Why and How To Introduce Millet to Your Picky Child

How to introduce millet for the first time to your picky child? Well, according to my experience with one picky eater, the best way is to introduce it as a sweet treat. And that’s really easy with millet because it’s so versatile!

kid friendly recipes with millet

Why Introduce millet?

Millet is a very healthy grain, to start with. It has splendid levels of important nutrients such as manganese, zinc, magnesium, tryptofan and B1 vitamin. It is also a great source of fiber. As you can spot from the table I’ve assembled, millet exceeds both brown rice and wheat for the amount of zinc (an essential trace element for growth and development). It also exceeds whole wheat for the amount of magnesium and B1 vitamin.

1 cup cooked brown rice   1 cup cooked whole wheat
1 cup cooked millet
Manganese (% DV) 88 55.5 23.5
Zinc (% DV)
8.2 6.9 10.5
Magnesium (% DV) 21 14.6 19.1
Tryptophan (% DV) 18.7 28.1 21.9
B1 vitamin (% DV)
12.7 6.7 12
Fiber (% DV) 14 32.8 9

Millet vs. Wheat and Brown Rice. Source: WHFoods

How to Introduce Millet?

Okay, here is my first recipe with millet—a creamy, fruity desert. It is also gluten-free and dairy-free. If your kid likes vanilla pudding and fruity flavors, this one will work great.

Creamy Vanilla Millet with Blackberry Sauce (Serves 6)

  • 2 cups of cup of cooked millet, cooled to room temperature and fluffed with a fork
  • Juice from one orange
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1.5 cups vanilla-flavored soy-milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
blackberries for kid friendly recipes with millet

Frozen blackberries

Fluff millet with a fork. Stir in orange juice and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Set aside.

If using frozen blackberries, thaw them first. Mash or process in a blender, stir in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Set aside.

Mix cornstarch with vanilla soy milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring until thickened. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring now and then. Remove from the heat. Let cool for 10 minutes. Check for sweetness—it will depend on the kind of soymilk you’re using. Add maple syrup if desired.

kid friendly millet recipe

Divide the millet mixture among six smaller, clear glasses. Follow with the blackberry mixture. Top with warm vanilla pudding. Voilà! Cool to room temperature (not refrigerator), or eat while still warm.

millet desert in spoon

Now that your child has gotten some (hopefully pleasant) experience with millet, you can try another recipe. It’s made with an Italian spinach sauce that my daughter is already familiar with since I had previously used the same sauce to prepare a pasta dish for her. Even though this is a tough sell when compared to the first one, combining something old with something new is a smart recipe for success!

Millet with Italian Spinach Sauce (Serves 4)

  • 3 cups cooked millet, cooled and fluffed with a fork
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 30 ounces tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/2 lb baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat olive oil in the skillet. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onion is tender and light golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.

Add spinach and cook 3-4 minutes. Transfer millet to a serving bowl; add spinach sauce. Sprinkle with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a dash of Italian magic. Great for lunch or dinner!

child-friendly millet with spinach

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