Poha for Babies, How to Make Spinach Poha for Babies, Toddlers

When you have a baby who’s recently started eating food, one of the standard questions you’ll get is what are you feeding him. And that’s how it was when I was speaking with my doctor aunty’s assistant. After she heard what I was feeding Devansh, she asked me why don’t you give him poha. I said how can I consider poha for a baby who can’t chew food. She asked me to cook it in water or milk like you would a khichdi or porridge. I can’t thank her enough for this suggestion as I think this spinach flavored poha for babies, toddlers, is one of the quickest dishes to cook.

Spinach Poha
Spinach Poha

As I’ve said earlier, I didn’t want to introduce cow/buffalo milk in Devansh’s diet till he turned 1. So I decided to cook this in water with haldi and hing. You’ll notice that I cook practically everything with haldi (turmeric powder) and hing (asafoetida). :-) We Indians are familiar with the medicinal benefits of haldi and hing. Also, I think using them in a lot of our cooking is a Maharashtiran habit. :-) If you don’t have spinach at the time of making this, you can use mashed vegetables. See I told you storing mashed vegetables in bulk can help you in many recipes. :-)

Poha for Babies, Spinach Poha Recipe for Babies, Toddlers

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This spinach poha recipe will really come in handy when you think of making poha for babies, toddlers. Easy to cook and also, very nutritious.
Servings 1 person
Author Mukta Tikekar


  • 5 tbsp poha (flattened rice)
  • Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • Pinch of haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 1/4th tsp jeera (cumin seeds powder)
  • Pinch of red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp homemade ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2-3 tbsp pureed spinach
  • salt to taste


  • Wash poha properly before using it for cooking.
  • Heat 2 cups of water in a pan/vessel and bring it to a boil.
  • Add poha, haldi, hing, jeera powder, and salt.(Note: It is recommended to avoid adding salt in babies’ food till they turn one. However, in my case I found that Devansh just wouldn’t eat his food without salt. Hence, I started adding little bit of salt in his food. You can decide whether you want to add salt or not after talking to your child’s pediatrician.)
  • Stir for 5-10 minutes till the poha has the desired consistency. For smaller babies, you’ll want to ensure that the poha has dissolved in the water completely so it’ll almost be like porridge.
  • Add pureed spinach. Make sure that the spinach is cooked for at least 5 minutes before it is pureed or your child may find it difficult to digest. (If your baby has just started eating solids, use just 1-2 tsp of spinach. Gradually go on increasing the quantity of spinach.)
  • Stir for 2 minutes and then turn off heat.
  • Serve with homemade ghee. Ghee is supposed be good for nerves, brain, digestion, and boosting our immune system. In addition, it enhances the taste of the dish. So I always add ghee to Devansh’s food.


For older babies and toddlers you can try the following slightly less bland variation:
  • Follow steps 1-4 as listed above.
  • Heat a pan and add 1 tsp of homemade ghee to it.
  • Add about 1/4th tsp of jeera powder to the ghee and stir it. You can choose to not add jeera to poha earlier if you are adding it now.
  • Add pureed spinach. If your baby’s older than a year or so and you want to introduce spicy food (teekha khana) to him/her, add a pinch of red chili powder. For toddlers, you can mash boiled spinach leaves coarsely instead of pureeing them. You want them to start chewing food gradually. :-)
  • Stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Add cooked poha and stir well before turning off the heat.
  • Serve with homemade ghee.

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24 thoughts on “Poha for Babies, How to Make Spinach Poha for Babies, Toddlers”

  1. Hi Vishali…I'll have to get back to you on that one…I use the ghee that my mom makes :-) I'll get the recipe from her n post it :) But meanwhile start storing milk cream in the freezer on a daily basis…some people make ghee using butter but my mom makes it using cream n personally I prefer that taste better :)

  2. Hi Vishali..here's how my mom makes ghee…after you've collected substantial amount of cream, say after 10-15 days take the bowl out of the freezer and keep it in the fridge portion…if you take out directly to defrost the cream may turn sour…after the cream thaws take it out of the fridge and mix some warm water in it and churn it using ravi (butter churn with really long handle and a flower-like shape at the end)…my mom usually takes about a cupful of warm water that she goes on adding gradually as needed while churning…stop churning after you have separated butter from the watery milk…at this stage my mom adds some cold water in the mixture so that the butter comes together easily and can be scooped out using your fingers…now heat this butter on low flame…initially you'll have to stir it otherwise it'll spill over…after a bit it'll settle down and start to change color…after it starts changing color from yellow to a very light brownish tinge it's done. You can feed the leftover milk (after separating butter from it) to cats n dogs…my cat likes it as it's quite creamy :)

  3. Thanks for your receipe, am new to cooking i have to started to cook only for my baby so this looks difficult for me to understand, only if you have time & only if possible please help me with Pict presentation.. Meanwhile i will also give a try for this…i have already collected cream

  4. Hi Vishali… I know making ghee does sound complicated… my mom makes it and my mother-in-law also gives some to me so luckily my ghee requirements are taken care of by the two mothers…next time when either of them is making ghee I'll surely click pictures and post the same :)

  5. Hi Mukta,
    Can't thank you enough for these healthy recipes.

    Do you think the ghee which comes in the market isn't good for babies. I am religiously following your recipes word by word for my 1 year old, except for this. I use readymade ghee instead of the homemade one.

  6. Hi Navi,

    Thanks so much for appreciating my recipes. :-)

    Like all food, homemade ghee too is better than the readymade one. But you can use readymade ghee if it's of good quality. The thing is making ghee is a laborious process but luckily my mom and mom-in-law make it and give it to me.

