Barley Water For Babies( Above 4 months)

5 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

barley water for babies

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

Nutritional Value of Barley

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:

  • Calories: 354
  • Carbs: 73.5 grams
  • Fiber: 17.3 grams
  • Protein: 12.5 grams
  • Fat: 2.3 grams

It also contains

  • Thiamine: 43% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Riboflavin: 17% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 23% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 16% of the RDI
  • Folate: 5% of the RDI

Barley is rich in minerals too. 100 grams of barley contains

  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 33% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 26% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 13% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 18% of the RDI
  • Copper: 25% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 97% of the RDI
  • Selenium: 54% of the RDI

Benefits of Barley Water For the Baby

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.

When Can I Introduce Barley to My Baby?

When Can I Introduce Barley to My Baby_

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.

How to Select and Store Barley?

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.

How to Make Barley Water For Babies?

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?]

Barley Water Recipe For Babies (4-6 Months)

Barley Water Recipe For Babies (4-6 Months)
Age: 4+ months  Cook Time: 60-75 minutes. Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • A tablespoon Barley powder( A spoon of barley can turn to more than a cup of cooked barley, so use it accordingly)
  • 2 cups pure drinking water (As a general rule, add 1/2 cup of barley to 2 cups of water)

Directions to Prepare Barley Water For Babies

  • Boil 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker
  • Add a tablespoon of barley to the boiling water.
  • You can pressure cook the barley for 4-5 whistles. Alternatively, let it simmer for about 40 minutes. Hulled barley may take about an hour and a half to get cooked.
  • Let the pressure release on its own.
  • Cool it and blend it in a blender.
  • You may add some boiled drinking water to adjust the consistency- it should not be too thin or too thick.
  • Strain into a clean and sterilized bowl and feed your baby with a clean spoon.
  • You can also serve it to your baby as a porridge.

Notes

  • Do not add salt to your baby’s food until they are a year old.
  • Some people have reservations about serving barley as a first food. Do seek your doctor’s advice.
  • If your baby has a wheat allergy, be extra careful about introducing barley to your baby.
  • Make sure your baby is sitting (with or without support) when you feed the baby.
  • Never give barley water or any other semi-solid to the baby in bottles.
  • You may soak the barley before cooking so that it cooks quickly.

[Read: Sugar Water For Babies – Is It Safe?]

FAQ’s

1. Can I Start Giving My 4 Month Old Barley Water?

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.

2. Can my Baby be Allergic to Barley Water?

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.

3. Can Barley Water Cause Any Side Effects in my 6 Month Old?

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

4. Can I Start Giving Barley Water Before I Start Giving Water to My Baby?

Please ask your doctor. Water is easier to digest than barley water. It may be hard on your baby’s digestive system.

Read Also: 5 Amazing Health Benefits Of Rice Water For Babies

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