Sabudana (Sago) for Babies: Health Benefits and Recipes

Sabudana (Sago) for Babies – Benefits and Recipes

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Gupta (Paediatric Nutritionist)
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When a baby starts with solids, the most searched question of parents is what their baby can and cannot consume. One of the many food items is sabudana for babies. Sabudana is often considered an unhealthy option due to its starch content and limited nutrients. However, it actually has pure forms of starch and carbohydrates, which is great for babies. It is also rich in nutrients that help in the baby’s physical development. So, keeping in mind the benefits of sabudana, can you give it to your child?

In this article, we have given you the answer to the question along with some more information on sabudana for your little one.

What Is Sabudana?

Starch is extracted from tapioca roots and sieved under heavy pressure to form pearls of various sizes. These pearls are popularly known as sabudana.

Can You Give Sabudana to Infants?

Since tapioca itself is not known for its nutritious properties, sabudana is the starch of tapioca, which would mean it hardly has nutrients. However, it is the purest form of starch and, hence, an excellent source of carbohydrates. If you’re wondering, ‘is sabudana good for babies?’ Yes, it is! Although is its nutrient properties are less, due to its simple form, it can be given to babies as an introductory food.

Mother feeding a baby

Nutritional Value of Sabudana

Let’s take a look at sabudana’s nutritional value per 100 g.

Constituent Quantity
Energy 358 Kcal
Carbohydrates 88.7 g
Water 11 g
Fats 0.02 g
Proteins 0.19 g
Iron 1.58 g
Calcium 20 g 
Potassium 11 g
Phosphorus 7 g
Sodium 1 g 

Benefits of Sabudana for Babies

Sabudana is beneficial for a baby’s development and may be considered as part of the staple diet after six months of a baby’s birth. Sabudana aids in:

1. Muscle Growth

Sabudana has a small amount of protein. It is one of the natural sources of vegetarian protein.

2. Bone Development

Sabudana has calcium as well. Calcium is a crucial requirement of the baby during the initial months, as at that time, a baby is still learning to use his body strength. Making sabudana a regular food will help in providing the calcium that a baby requires for bone development.

3. Blood Circulation

Sabudana has high potassium levels and, hence, aids in the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Blood flow and blood circulation are taken care of if sabudana is consumed by the baby daily.

4. Weight Gain

Rich in starch and carbohydrates, sabudana helps a baby gain good fat and muscle. So, if you think your baby is underweight, then you should consider making sabudana a part of his staple diet.

5. Regular Digestion

Sabudana is a pure (not processed) form of starch and carbohydrates. Hence, it is not only easy to digest, but also good for the digestive system. If a baby has constipation, feed him sabudana, and he will be at ease.

6. Body Temperature Regulation

Sabudana also has a cooling effect on the baby’s body. Sabudana can, thus, regulate the body temperature of a baby from getting too warm and uncomfortable.

7. Keeps Hunger Away

The carbohydrate content in sabudana is so high that it keeps fatigue away and increases energy levels. Sabudana can be digested easily, but it breaks down slowly, so a portion a day keeps hunger away.

Precautions to Be Taken While Giving Sabudana to Your Baby

There are numerous benefits of giving sago to your child. But keep in mind the following precautions before giving your child sabudana:

  1. Buy sago from a trusted seller to ensure its quality.
  2. Wash it before soaking it to remove dust, dirt, and grit.
  3. Cook it properly since undercooked sago can be difficult to digest for babies.
  4. Give your child sabudana water before feeding the whole sabudana to help them adjust to its taste and digestibility.
  5. Do not feed thick sabudana porridge or soup to your young baby, as it may pose as a choking hazard.
  6. Avoid overfeeding it to your child, as it can suppress their appetite and may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
  7. Feed no more than a teaspoon of sago to a six-month-old baby.
  8. Check for signs of ingesting sabudana in your baby; stop feeding it immediately if you notice any.

Delicious Sabudana Recipes for Your Baby

Though sabudana can be used to make a variety of foods, you need to keep food recipes simple for babies. Here are three popular sabudana (sago) recipes for Babies.

Note of Caution:

  • Always refer to your doctor before introducing a new food like sabudana.

  • Do not continue feeding sabudana if you notice any allergic reaction.

  • The milk used in these recipes can be breastmilk, formulacow’s milk or dairy (only if the baby is old enough to consume dairy milk).

  • Do not use honey as a sweetener for babies below 12 months of age.

Preparing Sabudana:

  • You have to wash the sabudana pearls just like grains.

  • You can either soak them overnight or boil the washed pearls till they become translucent.

  • Either of the methods is compulsory before cooking sabudana.

