Easy, fresh & nutritious homemade baby cereal recipes – your baby will love it!
While the recommended age for starting solid foods is generally 6 months of age, many babies start solids between 4 and 6 months of age. These recipes are appropriate for this age range.
Did you know that baby’s first food does not have to be a commercial infant rice cereal? Many pediatric resources are acknowledging the fact that avocado, banana and sweet potato make great first foods for baby.
Dr. Frank Greer, from the Committee on Nutrition, American Academy of Pediatrics recently noted in an interview that “Rice cereal has traditionally been the first complementary food given to American infants, but “Complementary foods introduced to infants should be based on their nutrient requirements and the nutrient density of foods, not on traditional practices that have no scientific basis.”
“Rice cereal is a less than perfect choice for the first complementary food given to infants. Rice cereal is low in protein and high in carbohydrates. It is often mixed with varying amounts of breast milk or formula. Although most brands of formula now have added iron, zinc, and vitamins, iron is poorly absorbed—only about 7.8% of intake is incorporated into red blood cells.” – Read Rice Cereal Can Wait to learn about the new thinking from the AAP.
“For most babies it does not matter what the first solid foods are. By tradition, single-grain cereals are usually introduced first. However, there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby.” Source: 09/2008 – Starting Solid Foods (Copyright © 2008 American Academy of Pediatrics)
Always use brown rice when making homemade cereals, it’s just more nutritious!
What type of Rice do I use for Homemade Baby Rice Cereals?
The type of brown rice that you would want to use for cereals would ideally be a short-grain brown rice. Short-grain rice cooks up more soft than does long or medium grain rice. The only caveat is that it may become sticky and “pasty” when pureed so keep an watch over the rice when cooking and pureeing/blending it. You
may use a blend of any type of rice that you like; ensure that it is whole grain however.
Brown jasmine rice and plain brown rice make a nice blend for cereals as do basmati and plain brown rice. If you find that your baby does not like this blend, then consider switching to the plain brown rice type until the palate has become used to solid foods
Whisk Whisk Whisk … For less clumping and more smoothness.
Rice Cereal using “powder” for babies 4 to 6 months +
1/4 c. rice powder (brown rice ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water
1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice powder while stirring constantly.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, mix in formula or breast milk and fruits if desired
3. Serve warm.
Rice Cereal with whole rice for babies 4 to 6 months +
1/2 c. rice (brown rice, basmati or jasmine)
1 cup water
1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice and stir.
2. Simmer for 20 minutes or according to package directions; stir 1/2 way through cooking time.
3. When rice is finished and a bit cool, add it in 1/2 cup measurements with liquid of your choice (breastmilk, formula, water etc.) and puree as needed. Keep a watch as you puree so that the rice does not turn into paste!
4. Serve warm mixed with fruits, veggies and liquid of your choice.
May be frozen but upon thawing, may turn a bit rubbery.
Oatmeal Cereal for babies 4 to 6 months +
1/4 cup of ground oats (do NOT use instant or Quick Cook), ground in blender or food processor
3/4 cup – 1 cup water
1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the oatmeal powder while stirring constantly.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly until cooked.
3. Mix in formula or breast milk and fruits if desired and serve warm.
Barley Cereal for babies 4 to 6 months +for babies 6 to 8 months +
1/4 cup ground barley (barley ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water
1. Bring liquid to a boil. Add the barley and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly
2. Mix in formula or breast milk or juice and add fruits if desired
3. Serve warm
Many of our Visitors have suggested that using 2 cups of water per 1/4 cup “cereal powder” has worked well to create a really liquid cereal.
Do I Need to Cook the Rice “Powder” Before I Serve it?
You need to cook the rice-oatmeal-barley powder prior to serving because when you make your own cereal(s) you are taking a whole grain and grinding it into a powder. This powder should be cooked because the grains were not cooked prior to your processing them into a powder. This powder would not be easily digested if left in its “raw” state.
Why Doesn’t Commercial Baby Cereal Need to be Cooked?
The reason that you don’t “cook” commercial baby cereal is that commercial baby cereal is precooked and then dehydrated. Commercial baby cereal is most often made from grain that has been processed and then milled into a flour. You notice this difference when you dump out some “flakes” of commercial cereal(s) and also when you mix up some commercial cereal and find a thin pasty substance in the bowl.
Can Homemade Baby Cereal be Stored in the Refrigerator?
Homemade Baby Cereal may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours maximum. As with thawing frozen homemade baby cereal, you may find the texture changes. Simply warm the baby cereal and then add liquid of your choice, as needed, to reconstitute to a texture your baby prefers.
Can Homemade Baby Cereals be Frozen?
