Dalia (Broken Wheat) for Babies: When to Give, Benefits and Healthy Recipes

Dalia for Babies – Health Benefits and Recipes

Medically Reviewed By
Anindita Bhattacharya (Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian)
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Dalia or broken wheat has been a staple in Indian homes for decades. We all devoured dalia in our childhood and most of us still enjoy eating it. Whether we make sweet dalia or a spicy dish, it tastes delicious. And the best part that it is healthy for babies and young kids too. But if you are a new parent, you will wonder whether or not you can give this food to your munchkin. The answer is yes, you can. In fact, there are enough and more dalia recipes that you can try to include this wholesome grain in your little one’s diet. Read on to know more about broken wheat for babies and how to feed it in a safe, healthy, and delicious way.

Video: Dalia for Babies – Health Benefits and Recipes

What Is Dalia?

Dalia is simply broken wheat or cracked wheat. It can be made from different grains such as barley, wheat, or corn. But in many Indian states, it is made from wheat and in a variety of ways. For adults and kids, you can make thick dalia; however, when making it for your baby make sure the consistency of dalia is thin. If you are just getting your baby started on solids, thin dalia will be easier to swallow and digest.

Is It Safe To Give Dalia To Babies?

Yes, it is indeed safe to feed dalia to your little one. However, you will need to take a few precautions, such as starting off with a thinner broken wheat consistency for easy consumption and digestion. Additionally, dalia should only be fed to babies over 10 months of age, around the time they are able to properly digest solids.

Nutritional Value of Dalia

Nutrient Amount per 100 grams
Energy 350 kcal
Protein 12.5 gm
Fats 1.25 gm
Carbohydrates 75 gm
Fibre 12.5 gm
Calcium 50 mg
Iron 4.5 mg

When Can You Start Giving Dalia to Infants?

One of the primary reasons parents are eager to give dalia to their babies is that it is filling. It is very nutritious and provides a lot of energy to babies. It also stimulates the digestion system. This is why many parents start giving dalia to their babies by the time they turn 78 months of age. However, the best time to introduce dalia in your baby’s diet would be when he is between 10 and 12 months of age. By this time, your little one will be able to digest solids and reap the maximum benefits from it.

Baby Eating Dalia

Health Benefits of Broken Wheat for Babies

When starting off the baby on solids, make sure you start off with foods that offer a variety of health benefits which a child might not have otherwise received from breast milk. Dalia provides some of the most important benefits in this regard.

  • One of the major benefits of dalia is that it helps increase the appetite of babies. While breastfeeding your baby, you can start off with dalia helps keep the child full and is in a way, a better option than rice or flour-based preparations.
  • Broken wheat is a good source of minerals, primarily phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. All of these are extremely vital in the development of the child, both physical as well as mental, and provide the support to be a healthy individual.
  • The process of breaking whole wheat releases specific compounds and substances that are rich in fibre content and various nutrients as well. These can provide the necessary strength to the developing digestive system and improve the metabolism too.
  • Dalia has a good carbohydrate content, making it a good source of energy. It helps provide energy to the little one to stay active through the day.
  • The rich fibre content in dalia makes it a great food to prevent constipation in babies.
  • Dalia has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps the body fight infections. It helps prevent diseases so your little one is healthy.
  • Due to its low glycemic index, dalia breaks down slowly and releases sugar into the blood at a steady pace. This is healthy for your baby in the long run.
  • Making dalia a staple in your baby’s diet right from the start of eating solid foods ensures that his heart remains healthy and makes for smarter dietary choices in the future.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Giving Broken Wheat to a Baby?

Dalia as a food product does not cause any side-effects to your baby. It is a good source of nutrients and will keep your baby healthy and happy. However, you will need to take certain precautions when purchasing and preparing the dalia for your little one. 

Read below to know what to keep in mind when feeding broken wheat to your baby.

