(GIST OF YOJANA) Millets for Pregnant and Lactating Women

(GIST OF YOJANA) Millets for Pregnant and Lactating Women


Millets for Pregnant and Lactating Women


  • Pregnancy increases the need for nutrients to promote the growth and development of the foetus with changes in weight, plasma and blood volume. 
  • Anemia caused by iron deficiency is one of the major health problems in pregnant women due to inadequate intake of iron-rich foods. 
  • The lactating mothers also suffer from iron deficiency anaemia due to blood loss in the postnatal period. 
  • A study indicated that taking millet-based foods in diet during prenatal and postnatal periods play an important role in improving the nutritional status of pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • The millet-based supplementary food products are very nutritious for pregnant women and lactating mothers. Millet milk malt is prepared from the flour of various millets, jaggery and milk powder. Ragi cutlets are prepared from Ragi (Finger millets) flour which is a rich source of protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and dietary fibres.
  • One of the many nutrient-rich grains for pregnant women is Pearl millets known as Bajra. It is an excellent source of iron which helps in improving haemoglobin levels in pregnant and lactating mothers. It is also rich in dietary fibres, antioxidants, zinc, magnesium, copper and Vitamin.
  • Studies show that millet-based foods contribute to improving the Body Mass Index (BMI) in pregnant women and lactating mothers. 
  • Lactating mothers are also advised to consume Ragi to increase the production of breast milk.
  • Kodo millets are highly nutritious. They are gluten-free, easy to digest, and rich in phytochemical constituents, antioxidants and dietary fiber. 

Malted Ragi Hour

I. Millet-based probiotic Yogurt

  • Probiotic yogurt has been developed by using a pure culture of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GR-I and Streptococcus thermophilus C106. This probiotic yogurt developed contains a fiti sachet. Fermentation improves the bioavailability of nutrients.

II. Cereal mix-based probiotic functional food

  • A cereal mix contains pearl millet. Probiotic yeast is used for enhancing the organoleptic taste and functional properties of the cereal-based mixture during the fermentation process.

III. Pearl millet-based food blend

  • This type of food blend is prepared by mixing geminated pearl millet flour, whey powder and tomato pulp not only improve the nutritional content of the food mixture but also provides a perfect medium for the growth of probiotic L. acidophilus. Probiotic fermentation in pearl millet also enhances the bio-availability of calcium, zinc and iron.

IV. Finger millet and oats-based symbiotic drinks

  • A symbiotic drink is developed using finger millet, oats and double-toned milk, malt drink with the ratio of 60:40 (finger millets: oats) with three times water. Malt drink and double-toned milk are mixed in a ratio of 47:53 and rose syrup can be added for flavour. The prepared drink is highly nutritious as the energy drink is mineral rich and low in lactose, cholesterol and fat in comparison with dairy milk.
  • The composite drink is rich in healthy components such as anthocyanins, beta-glucan and soluble dietary fibre, these components are otherwise absent in dairy milk. This drink is a good probiotic due to the presence of dietary fibre.



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Courtesy: Yojana