Makhana (also known as prickly water lily seeds, popped lotus seeds, foxnut or gorgon nut), one of India's traditional snacks is back. Long known for health giving properties, the nutritional benefits of eating Makhana are valued by medical science and now makhana is being popular worldwide.
These small little balls are the new superfood and a powerhouse of nutrition and can prevent several diseases. They are high in magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. It has loads of essential nutrients that is needed for a growing baby. Makhana or fox nuts are amongst one of the healthiest food options, and these seeds can be introduced anytime after six months of age.
What are the Nutrients Present in Makhana & why is it great for babies?
Makhana contains a wide variety of nutrients that are vital in order to maintain optimal functioning of the immune system and it comes with many other major health benefits. 100 grams of Popped lotus seed(Makhana) will give you 350 calories, which means about 77 grams of carbs, 9.7 grams protein which is an essential nutrient for the baby growth, and 0.1 grams of fat. The remaining is made up of water, potassium, sodium, phosphorus and calcium.Makhana(Fox Nut) is high in fiber, which helps maintaining the excretory tract in proper order and ensures that babies have smooth bowel movements without constipation. It is helpful in flushing out excess water and sodium from the body. It is of a great help in case there are muscle contractions, which can lead to cramps. The thiamine content in lotus seeds are helpful in sustaining the healthy cognitive functions of the nerves. Fox Nut intake helps in the generation of Acetylcholine which is required for the purpose of neurotransmission. Makhana is also gluten free, making it ideal for kids with an intolerance to gluten.
When can you give Makhana to babies?
Makhana can be given to babies from 6 months. Once you have introduced rice and other cereals, you can start with smaller amount in powdered form. Start with this 1 tbsp of makhana porridge and check whether the baby shows an allergic reaction. Check it for three days, and if the baby is not allergic to it, you can increase the amount gradually.
Makhana quick recipes for baby!!
You can introduce this super food in your baby’s diet in various ways. Try some simple and easy recipes that your little munchkin may relish and enjoy. Following are some makhana or fox nut recipes for babies:
1. Phool Makhana Cereal Powder (6 Months+)
This cereal powder is easy to make and it a great food option for your baby, especially when you are travelling or you are running short of time.
- 1 cup makhana seeds
- 4 to 5 cashew nuts
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
- Cut the makhanas into half to check for any worms.
- Dry roast these seeds in a heavy bottomed pan until they turn crispy.
- Roast the cashew nuts on low heat.
- Let the makhanas and cashew nuts cool down.
- Put all the ingredients in a mixture and turn into a fine powder.
- Sieve the powder and store it in an airtight jar.
- Makes ½ cup cereal powder
2. Makhana Porridge (6 Months+)
You can use the ready to use cereal powder to make makhana porridge for babies or try out the following recipe.
- ½ cup makhanas
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- ¾ cup water
- Organic sugar, fruit puree or dates syrup (as per choice)
- Cut the lotus seeds and keep aside.
- Heat ghee in a shallow pan and roast makhanas for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add water and cook until makhanas turn mushy and gooey.
- Add any sweetener to for a sweet taste.
- For a smoother texture, the makhana kheer or porridge can be churned in a mixture.
- Serve fresh and warm.
3. Roasted Makhana (8 Months+)
This is a great finger food option for babies who are more than eight months old or babies who can chew solid food comfortably.
- 2 cups lotus seeds or makhana
- 2 teaspoons desi ghee or any other oil you wish to use
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- Chop the makhanas into smaller pieces.
- Take a heavy bottomed pan and heat one teaspoon ghee in it.
- Add the chopped makhanas and roast on low flame for a few minutes or until they turn crispy.
- In a separate pan, heat one teaspoon ghee and add turmeric powder, cumin powder and pepper powder and cook for a few seconds.
- Add roasted makhanas into the spice mix and add salt. Mix well.
- Let the roasted makhanas cool down before you transfer the contents into a clean airtight jar.
- Use clean hands or clean spoon to scoop out makhanas from the jar. Do not put the unused or uneaten makhanas back in the jar.
Makhana (fox nuts) has loads of health benefits for growing babies. It is amongst one of the healthiest food options & can be introduced anytime after six months. Makhana can be given to babies anytime after 6 months.
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These are some easy recipes that you can make for your little one and introduce the goodness and nutrition of the makhanas.