Precautions To Take While Feeding Dalia To Babies

Here are some precautions to take, so you can ensure your baby’s experience with eating dalia is a safe and pleasant one.

  • Buy good quality broken wheat from a trusted store for maximum benefits.
  • Thoroughly wash dalia to remove any surface impurities.
  • Make sure you cook the dalia properly. You can also soak it for a couple of hours before cooking, if needed.
  • To start, feed your baby a little bit of dalia and observe him for a few days for signs of intolerance or allergies.
  • After the initial introduction, only feed your baby dalia every few days, slowly increasing the frequency, so his system gets used to digesting this food.
  • Similar to the previous point, start with only 1-2 teaspoons of dalia for infants, per feed. Slowly increase the quantity as weeks pass.
  • Though dalia is made from wheat, you can also try multigrain dalia, which is a mix of different grains, including broken wheat.
  • Do not introduce any other food along with dalia. Let your baby’s system get accustomed to one new food at a time.
  • If your baby has an allergic reaction or shows signs of intolerance after eating broken wheat, discontinue immediately and seek medical advice if needed.
  • Dalia contains gluten, so if your baby has a pre-existing gluten allergy, make sure you consult a doctor before feeding broken wheat to him.

Easy Steps To Make Dalia For Baby

This healthy broken wheat porridge is easy to make and a great option when introducing dalia to your baby. Read below for the recipe.

Dalia Porridge Recipe

With very few ingredients and easy steps, this porridge is easy and convenient to make.


  • Dalia – 2 tbsp
  • Jaggery – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Water – 1/4th + 3/4th cup
  • Milk – 1/2 cup (only for babies above one year)


  1. Pressure cook the washed dalia and 3/4th cup water for 3 whistles. 
  2. Melt the jaggery and 1/4th cup water in a saucepan. Once melted, strain the water to remove any impurities.
  3. Once the pressure is released, transfer the cooked dalia and jaggery water to a blender. Blend until you get a smooth consistency.
  4. Add the contents of the blender to a saucepan. If your child is above 1 year of age, you can add 1/2 cup of milk at this stage.
  5. Bring everything to a boil and mix continuously.
  6. Once the porridge reaches a thick consistency, switch off the flame and let it cool.
  7. You can then feed this porridge to your baby.

Healthy Dalia Recipes for Babies

There are a lot of recipes that you can make with dalia. We’ve put together some of the healthiest and tastiest dalia recipes that you can make for your little one.

1. Veggie Dalia/ Dalia Upma

As your little one starts eating more solids, you can add some healthy veggies to dalia and get him to eat veggies.

Veggie Dalia/ Dalia Upma


  • Dalia – 1 cup
  • Peas – 1/2 cup
  • Carrots (finely chopped) – 1
  • Medium-sized potato (cut into small pieces) – 1
  • Onion (finely chopped) – 1/2 cup
  • Urad dal – 1/4 cup
  • Curry leaves – 4 – 8
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli (optional)
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Water as required


  1. Sauté the dalia in a pan until it turns golden brown or you notice a change in smell. Transfer it to a plate and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in another pan then add the mustard seeds.
  3. Once the mustard seeds start popping, add the curry leaves and onions, followed by the urad dal and sauté them for a while.
  4. Then add the vegetables and turmeric and mix well.
  5. Add a pinch of salt then cover the pan with a lid, and let it cook for a few minutes.
  6. Next, add some water followed by the roasted dalia, and stir it to prevent lumps from being formed.
  7. Simmer until all the water is absorbed then give it to your baby.

2. Dalia Kheer

If you want to make something sweet for your child, make dalia kheer. Dalia kheer is an all-time classic sweet dalia recipe for babies. This is pretty much how most of the kids of the current generation are introduced to dalia, and it can never go wrong.


