Amylase Rich Diet or Food for Weaning Infants

Amylase Rich Diet or Food for Weaning Infants

Amylase is an enzyme that converts starch and glycogen into simple sugars. During complementary feeding (after 6 months of age), traditionally; the first food introduced to a child is porridge.


This is usually prepared from a cereal or cereal flour such as moong, cowpea or ulundu. These porridges tend to have a high viscosity and a low energy content, which may not meet the daily energy requirements of the child and result in diarrhoea and undernourishment

The addition of Amylase Rich Food (ARF) lowers the dietary bulk and increases the energy content, thus making the porridge easier to consume.

Flours of germinated cereals, which are rich in the enzyme alpha-amylase, constitute Amylase-Rich Foods (ARFs). Even small amounts of this type of foods liquefy and reduce the bulk of the cereal based diet. Thus, ARFs help in increasing the energy density of weaning gruels and in reducing its bulk as well.

Preparation of Amylase Rich Food (ARF) is very simple and can be done by mothers at home.


How to Make ARF Food at Home

ARF can be easily produced at home, the preparation method can be seen below:

  1. Select whole, unbroken grains (i.e. moong, rice, cowpea etc)
  2. Soak the grain in water until sprouting takes place (around 48 hours).
  3. Dry in the sun / roast lightly on low flame.
  4. Powder by hand pounding or in an electric grinder.
  5. Store in a wide mouthed screw cap bottle.
  6. Add one to two teaspoon of this powder to baby’s porridge or cereal.

Food supplements can be prepared at home from commonly used ingredients such as cereals (wheat, rice, jowar, bajra etc.); pulses (grams/daals), nuts and oilseeds (groundnut, sesame etc.), oils (groundnut oil, sesame oil etc.) and sugar and jaggery (If doctors allow).

Such supplements are easily digested by all infants, including those with underweight children.

Weaning foods based on cereal-pulse-nut and jaggery combinations will provide good quality protein, adequate calories and other protective nutrients.


Since infants cannot consume bulky food, in big quantities, energy-rich foods like fats and little sugar should be included in such preparations.

Infants can also be fed green leafy vegetables (GLVs), which are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. However, dietary fibre in green leafy vegetables can, by itself, promote the bowel movements leading to lose motions in infants.


Infants should be introduced to different vegetables and fruits gradually. It should, however, be remembered that these dietary articles should be thoroughly cooked and mashed before feeding.

You can prepare your own cereal / porridge at home experiment by adding veggies and fruits to it to suit the taste of your child but don’t forget to add one to two teaspoon of this Amylase rich homemade powder and your Wonder moms secret recipe is ready!!!

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