Yes, you may freeze homemade cereal. You would use the ice cube tray method (or whatever method of freezing you currently use) as you would for other baby food purees. It tends to be easier to grind and then store the uncooked grains and simply cook a day’s worth as you go. It often happens that when you thaw the cereal, it becomes rubbery and does not reconstitute well. We do hear from parentswho have great luck in freezing cereal. You may want to try freezing a few portions and see how it works for you.
Storing Grains You Have Ground for Homemade Baby Cereal:
Grains that you have ground should be stored in an airtight container in a dry area of your cupboard or in the refrigerator. Whole grains may be stored for several months in a cool dry place. If the temperature becomes extremely warm in your home, you may wish to store the grains in the refrigerator.
Milled whole grains, such as rice flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour and the like, should be stored in an air tight container and preferably in your refrigerator. You can store them in a cool dry place however ensure that you check on the status of the grains if you use them infrequently. Since these are whole grain flours, the natural oils that come from the grain may become rancid without refrigeration. When purchasing any type of milled whole grain, it’s always best to buy smaller quantities to ensure that your whole grains are used prior to them going rancid.
The same “rules” apply for rice powder or oat powder, barley powder etc. that you have ground (milled) for your homemade baby cereal. You should store it in an air tight container, in a cool dry place but preferably in the refrigerator if your home is warm.
For More Information About Homemade Baby Cereal, Visit Our Homemade Baby Cereal FAQ or individual grain pages found below:
Baked Apple Cereal for babies 6 to 8 months +
1 apple (macintosh, gala, braeburn)
1/4 cup ground oats
3/4 cup of water
1. Peel, core and cut a small apple into small dices
2. Place in a pan with 1/4 c ground oats and 3/4 c water
3. Bring mixture to a slow boil. Simmer covered, checking frequently, until apples are soft and oatmeal is cooked.
4. Be sure to stir and mash while cooking
5. Mix in formula or breast milk or juice to thin if needed – puree if necessary
(sprinkle a bit of cinnamon in the cereal if your desire and if baby is ready for or has had cinnamon).
Mixed Grain Cereals and More for babies 6 to 8 months +
30 Minute Cream of Grain Cereal
1/4 c. freshly ground brown rice or millet with honey or molasses
cinnamon (leave out honey for under 1yr and molasses is optional.)
pure vanilla extract
1 c. almond milk, sweetened – use plain water for infants..
1/4 c. raisins (optional)
1. Put almond milk or water, ground grain and raisins in a pot.
2. Bring just to the boiling point, stirring constantly, until the grain flour has absorbed the liquid.
3. Turn off the heat and cover the pot.
4. Put the pot over a double boiler on a low simmer for 20-30 minutes. (or simply turn burner down to low and simmer)
Optional: Add sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, blueberries, peaches and/or nut milk (consult your pediatrician about the use of nut milk prior to using it.). From: http://www.keats.com/news/w96meal.html
Oatie Banana Cereal for babies 8 to 10 months
1/4 cup oatmeal (rolled or ground)
1/2 cup water or milk
1/3 ripe banana
1/4 cup milk (formula may be used here)
1. Combine oatmeal and 1/2 cup of water or milk. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is mostly absorbed.
2. Remove from heat and cover; let stand for 5 minutes.
3. Mash banana, and add remaining milk or formula, mixing thoroughly. Stir the banana-milk mixture into the cooked cereal.
Rice Breakfast Pudding for babies 6 to 8 months +
1/2 cup (Brown/or Jasmine) Rice (grind to barley size – don’t grind if serving to a Toddler )
2 cups water
1/4 cup apples sliced into small dices or slivers
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/8 cup brown sugar (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a medium saucepan.
2. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until rice is soft, fragrant and a bit soupy
3. Stir 1/8 cup milk into the rice, keep on heat for 10 more minutes. Keep a close watch to ensure that the consistency remains soupy but not pasty.
4. Stir frequently to stop sticking to the pot and add more milk or water if necessary.
5. Serve warm then transfer remaining portion to the fridge.
Pastina and Bananas for babies 8 to 10 months
2 tablespoons Prince Pastina (little tiny star shaped pastas – **wheat based)
1 whole fresh banana
Prepare pastina as directed for hot cereal. Do not add milk.
Stir in banana and serve.
Add formula or breast milk as desired (1 serving)
**A few sources do say to not introduce wheat until after 1, 2 or even 3 years old. The majorities of sources however indicate and agree that wheat may be introduced around the age of 8-9 months old. It is best to wait to introduce wheat until you are certain that your infant has no reactions to rice, oats or barley. Consult your baby’s pediatrician. Visit Wheat for Your Baby topic to learn more about Wheat, Gluten and Babies
Visit our Brown Rice Recipes page to find more recipes using rice!