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Millet Maximizes Growth

Millet Maximizes Growth

When swapped for rice in diet


As parents, we want our children to grow up to be healthy and strong.  But when it comes to growing tall, is there anything we can do to help maximize our children’s potential? 


While normal growth is largely predetermined by genetics, it’s also supported by a varied diet, sleep and plenty of exercise.  One study published in the journal Nutrients suggests that one food, in particular, may be worth adding into the rotation and you may be surprised to learn that it’s the humble millet.


In a systematic review, scientists looked at all millet studies conducted before 2019 to assess the impact on growth in children from infants through adolescents.  When compared to a standard riced-based diet, they observed a significant 26-39% increase in growth (including height, weight and chest circumference) in children who consumed millet-based diet instead!    


So, what exactly is millet?  It’s a small round whole grain with a mild neutral flavor making it an easy swap for more well-known rice.  It also happens to have a quick cook time and stores well in a cool, dark place. 


One cup of millet boasts 207 calories, 41g carbohydrate and 2 g fat.  It also happens to be a source of growth promoting nutrients such as protein (6g per cup) and an excellent source of phosphorus and magnesium while providing 6% the daily value for iron.  Additionally, finger millet or African millet also happens to be a good source of calcium as well. 


Like rice, millet can be toasted before cooking into a pilaf for a deeper flavor.  Simply cook millet in water or broth for 10-12 minutes until it rehydrates for an easy side dish.  Prepare as a warm cereal by cooking in milk for 15 minutes or more (until grains burst).  Add flavorings like vanilla and cinnamon as desired.  Other natural savory pairings include beans, chicken, eggs, salmon, sesame, soy and spinach!  Millet also happens to be gluten free and vegan!  Try swapping them in for oats in our Blueberry and Banana Breakfast Pie!



Published May 1, 2022

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