  • Dalia – 1 cup
  • Cashew nuts – 4-5
  • Almonds – 4-5
  • Cardamom – 1/4th tsp
  • Jaggery to taste
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Ghee – 1-2 tbsp


  1. Heat some ghee in a pan then add cashew nuts and almonds to it and roast. Sauté them properly and keep aside.
  2. Now add the dalia to the pan and sauté it for a few minutes. Stir well while roasting.
  3. Once a sweet smell starts rising from it, add the milk to it and keep stirring for a while. Cover the pan with a lid and let it boil.
  4. Cook it on a low flame for about 15 minutes. Keep stirring and add water and milk to adjust the thickness.
  5. Once done, mix in the nuts and cardamom powder and serve in a bowl.

3. Dalia Lapsi

An age-old recipe that is generally given as the very first solid to a baby is a must-try for your baby!

Dalia Laapshi


  • Dalia – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Jaggery – 1 tbsp
  • Water as required


  1. In a pressure cooker, heat some ghee then add the dalia to it. Sauté the dalia properly until its colour changes slightly and the aroma rises.
  2. Take the jaggery in a pan and add water to it. Let it boil until the jaggery dissolves completely.
  3. Once the jaggery dissolves, add the jaggery water in the cooker and stir well. Close the cooker and let it sit on medium heat. Cook it for three whistles.
  4. Release the pressure, take out the cooked lapsi in a bowl and serve it to your child while it is warm.

4. Dalia Khichdi

A take on the ultimate comfort food, this dalia khichdi is healthy, delicious, and can be adjusted to your baby’s liking.


  • Dalia – 1/2 cup
  • Onion (finely chopped) – 1
  • Tomato (finely chopped) – 1
  • Potato (peeled and chopped) – 1
  • Green beans (chopped) – 1
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Coriander (finely chopped) – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Water – 4 cups


  1. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
  2. Add onion and cook until soft.
  3. Then, add the remaining vegetables and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add dalia and water. Cover and let it cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring at intervals.
  5. Once cooked, you can add more water if needed.
  6. Add black pepper and salt to season, and coriander to garnish.
  7. Serve to your baby once he begins eating solids regularly.


1. Can Dalia Help Promote Healthy Weight Gain In Infants?

As dalia is rich in carbohydrates and fibre, it can help babies gain appetite. It also helps babies stay active for longer and promotes healthy weight gain.

2. Is It Possible To Give Broken Wheat (Dalia) To My Baby At Night?

As dalia is high in fibre, it is best to feed it to your little one during the day. It will help your baby gain energy and digest the food better. 

3. Can I Introduce Dalia As First Solid Food For Babies?

Dalia can be introduced as early as 7 months, when your baby initially starts eating solids. But it is always preferable to wait till he turns 10 months so his digestive system is better able to break down the broken wheat preparation.

4. Is It Safe To Give Dalia To Babies With Diarrhoea?

Dalia is a fibre-rich food, meaning it promotes faster and better digestion. If your baby is suffering from diarrhoea, it is advised to put a pause on feeding him dalia until he recovers.

Introducing solids to your baby can be quite an experience and dalia is one such food that you can definitely introduce once your baby reaches 10 months of age. Dalia is tasty and healthy and very easy to cook. So make tasty dalia recipes for your baby and watch your little one enjoy it.


1. Cracked Wheat; U.S Department of Agriculture; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/473921/nutrients; April 2019

2. Cooper. D, Martin. R, Keim. N; Does Whole Grain Consumption Alter Gut Microbiota and Satiety?; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4939539/; June 2015

3. Solid foods: How to get your baby started; Mayo Clinic; https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20046200; October 2021

4. Porto. A; When should I introduce wheat into my baby’s diet?; American Academy of Pediatrics; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/ask-the-pediatrician/Pages/When-should-I-introduce-wheat-into-my-babys-diet.aspx; March 2017

5. Feeding your baby: 6–12 months; UNICEF; https://www.unicef.org/parenting/food-nutrition/feeding-your-baby-6-12-months

Also Read: 

Giving Dry Fruits to Babies
Green Beans for Infants
Raisins Consumption for Babies

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