How Beneficial are Dals for Babies?
Kids need the necessary nutritious food each and every day for their growth and development. Once baby turns 6 months, breast milk is still a vital source of nutrition but it is not sufficient by itself. Now, it is essential to introduce your little one to solid foods like suji (semolina), potato, daliya, rice, lentils, etc. besides breast milk, to sustain with their growing needs.
Lentils (dals) are edible legumes that grow in pods. Dals come in various sizes and colours. Even though they are a good way of getting a wide variety of nutrients, they are often forgotten when it comes to everyday diet.
Benefits of Dal as Food for Babies
Dals are a vital source of protein, specially essential amino acids such as isoleucine and lysine They are not only high in fibre, but also good sources of B-vitamins, iron, folate, manganese and zinc for the entire family and form an amazing food for babies.
Immunity - As dals are a great source of zinc, they help to improve the immunity of the baby. Zinc also affects the way neurons function. Hence, impacts memory and learning, which are both significantly crucial for baby's growth and development.
Overall Development - Dals are superb source of folate. Folate is highly necessary for baby since it works with bodily processes to make new cells and boosts his/ her internal development.
Good for Gut - Dals are high in fibre, which maintains regular bowel movements along with the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Consuming lentils does increase your stool weight as well as improve overall gut function.
Iron - Being rich in iron, dals help your little one to stay active besides assisting in brain development.
Calcium - Legumes and lentils provide a fair amount of calcium to your child, thus supporting bone growth and development.
What Is The Right Time To Introduce Dals To Babies?
Feeding dals to your little one has numerous benefits that not only support his/ her physical development but also his/ her overall well-being. You may introduce dals once your little one is ready for solids. However, the best time to introduce is approximately between 9 to 11 months. In order to make dals easily digested by the baby, soak them for at least a couple of hours or even overnight. Then drain, rinse and cook till they are very soft and mushy.
How can Babies consume Dals?
Cooking dals at home, as food for babies is very easy. For instance, red lentils (Dhuli Masoor Dal) cook really quickly and are extra smooth than other dals. Dhuli masoor dal is perfect for soups and purees, hence making it an exceptional choice as food for babies. Babies older than 12 months also enjoy well-cooked green lentils (Moong Dal). Fermented or sprouted dals can also be added to baby’s diet. This is because as both of these processes increase the nutritional value while making food to be easily digested.
Babies usually enjoy dal and vegetable purée as well as khichdi. Gradually as your baby is ready, you may also give them boiled dal vegetable salad or dal with mashed potatoes/ sweet potatoes and even dal with roti.
Try the Organic Dals from Tata Sampann as they are produced organically, thus retaining their natural taste and nutritional value, helping you to include the right nutrients in your child’s diet.
The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.