giving any dry fruits to babies under age of 1 because some babies can have severe allergies to them. So be very careful.
- If one or more of the ingredients is not available, leave it out and try with remaining.
- Sugar (or molasses) is good to avoid for infants. In my case it is the only way I can get my baby eat this. I just add a drop of it to get my baby eat it. I want to leave it out completely as soon as possible. Add fruit whenever you can instead of sugar/molasses.
- As per doctors here in US, whole milk cannot be given to babies under age of 1. In India, cow’s milk was fed from a very young age. So add milk if your baby takes it, otherwise feed as it is.

Very important note : After all it is your baby and you know what suits your baby. So use discretion while feeding this.

I will post some more pictures of it when I can, it is very hard to take pictures with a small baby in one hand!!!. Since I was getting many requests, I thought of atleast posting the recipe.

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