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After the birth of a child, mother’s milk is the only food which is fed to the baby and is the primary source of nutrition and minerals during the early days. The baby will have to be weaned off breast milk eventually and will need a worthy substitute that can gradually replace the mother’s milk and continue to provide the necessary nutrients at the same time.
What Is Arrowroot?
Arrowroot known as Maranta arundinaceae in scientific terms is extracted in the form of starch from the roots of tropical plants such as the arrowroot plant, tapioca, kudzu and cassava. It is an easily digestible food which contains low calories and is high in essential nutrients. This makes arrowroot an excellent food choice for babies, especially when transitioning from breast milk to other food items.
Nutritional Value of Arrowroot
Arrowroot is a power packed food item which contains B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pyridoxine which help the body in synthesising carbohydrates, fat and proteins.
Arrowroot is also an excellent source of potassium, which plays a vital role in regulating the baby’s heart rate and also contains folates, which support cell division and synthesis of DNA.
This superfood is also rich in other minerals like magnesium, zinc and iron which help in normal functioning and growth of the baby.
Is Arrowroot Good for Babies?
Arrowroot starch is considered to be one of the best substitutes for breast milk for a baby. Being gluten free ensures that it does not cause any allergies to the baby.
Arrowroot is easily digestible and aids in smoother bowel movement. It is easily available and is completely safe for the baby’s consumption.
Benefits of Arrowroot for Infants
Arrowroot has many benefits for the baby:
- It helps in maintaining a healthy stomach as it is easily digestible and also helps in curing diarrhoea. It is also used as a medicine for dyspepsia, bronchitis, cough and weakness.
- Babies are prone to urinary infection, especially during summer. Arrowroot starch is known to help in curing the infection in the baby.
- Its application onto a sore, cuts, rash or painful gums in the mouth will provide instant relief to the baby from pain and burning sensation.
Arrowroot for Teething
Teething usually begins when the babies are six months old. The growth of teeth from the gums can cause pain and irritation to the baby. Chewing or biting on something during this period provides relief from irritation. Arrowroot biscuits can be a great substitute for the plastic toys which are given to the kids to chew on. Biscuits baked using Arrowroot usually become very hard, making them perfect to be chewed upon without the risk of small chunks breaking in your baby’s mouth.
Preparing Arrowroot Powder (Koova Podi) for Infants
Arrowroot can be administered to the baby in many ways. Following are Arrowroot powder recipes for babies:
- Arrowroot powder can be mixed with breast milk into a paste and fed to the baby.
- Arrowroot can be fed in the form of porridge or jelly to the baby.
- The powder can be mixed with purees of vegetables such as beetroot, sweet potato or carrot. You can add some salt and butter to make the mixture tasty for your baby.
Arrowroot, like corn starch, is a thickening agent and is the first step towards introducing the baby to a solid form of food.
Other Ways to Prepare and Eat Arrowroot
Arrowroot can be baked into biscuits which can be used by the baby to chew on while teething.
It can also be mixed with milk and jaggery or palm sugar to improve the taste of the mixture before giving it to the baby.
Feeding Arrowroot Porridge
Another delicious option is porridge. An easy arrowroot porridge recipe for babies is to mix 1 cup of Arrowroot powder with ¾ cup jaggery liquid and 2 cups of milk and heat it on a medium flame for around three minutes. Once the solution is prepared, the same can be given to the baby after cooling it down. Shredded coconut can be added to the porridge to improve its taste.
While there cannot be a substitute for the mother’s milk for the baby, Arrowroot is an ideal replacement for the same when the baby needs to be weaned off breast milk. Its benefits for the stomach and high nutritional content make it perfect for a baby. In addition to being a good source of nutrients, Arrowroot also has medicinal properties and helps in healing skin problems such as rashes and wounds and is also beneficial during smallpox and gangrene.