    I have been trying to click pics of the process but somehow our timings haven't matched. If you want to make ghee at home, I've listed the steps in reply to Vishali's comment above. I am going to click snaps…soon I hope :-). Till then go ahead and use good quality readymade ghee, it should be OK since your kiddo is now 1 year old.

  7. Hi Shilpa…use Kanda Poha wala poha…if you use the one used for chivda it'll dissolve in the water and you'll get porridge like consistency so go for the slightly thicker one.

  8. Hi Mukta!
    Your baby recipes are really very useful for me as i am a mother of 9th month baby.My daughter is not gaining weight properly as she should be in her 9 months & i am very much worried about that. I am feeding her everything whatever doctor is suggesting but baby is rejecting all kinds of food & even the formula milk. Her teeth are coming so may be the reason behind that but i am really very much tense. Can u please suggest me what i can feed her in breakfast, lunch, evening & dinner that will help her in weight put on.

  9. Hi Saumita…during teething many kids lose appetite and weight…esp if they get loose motions during that time…eggs, bananas, ghee are good for putting on weight but they are heavy to digest so you need to go easy on these if your baby's having trouble with digestion. Babies at 9 months like mushy food…so try different types of khichdis with vegetables added…serve with homemade khee. Check out the khichdi, daal-rice recipes in the blog.

    Devansh's pediatrician had suggested 3.5-4 hours break between his meals to ensure he eats properly…you should check with your pediatrician what time interval s/he recommends because all babies are different and s/he knows your baby best.

    I am not a big fan of formula milk…in between I'd read an article that said it lacks nutrition needed by babies…I breastfed my son till he was 1…if you haven't weaned off your baby yet, you can increase the frequency of breastfeeding.

    Some experts are against introducing cow/buffalo milk and dairy products to babies before they turn 1. I too didn't introduce it in Devansh's food till he turned 1. But if your pediatrician gives a go ahead, you can try adding it in your daughter's food. You make sheera with good amount of ghee, same thing with kheers too (recipes on my blog)…Try giving her eggs. Cheese again is good for weight gain but first you'll have to see if she is able to digest it properly. Devansh couldn't so I didn't give it to him much before he turned 1.

    Most importantly have patience…if she's getting proper "nutrition" don't worry about the weight too much…unless she's seriously underweight. Hope this helps. All the best and lots of love to your daughter. :-)

  10. Hi Mukta,
    Thanks for so many wonderful recipes. I am a mother of 10 months old and my daughter hates food that is sweet. It has always been a problem for me to think of recipes that are made without sugar.
    From your blog i got many ideas . Especially the ragi porridge. I used to make her porridge with some salt and jeera powder but never thought of using garlic cloves. I am sure she will like eating this modified version of ragi porridge.
    Once again thanks for so many ideas and looking forward for new recipes.

  11. 5 stars
    Thank uu Mukta,, i am mother of a 9 month old boy & its so helpful to read your recipes. Esp because i stay in US & there are no elders here to guide us.

    I have tried khichdi , dal rice, dalia, suji upma and my son loves all of it :) I am gonna try the poha spinach one soon. If you have more ideas for 10 month babies plz do share. Its nice to have variety in their food !

    Thankss once again

  12. Hi Aanchal…sorry for replying so late…after publishing ur comment I'd to go away from my PC for a bit and then forgot abt it…I (conveniently :p) blame my forgetfulness on mommyhood…

    For your son you can try sweet potato and carrot soup, barley dalia upma, mixed grains porridge…Pls take a look at recipes labeled "Baby food recipes"…you can also take a look at recipes labeled "Toddler Food Recipes", these you may need to modify to suit your baby's age :)

    take a look at all

  13. 4 stars
    I just cooked this for my son and oh my, I loved it! I used mixed veggie mash instead of spinach. Waiting for the little man to try it, sure he'll love it! Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Glad you liked it Pree…hope your son does too..even I have made this one using mashed veggies instead of spinach a few times…Devansh likes both versions :)

  15. Do you have any ideas for snacks for a 15 month old. He's not a big fan of fruits.
    He's also bored of breads, idli, dosa. I avoid biscuits.

  16. Hi! Mukta…One again Im going to disturb you with my questions. But im glad to have someone to ask about baby problems related to their feeding.So nice job Mukta. Previously your ideas are good & i really stopped worrying about my baby's weight bcoz she is extremely active & running all the day. And about her weight problem i think she got that gene from her father as he too eats whatever but remains same.

    But now i have some different issue. As my girl is a toddler (18th month old) now but still she is eating only veg khicdhis of different types. She wants only mashed food items. Im trying to feed her daal-roti or dodh-roti to start some solid but she throws out that. She only eats food when its mashy with little liquid consistency. Im doing my every effort so that she might start something like our food habbit but she is not. As im bengali i give her fish & that she eats depending on her mood. She doesn't like to chew the food however she has now around 16 teeths. She just swallow the food without chewing. So im really quite tense that how to make her eat other things. Please tell me does this happens to every child or she is exceptional…..I will be waiting for your reply.

    • Hi Saumita,

      It's a good thing that you're trying to give your daughter roti from now on. In addition to giving it with daal and milk, you can try giving it to her with sabzis high in water content like doodhi and red pumpkin. Make the sabzi watery and soak the roti in the sabzi till it becomes soft. Make sure to mash the pieces if she can't chew them properly. Show your daughter how she's supposed to chew. I used to make exaggerated chewing movements to show Devansh and keep repeating "chavun chavun khaa" ("Chew your food").

      Devansh had started chewing food properly by the time he was two. Some kids start earlier. There's this toddler in my colony whom I've seen eating parathas without ketchup or curd since she was one. Then there's Devansh's friend who started chewing properly when he turned 3. Each kid is different, but you have to try. This is the correct age for you to try giving your daughter rotis. All the best….this requires patience… :)


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