1. Sabudana Kheer Recipe for Babies

Sabudana Kheer Recipe for Babies

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sabudana
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 1-2 tbsp. jaggery
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 1tsp ghee (optional)
  • 1 tsp raisins
  • Water

How to Make

  1. Wash and soak the sabudana.
  2. Boil some milk in a pan.
  3. Add the sabudana to the boiling milk, along with some water. Keep the flame low to avoid burning or curdling.
  4. Add cardamom, raisins, ghee, and jaggery to enhance its taste. Cook for a maximum of seven to ten minutes.

2. Sabudana Khichdi for Babies

Sabudana khichdi

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sabudana
  • 1 small boiled and chopped potato
  • 1 small boiled and chopped carrot
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • ½ tablespoon ghee

How to Make

  1. Wash and soak the sabudana.
  2. Heat some ghee in a wok and add cumin seeds.
  3. Let them splutter, and then add asafoetida.
  4. After a minute, add potatoes and carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Finally, add the translucent sabudana and sauté for a few minutes.
  6. Add a little water if it’s too dry for the baby.

3. Sabudana Water

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sabudana
  • 1 tsp ghee

How to Make

  1. Wash and soak the sabudana overnight.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Heat two cups of water in a vessel and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the sabudana and cook until they become translucent.
  5. Add some water if the mixture looks thick.
  6. Cool the sabudana to room temperature.
  7. Mash the mixture until it becomes a smooth consistency.
  8. You can also choose to puree the mixture if required.
  9. Add ghee and serve.

Measurements can vary as per your taste. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to cooking something for babies. Although, remember that sabudana absorbs water easily, so do not keep it over the gas for too long. Serve when it is lukewarm or at room temperature.

4. Baked Sabudana Vada Recipe for Babies (12 months+)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sabudana (washed, soaked overnight, and drained)
  • ½ cup peanuts (roasted and grounded)
  • 1 potato (boiled and peeled)
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • 2tsp Kosher salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground cumin
  • 1tsp green chilli (chopped)
  • 1tbsp parsley (chopped)
  • 2tsp vegetable oil

How to Make

  1. Preheat the oven and line a baking tray with a parchment paper.
  2. Add sabudana, potato, cumin, salt, green chilli, parsley, lemon juice, and one teaspoon of oil to a bowl and mix.
  3. Take a small portion of this mixture and make round balls.
  4. Press the sabudana balls lightly to form a vada.
  5. Place the vadas on the baking tray and brush with oil.
  6. Bake the vadas for 20 minutes and then transfer them into a pan and shallow fry them until the top turns golden brown.
  7. Take them out and feed them immediately.

5. Sabudana and Carrot Puree Recipe for Babies (8 months+)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sabudana
  • 4tbsp fresh carrot puree
  • ½ tsp jaggery powder
  • 1tsp organic ghee (clarified butter)

How to Make

  1. Soak sabudana in water for four to five hours and then drain.
  2. Boil two cups of water and add sabudana to it.
  3. Cook until the white sabudana turn translucent.
  4. Cool it down and transfer it into a blender.
  5. Add jaggery powder, carrot puree, ghee and blend to make a smooth puree.

FAQs

1. Is Sabudana Gassy for Babies?

Sabudana is easy to digest and does not cause gas in babies.

2. Can You Give Sabudana Daily to Your Baby?

After the age of six months, you can give your child sabudana every day as part of a well-balanced diet.

3. Should You Give Sabudana to Your Baby When They Have a Cough?

Yes, as it’s easy to swallow, you can give it to your baby during a cough.

4. Can You Give Sabudana to Your Baby at Night?

Yes, sabudama can be consumed at any time.

5. Can I Give Sabudana to My Baby During the Winter Season?

All seasons are good for consumption of sabudana, including winters.

6. Is It Good to Give Sabudana to Your Baby in Loose Motion?

Yes, sabudana is easily digestible and can be given to babies in loose motion after consulting it with your doctor.

Sabudana is a good way to begin new foods, and as your baby enjoys the food, you can discover new ways of serving sabudana.

References/Resources:

1. M LELONG, J VIALATTE, J PAUPE, et.al; Tapioca in the diet of infants under 6 months of age; National Library of Medicine; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/13760693/

2. FOOD FOR 6 TO 24 MONTHS OLD CHILDREN; UNICEF; https://www.unicef.org/uganda/media/3416/file/UGDA%20children%20feeding%20flyer.pdf

3. Kamiyango, M.W.; Development and evaluation of cassava-based porridge as a complementary food for infants in Nkhotakota and Nkhata Bay districts of Malawi : A brief review; repository.ruforum.org; http://repository.ruforum.org/documents/development-and-evaluation-cassava-based-porridge-complementary-food-infants-nkhotakota; 2018

4. What Food To Give Your Baby At Around 6 Months; kidshealth.org.nz; https://www.kidshealth.org.nz/what-food-give-your-baby-around-6-months

5. Sample records for children consuming cassava; science.gov; https://www.science.gov/topicpages/c/children+consuming+cassava

Also Read:

Soy Milk for Babies
Greek Yogurt for Infants
Meatballs for Babies

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