When and How to Introduce Whole Grains to Baby and Children

Introducing whole grains to your baby's diet can provide necessary energy and nutrients, and encourage healthy eating habits. This blog discusses the benefits of whole grains, how to incorporate them into your child's meals, and includes simple and healthy whole grain recipes for even the pickiest eaters. It also provides information on wheat allergies and gluten-free options. Join the Babynama Whatsapp community for further consultation on your child's health and development.

What makes grains such a good first food for newborns?

**Did you know that by the age of 12, two-thirds of children have outgrown their allergies? **

Is it Possible for Babies to Digest Whole Grains?

How can I encourage my child to consume more whole grains?

When introducing solids to babies at 6 months, whole grains should be included as they provide necessary energy and have a good carb-to-protein ratio. Encouraging healthy eating habits in childhood can have a long-term positive impact.

Learn about whole grains and how to incorporate them into your baby's diet.

Whole Grains: What Are They?

Whole grains are grains that contain the bran, endosperm, and germ, making them a nutritious option for newborns and older children.

  • The bran, the outermost layer of the grain, contains nutrients like iron, thiamine, and zinc, while the germ, the second layer, is high in fiber, vitamins, and proteins.

  • The endosperm, the third layer, is high in carbohydrates and protein.

  • Processed cereals, on the other hand, typically only contain the endosperm and are not as nutritious as whole grain cereals.

Why Should Children Be Given Whole Grains?

  • Be creative with cooking to add more whole grains and dietary fiber to your child's meals

  • Use grains like oats, bulgur, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and barley in different ways

  • Mix nutritious grains with veggies or add high-fiber items to mixed dishes

  • Start the day with a fiber-rich breakfast like whole-grain cereal or oatmeal

  • Choose whole grains over refined grains when buying bread, pasta, and other grains

  • Offer healthy snacks like fruit jam on bread, popcorn, and cereal bars with whole grains

How Can You Get Your Child to Eat Whole Grains?

Encouraging your child to eat whole grains from a young age helps them build a healthy habit.

Whole Grain Recipes that are Simple and Healthy

Here are some helpful hints for making even the pickiest eaters fall in love with whole-grain foods:

  • Moong Dal Khichdi with Vegetables:

Add different veggies to Moong Dal Khichdi with ghee and sauté. Season with 1 pinch turmeric and salt to taste after adding half cup thoroughly washed & soaked rice and dal. Cook until 4-5 whistles have been heard. Remove from the cooker and set aside to cool; if necessary, add more ghee.

  • Porridge made with oats:

Combine oats, water, and milk in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Add sugar as needed and continue to stir till the consistency of the mixture thickens. Wait for it to cool a little and serve it to your child.

  • Plain Khichdi:

Add washed and soaked rice and dal in a pressure cooker followed by ingredients like salt and turmeric as per taste. Cook for 3-4 whistles in medium flame. Cool before serving with a tablespoon of ghee to your child. These meals might be a simple but very nutritious choice for children.

  • Baked bread:

Use whole grain flours like quinoa, chickpea, or sorghum to make bread. These nutrient-dense whole grains with a strong flavor can be used to make kid-friendly dishes like a veggies-loaded sandwich. Try to use quinoa or other whole grains as bread in a fun way to get whole grains into your child's diet.

If your child enjoys healthy grains, whole grains may become a stand-alone meal for them. With these simple and healthy whole grain recipes, you can ensure your child is getting the nutrition they need in a tasty way.


What are Wheat Allergens?

Wheat allergens are substances in wheat that trigger an allergic reaction in some people.

Is wheat a common allergen?

Yes, wheat is one of the most common dietary allergies in children.

Is it safe for babies to eat gluten?

Yes, as long as the baby does not have a wheat allergy, non-celiac gluten intolerance, or celiac disease.

Is it possible to delay or avoid wheat allergies by delaying eating wheat?

There is no evidence that delaying or limiting the introduction of wheat beyond the age of 4 to 6 months protects against wheat allergy or celiac disease.

What should you do if your child has a wheat allergy?

Consult your pediatrician for advice on the ideal foods for your child and include naturally gluten-free foods in their diet.

What are the symptoms of wheat allergy and celiac disease?

Wheat allergy symptoms may include rashes or wheezing, while celiac disease symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, irritability, poor weight gain, and delayed growth.


Incorporate whole grains into your child's diet by selecting whole grain substitutes for their favorite foods. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks, should all include whole grains. Gradually increase consumption and consult your pediatrician before making any dietary changes.

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