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Tackling malnutrition in babies with Amylase Rich Flour

Your baby’s body grows at a fast pace. As early as six months of age is when you will introduce your baby to solid foods since breast milk alone is not enough for the increasing nutritional demands of your little one. It is during this weaning phase that inadequate nutrition can become a huge contributor to malnutrition. Here’s a three-worded solution to tackle this issue – Amylase Rich Flour (ARF).

Babies in the weaning phase have the stomach capacity that is a little more than a cup. And their poor swallowing reflex allows them to eat smaller portions of soft foods at a time. During this phase, food like porridge, kanji and satva are given as weaning food. Most weaning food, since they are rich in starch, will make your baby feel full faster and eat lesser without meeting their nutritional requirements.

However, adding Amylase Rich Flour (ARF) while preparing weaning food is a quick solution to this problem.

ARF is usually prepared from germinated cereals like rice, ragi, wheat, moong, black gram, barley, etc. Adding ARF to your baby’s food helps to increase its energy and nutritive value. Such flours are rich in enzyme alpha-amylase that help break down carbohydrates, making it easily digestible and absorbable. This also makes the food less viscous and easier for the little one to swallow.

All one needs to do is add a teaspoon or two of ARF to the porridge, sheera, khichdi, satva, etc.

ARF can be prepared at home – hassle-free! Put on your apron and we’ll show you how it’s done.

  1. Select any type of whole grain that is clean and free from bugs.
  2. Add about 3 times the amount of water and steep it for 8 hours/overnight.
  3. Drain the excess of water.
  4. Let the grain germinate for about 24-48 hours in a cool and dark place.
  5. Sprinkle water at regular intervals until they start sprouting.
  6. Sundry the germinated grains for about 5-8 hours, turning them over regularly.
  7. Roast the grains on a low flame on a tava until dry.
  8. Grind and powder the ARF.
  9. Store the ARF in an airtight container at room temperature.

FoodHeals tipThe shelf life of ARF is 30 days in high humidity areas but re-roasting it can further increase the shelf life.

 Still wondering how to include ARF in your baby’s diet? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Read further!

 

1.WHEAT PORRIDGE

  • Take ¼ cup of jaggery and add ¾ cup of water, mix it well to ensure that the jaggery is dissolved.
  • Add about 3 times the amount of water and steep it for 8 hours/overnight.
  • Drain the excess of water.
  • On a low flame, roast ¼ cup of wheat flour in 1 teaspoon of ghee, stirring continuously.
  • Once the wheat flour has been roasted to a golden brown colour, gradually add the jaggery water, stirring it continuously to ensure there are no lumps.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of ARF to the wheat porridge.
  • Mix well and serve at room temperature.

2.MOONG DAL KHICHDI

  • Wash and soak 1 tablespoon of green moong dal and 2 tablespoons of rice in water for 15 mins. Drain and keep aside.
  • Combine the green moong dal, rice, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and ¾ cup of water in a pressure cooker, mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  • Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of ARF to the khichdi and mix well.
  • Drizzle a little ghee on top and serve warm.

3.BARLEY PORRIDGE

  • Boil a cup of water.
  • On a low flame, take 2 tbsp of powdered barley and gradually add the boiling water stirring continuously to prevent lumps.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of ARF to it and stir.
  • Add milk or mashed vegetables to the barley mixture and serve warm.

4.BANANA RAGI PORRIDGE

  • Boil ¼ cup of water.
  • On a low flame, take 1 tbsp of ragi powder and gradually add the boiling water while stirring continuously.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of ARF to the porridge and mix well.
  • Turn off the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
  • Separately mash a small banana well.
  • Add the banana mash to the ragi porridge, mix well and serve.

Before we conclude, here’s a quick reminder of the benefits of ARF (just in case you’re not convinced yet).

  1. Easy to digest and filling.
  2. Is calorie-dense.
  3. Easier to consume since it is less bulky.
  4. Easy to prepare at home and is cost-effective.
  5. High shelf life when stored properly in air-tight containers.
  6. Can be easily incorporated into numerous recipes.

 

Written by Nutritionist Kavya Santosh
Cuddles Foundation, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre, Bangalore

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