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Discover the Goodness of Millets

Get children used to millets early; it will help them in their adult lives as well!

Some simple steps to get better nutrient bang from the millet buck!

  • Use the grain more than the fl our
  • Sprout the millets before grinding while making dosa
  • Ferment and then steam cook like in idly
  • Sprout millets to add to salads
  • Boil/pressure cook millets – khichdi, pongal, porridge

Tips to make millets palatable to children

  • Instead of announcing the inclusion of millets as a ‘health initiative’, add them to your regular meals without making a fuss.
  • To start with, mix a small proportion of millet fl our in dosa batter or paratha dough. Slowly increase the content of millets.
  • Introduce millets in treats – laddoos, cookies, cakes, biscuits. Pop sorghum to make a healthy snack.
  • Try pooris with a combination of bajra and wheat fl our. Combine millets with your child’s favourite ingredients – jowar fl our with spring onions, ragi fl our with potatoes – to make parathas. Some stores that stock organic and health foods sell jowar, bajra, ragi fl akes – mix with milk, honey, nuts and raisins for a healthy breakfast.
  • Roast and grind millets to fl ours and make a healthy porridge with milk, nuts and raisins for young children.
  • Begin the journey to whole millets with semi-polished rice, move on to brown rice and fi nally switch to millets for some meals.
  • Encourage children to try millets instead of rice for one course in a meal – for example, with curds. Make fried rice with little millet – sure to be a hit!
  • Some restaurants serve/sell millet parathas/rotis – try these so you can expose your family to a good dish presented well!


How to get started with millets?

Millets are not difficult to cook, what is required though is a change in mindset. “It seems daunting at first,” says Viji Srinivasan from Chennai who has recently started using millets in day-to-day recipes, “but once you start doing it you realise it is not very different from cooking rice. I regularly make pongal, idlis, with millets. Initially I was making it for myself as I am a diabetic, but now my whole family eats it as they like the taste!” Most millets need to be pressure cooked and may require some tweaks such as pre-soaking, warm water and some oil to make a dough, and adjustments in the millet-to-water ratio.


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