Kids are very demanding and choosy and they will not eat something that does not look good no matter how healthy it is. A kid is more interested on how a meal looks rather than its nutrition content. As a mother I have always wondered how to prepare a healthy and nutrition packed meal for my kids and still get them to enjoy and I believe this is a major concern to many mothers as well.
In my search for healthy meals for my kids, I came across Ragi, a whole grain also referred to as kezhvaragu, nachni, kora or finger millet. Ragi is one of the healthiest whole grain available and it can be used to prepare a variety of recipes like porridge, cookies, cakes, chapattis, dosa, idli, kozhukattai etc. However, despite of its high nutrition content, if it is not well prepared most kids will not eat. If you have a batch of ragi powder but your kids are reluctant to take plain ragi kanji or porridge, there are other ways you can give ragi to your child.
Below are 8 healthy Ragi recipes for kids
1. Ragi flour porridge
Homemade ragi porridge is ideal as a weaning food for kids above the age of 7 months and it is quite easy to prepare. It is 100 percent pure with no added preservatives, chemicals and additives.
How to prepare ragi porridge?
Add two tablespoons of ragi powder to a pan and mix with about ¼ cup of water making sure that it does not form any lumps. Place the mixture on a medium flame and add more water while you continue stirring. When the mixture is thick enough, add any type of sweetener such as jaggery, palm sugar or date syrup or any regular sugar. Now add a ¼ cup milk and allow it to cook for about five minutes then add a teaspoon of ghee and switch off the flame.
2. Ragi parathas
Most babies love parathas and Ragi parathas are ideal for babies above 10 months.
How to prepare?
Ingredients: A third cup of cottage cheese,1 teaspoon of cumin/jeera powder, a pinch of turmeric, salt to taste, a half cup of wheat flour, half cup of ragi flour, Water, Oil, 2 tablespoon of ghee/ butter or oil.
In a wide bowl, put the ragi flour, wheat flour, salt and mix. Add little water at a time until you form a soft dough and when properly mixed, add oil and mix again to form a non-sticky dough. Mix the cheese, jeera powder, salt and turmeric well. Form lemon sized balls of the dough. Heat a non-stick pan on medium flame. Roll each ball at a time into a round shape, add about a tablespoon of filling, gather the round shape from the sides and close it, then roll the filled ball again. Cook the both sides of the paratha on a pan, each side takes about 1-2 minutes then spread butter/oil or ghee. When the parathas are ready, serve them hot preferably with curd or tomato sauce.
3. Ragi Idli
Ragi Idli is easily digestible snack which makes it ideal for kids. It is best served for breakfast but it can also serve as an evening snack.
Ragi idli recipe
Ingredients: A cup of ragi flour, Salt to taste, 1 half cup of urad dal; soak in water for about 3 hours, 1 cup cream of rice, a pinch of cooking soda.
Soak urad dal and idli rava separately in water for about 2-3 hours and then drain the water and mix them. Squeeze the water from cream of rice then add urad dal and ragi flour and mix well. Place the mixture in a warm place preferably in a microwave for about 10 hours to allow the mixture ferment. You will have a soft idlis and it will have doubled in volume after it has fermented. Add salt and cooking soda and mix well and the batter is ready to make idlis. To cook, grease an idli-maker with oil, fill it with the batter and steam it for about 15 minutes. Once ready, use a spatula to remove it and serve hot with chutney or sambar.
4. Ragi Soup
Soup is everyone’s favourite including kids. You can serve it as an evening snack or side dish for rice, idlis, dosa or chapatti and it is loaded with nutrients.
How to make ragi soup?
Heat butter or oil in a pressure cooker and saute garlic, onions and ginger. Add tomatoes and vegetables of your choice combined with salt, pepper and turmeric powder. As it cooks, mix ragi flour with warm water, with taking care not to allow formation of any lumps, add lid to the cooker and allow it to cook. Now let it boil, then add coriander and serve the kids with the compartment of your choice when warm.
5. Ragi roti recipe
Ragi roti is one of best ragi flour recipes, which is easy and simple.
How to prepare?
Ingredients: A cup of ragi flour, a¼ teaspoon of cumin, finely chopped onion, finely chopped green chilli, 1 teaspoon of coconut, Salt to taste, Coriander and water as needed.
Add onions, flour, salt, cumin in a bowl then water little by little to form a soft dough that can be easily spread. Make equal sized balls, place one ball at a time on a pan, grease your fingers and use them to spread the dough on the pan to form a thin roti.
Place the pan on a stove covered and allow it to cook until its colour changes to a darker shade. When one side is cooked, flip it over to allow the other side cook.
6. Ragi cookies
Ragi cookies are a great way to let your kids eat Ragi.
Ingredients: 2/3 cup of ragi flour, 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour, cup of butter, cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of yogurt, ¼ tsp. baking powder, 2 teaspoons of freshly ground cardamom, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Mix the flours, spread on a baking pan and roast on a pre-heated oven until it is roasted for about 7 minutes. Beat butter and sugar until creamy then add yogurt, baking powder and other spices. After the flour is cooled, mix well with the butter. Divide the batter into balls, roll each ball and cut cookie sized pieces. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 180C for 12 minutes. Keep the cookies in a closed tin for 24 hours so that the flavours develop.
7. Ragi halwa
Halwa is popular dish in Indian houses, I guess no festival or pooja(religious ceremony) is complete without halwa. What if this greasy and heavy halwa is twisted to a healthy halwa made of Ragi?
1.5 cups of ragi flour, Coconut or powdered sugar, a half cup of ghee, a half cup of cashews, 4 cardamoms, and 3 cups of water.
Sauté the cashew nuts in ghee or coconut oil. Mix water and flour to make paste. Heat the mixture on low heat and after 3 minutes, add sugar and cardamom powder. Start adding ghee one tablespoon at a time and keep stirring until all the ghee is used. The mixture will begin to thicken and when this happens add the cashews. Cook for 3 minutes while constantly mixing it until the oil separates from the ragi ball. When this happens, drain the oil and transfer halwa to a bowl and allow it to cool.
Hope you enjoy these healthy Ragi recipes tasty too! Do share your comments and recipes with us.