Written by Pradeep
Once your baby turns six months and sprouts its first pearly whites, it is time to introduce semi-solids. Babies need a lot of nutrients to develop properly, and their tiny tummies do not allow them to eat much. For this reason, it is essential that you start their solid’s journey with nutrient-dense and growth-inducing foods. One such nutritious and highly versatile food is barley – and babies can benefit from this food in the form of barley water. We explain when and how to introduce barley water for babies and the advantages.
From the age of six months, a baby’s digestive system gets developed enough to handle solids gradually. The nutrition of breast milk isn’t enough to meet their growth and development needs. The semi-solids you introduce must be easy to digest and nutritious enough to meet all their nutritional requirements.
In This Article
Barley contains a range of vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds that are beneficial to health. Barley has a high fiber content
One-half cup (100 grams) of uncooked, hulled barley contains the following nutrients:
It also contains
Barley is rich in minerals too. 100 grams of barley contains
Barley may sound to you like the food of yesteryear, but the fact is that it is one of the most nutritious grains with immense health benefits. It is an excellent source of protein, folate, and fiber and contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, and iron. It is easily digestible and so makes up great first food for the baby. Barley is also non-allergenic – unless your baby has a history of celiac disease or gluten allergy.
Barley can be introduced to your baby between 5 and 6 months of age, depending on the suggestion of your pediatrician. Ideally, you can introduce this after completing the ceremony for the introduction of the first food, which is common in most Indian cultures. It can be blended into a soup-like consistency, and can even make for great finger food – given its shape. Please do remember that recommended age to introduce solids to your baby is 6 months.
For babies, always purchase hulled or pearled barley. Though hulled barley has more nutrition than pearled barley, pearled barley gets easily cooked and is widely available. Both pearled and hulled barley can be used to prepare baby food, and they tend to fluff to the size of a pea. It is also easy to store pearled barley – it can be stored for several months in a cool, dry place.
However, if you use hulled barley, make sure you check it before cooking. If you are grounding the barley yourself, watch out for the natural oils that may make it rancid too soon without refrigeration. Barley contains gluten, so make sure you discuss it with your doctor before offering it to your baby.
Barley water serves as a great weaning food for your baby, and given its benefits, it will surely help your baby grow and develop. When making barley water for your baby, you need to continuously whisk it to avoid lumps.
[Read: Is Apple Juice Safe For Babies?]
Age: 4+ months Cook Time: 60-75 minutes. Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Directions to Prepare Barley Water For Babies
If your doctor approves, you can. Babies below the age of 6 months are recommended to follow a milk-only diet. If your baby resists, do not force-feed.
Yes, they can. Barley has a high gluten content, which can be hard to digest. If your baby has celiac disease, barley can be unsafe.
Yes. If your baby has any gluten allergy or celiac disease, barley can cause severe side effects. Your baby can even develop gas and constipation
Please ask your doctor. Water is easier to digest than barley water. It may be hard on your baby’s digestive system.
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