Disadvantages and Benefits of finger millet(ragi) for babies…

The exact topic of this article first appeared on www.nimedhealth.com.ng

Weaning is a critical period in the life of babies. What you feed your baby with this period has a great influence on their health and development.

Hence, it is paramount you take into importance healthy diet foods. One of such foods is the finger millet or Ragi. This superfood is well-known for its many potential benefits.

Even with the benefits that come with consuming ragi, there are still few disadvantages of eating this finger millet.

This article will discuss tboth the disadvantages and benefits of ragi for babaies.

Read on.

But first, what is finger millet or ragi?

What is Ragi (finger millet)?

Ragi or finger millet is also referred to as Nachni. Its origin can be traced to the Indians, where it is more cultivated. Ragi is a rich source of Protein, Iron and Calcium, Vitamin C, Fiber, Amino acids, Polyphenol and many more.

Ragi has become a common staple amongst Indian households. It can be consumed by both adults and babies.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of ragi.

Benefits of Finger millet (Ragi) for babies

Owing to its versatility, ragi is great for babies. It can be made into ragi balls or porridge and given to your baby as preferred. It can also be made into pancakes or purees. It is an easy add into babies meal diets.

Here are some of the benefits of ragi:

Fights anaemia:

Ragi contains essential amino acids required for healthy growth and development. It contains Iron that helps with formation of red blood cells as well as improves blood circulation.

Ragi contains a sufficient amount of these essential nutrients that will help prevent anaemia for your baby. It also contains vitamin C that increases the absorption of Iron into the bloodstream.

Benefits of finger millet for babies
Benefits of finger millet for babies….read on.

Improves your baby mood:

Ragi is great at reducing anxiety and depression. Feeding your baby with this superfood may assist with mood improvement and provide a calming and relaxing effect for your baby.

This is because of the presence of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps with the production of serotonin. Serotonin released helps children sleep much better.

Strengthen your baby’s muscles:

Ragi is one of the best foods to give babies, as it helps with strengthening of the muscles. This finger millet contains calcium in sufficient amounts, for healthy development of bones.

Boost immunity:

Ragi is a great nutritious food for babies. Not only does it assist with healthy growth and development, but also boost immunity. Ragi can provide your baby immunity against common diseases.

Since it takes time for babies to develop a strong immune system; foods like ragi can help boost your baby’s immune system, and help keep infections at bay.

Relieves digestive issues:

Ragi contains dietary fiber that helps prevent constipation in babies. It also allows for free bowel movement.

Helps with weight gain:

Ragi contains protein and carbohydrates in high quantities. Hence, a top-quality food that can help with extra weight gain. Ragi is a great food choice for babies with a very low weight.

Disadvantages of Ragi (finger millet) for your babies

Although highly suitable for infants and babies, you need to be cautious of the kind of powder or flour you buy for your baby. It’s better to buy processed ones, as otherwise could cause more harm than good.

See below for more disadvantages of ragi:

Ragi could cause cold:

There is a belief by many mothers that ragi porridge shouldn’t be fed to babies during the cold weather. As it can trigger cold. However, pediatricians recommend ragi to be fed to babies in moderate quantities. Feeding your babies once a day during the cold weather won’t cause any harm, they say.

Ragi may increase risk of obesity:

Ragi is known for promoting weight gain. However, if your baby is at risk of obesity; its best you avoid feeding your baby this finger millet.

Takes time to digest: Ragi could take a longer time to get digested, due to its high nutritional value. Hence, its best you give your little one either in the morning or at noon time, so it gets digested properly.


Ragi is a great food choice for both adults and babies. It’s a great weaning food for babies. It also can be easily incorporated into diets. Ragi can be introduced to babies after six months of exclusive breastfeeding.

Avoid mixing ragi flour with any other kind of flour, especially glutinous grains like wheat. As this may trigger allergic reactions for your baby.

In some cases, may be fatal. If you observe any allergic reactions on your baby due to this finger millet, please avoid feeding your baby with this food.

Lastly, exercise portion control when feeding your baby with this superfood.

I hope this article was helpful?

Stella-maris Achumba


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