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The Uncommon WonderGrain: Barley for Babies

If you were asked to name two foods that are intrinsic to the Indian diet, you would probably answer thus: ‘Chapati and Rice.’

Although most of us see the above as mere ‘accompaniments’ to the meals we partake of, in reality they are nothing short of being ‘meals in themselves’! The one thing they both have in common, of course, is the fact that they can both be classified as ‘food from grains.’

Talking about grains, there’s yet another grain that’s not all that common, yet one that is extremely beneficial to our kids’ health. Just so you know, we’re talking ‘Barley’ here. Just in case you’re wondering, ‘Can Barley be given to Babies?’, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ You can start introducing barley into their diets, from the time they are 6 months old itself.

 In this article from the team at EuroKids, you will discover all things ‘Barley’, from the Benefits of Eating Barley to even, How to Give Barley to Babies! Get started, with the lowdown on the Nutritional Value of Barley, and discover for yourself why this ‘uncommon’ grain needs to be a ‘common’ part of your baby’s diet.

Table of Contents:

Barley for Babies: The Nutritional Value of Barley

If we’re championing the case of Barley for Babies, it is for good reason. Presenting the Nutritional Value of Barley, that fortifies the belief that we should be giving more Barley to our little ones.

A mere 100 g of Barley, is packed with plenty of essential nutrients, among which are the following:

  • 5 g Carbohydrate
  • 264 mg Phosphorus
  • 77 mg Zinc
  • 453 mg Potassium
  • 318 mg Vitamin B6
  • 285 mg Riboflavin
  • 646 mg Thiamin
  • 57 mg Vitamin E
  • 5 g Protein
  • 6 g Iron
  • 5 mg Niacin

Note: Barley is definitely safe to give to your baby. However, it is not recommended you make it the ‘first food’ for them, owing to its high ‘gluten’ content that might compromise their immune system.

The Benefits of Eating Barley for your Baby

As we have seen above, Barley is certainly a most nutritious grain. Presenting the benefits of eating barley for your little one, that will ensure you see more of this grain in your kitchen containers in the time to come.

  1. Packed with fiber
  2. It’s the good amount of ‘dietary fiber’ in barley that will ensure sound regulation of your child’s bowel movements.

    Note: This also helps ensure Baby’s healthy gut microbiome.

  3. Rich source of Protein
  4. If there’s one thing that is best associated with ‘growth’, it is the nutrient all adults hanker after: Protein!

    Bonus: The protein in barley will also ensure your little one’s belly stays full for longer.

  5. Strengthens Bones
  6. Did you notice the high content of ‘phosphorus’ in the aforementioned list of barley nutrients? It’s exactly that vital nutrient that is responsible for strengthening bones. Move over, Calcium, Phosphorus is here!

  7. Helps prevent Iron Deficiency Anaemia
  8. Babies run the real risk of developing this ailment, when they start eating solid food. Needless to say, it’s the ‘iron’ in barley that comes to the rescue here.

  9. Good for the Liver
  10. Liver health is essential for everyone, babies included!

    Cool Fact: The way barley protects the liver is through the reduction of excess ‘bile acids’.

  11. Antifungal in nature
  12. Just when we thought there could be nothing more barley could provide us with, here comes this, one of the most unique Benefits of Barley.

    Cool Fact: There are several ‘biochemicals’ present in Barley, that contribute to its antifungal properties.

How to Give Barley to Babies

If you’ve already decided on giving Barley to your Baby, you might want to hold your horses. At least, till you read this section that explores the subject: How to give Barley to Babies.

If we must give Barley to Baby, we must learn How to ‘Cook’ Barley for Baby. Use the following steps, to do just that!

  • Mix 2 tbsp barley with a modest quantity of water in a bowl.
  • Once the mixture is lump-free, cook it over a low flame for around 20 minutes.
  • Add some breast milk or formula to the mixture, to create a thin ‘paste’.
  • Serve to the baby!

Tip: You might want to add some pureed fruit to the above mixture, to make that cooked barley more enticing for Baby’s palate.

How to Cook Barley for Babies: Fun Barley Recipes

When looking at how to give barley to babies, you want to make it as innovative as possible for them. After all, you’re certainly choosy about the food you eat, right? It should be no different for Baby!

Recipe #1: Barley Apple Porridge

Porridge always makes for a wholesome meal. Especially so, when it’s barley-based!


  • Barley – 1 cup
  • Apples – chopped
  • Water – 3 and a half cups


  • Cook the barley in 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 5 whistles.
  • Allow the cooked barley to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • After the steam has dissipated, check to see if the barley is sufficiently cooked.
  • Add to the mixture the chopped apples and a half cup of water, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Puree the mix in a blender to attain ‘smoothness’ in consistency
  • Time to serve porridge to your little one!

Recipe #2 – Barley Water

If you’re looking for a great ‘weaning’ food for your baby, look no further than this one.


  • 5 Cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Barley
  • 1 tbsp Jaggery


  • Cook the barley and jaggery in a pressure cooker with the water, on low flame till 3 whistles are done.
  • Leave the mixture to cool a bit, before making it ‘liquidy’ in a blender.
  • Mash the barley using a spoon.
  • Strain the mixture and voila! You have Barley Water.
  • After you have mixed it well, serve it to your little one!

In a world where people stick to the ‘norm’, be different! Go to your local grocery store and get that supply of Barley to feed your Baby. You must note here, that a baby’s stomach is very small, and there’s a limit to what you can give them. Now that you are apprised of the Nutritional Value of Barley, it’s safe to say it’s one of those ‘limited’ things you want to feed them!


  1. Cleveland Clinic

  3. The Whole Grains Council

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