Learn all about Brown Rice for use in Baby Food Recipes – Introducing Brown Rice to Baby
Brown Rice is one of the foods that is least likely to be an allergen for your baby. Nutritious and versatile, brown rice can be combined with any food that your baby likes.
When can my Baby eat Brown Rice and other rice?
Homemade brown rice cereal is able to be introduced to baby from 4 months of age. Please remember that the current recommendations for starting baby on solid foods is 6 months of age.
The Goodness of Brown Rice for Babies
Brown rice is highly nutritious and is more nutritious than white rice. This is because brown rice is not highly processed and stripped of it’s natural goodness. Brown rice is inexpensive and very easy to make. Dollar for dollar, you get more for your money when you make baby brown rice cereal at home. You also get more nutrients as your homemade brown rice cereal will not contain any fillers or additives that may be allergenic to baby.
Brown Rice (one cup, cooked) Protein – 5.03g
Vitamin A – 0 IU
Vitamin C – 0 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – .18 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – .04 mg
Niacin – 2.9 mg
Folate – 8 mcg
Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.
Potassium – 84 mg
Phosphorus – 162 mg
Magnesium – 84 mg
Calcium – 20 mg
Sodium – 10 mg
Iron – .8 mg
Also contains small amounts of manganese, copper and zinc.
How to select and store brown rice for homemade baby food
The EWG does not rank grains in its “dirty dozen” food list but buying organic rice is a smart choice whenever possible.
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.
When grains are milled, 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.
Follow the same storage methods for any rice powder, 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.
The best way to cook Brown Rice for Baby Food or Baby Cereal
You may use a rice cooker for the quickest and no-fuss perfect brown rice all the time. Using a rice cooker means that you will need to puree the already cooked whole rice grains however. When cooking the “rice powder” for homemade baby cereal, use 1/4 cup of powder per 1-2 cups of water – more or less as you see fit. The key is to whisk whisk whisk as you are cooking to avoid clumping.
Why Brown, But Not White, Rice is One of the World’s Healthiest Foods –
courtesy of Whole Foods
The difference between brown rice and white rice is not just color. A whole grain of rice has several layers. Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing. If brown rice is further milled to remove the bran and most of the germ layer, the result is a whiter rice, but also a rice that has lost many more nutrients.
At this point, however, the rice is still unpolished, and it takes polishing to produce the white rice we are used to seeing. Polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grain-a layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats. Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process, are highly susceptible to oxidation, this layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the product.
The resulting white rice is simply a refined starch that is largely bereft of its original nutrients.
Easy & Nutritious Brown Rice Baby Food Recipes:
Brown Rice Cereal (make it Organic by using Organic Brown Rice.)
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.
3. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, mix in formula or breast milk and fruits if desired
3. Serve warm.
Add pureed fruits and vegetables to baby’s homemade brown rice cereal – ensure that you have followed the 4 day wait rule.
Banana ‘Cado Brown Rice Mash
Mix and mash all ingredients together and serve slightly warmed. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers.
Baby’s Quick & Easy Rice & Fruit Pudding (8 months+)
- 1 cup cooked rice (Make your own Homemade Baby Food Recipes for Cereals)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup dried fruit such as figs, raisins, dates, apricots
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1-2 tbs brown sugar or maple syrup 1 tbs butter
- 1 ripe banana, roughly chopped
Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
Step 2: Bring ingredients to a gentle simmer and continue to simmer, on low for about 1/2 hour or until the milk has absorbed.
Rice Bowls: adaptations from usarice.com for babies 8 months+
You may puree or chop all ingredients together if your little one is not into chunks and textures yet.
Has baby moved onto “table foods” and is now refusing those pureed baby food cubes? Use your baby food cubes that are leftover and mix into these rice bowl ideas.
Asian rice bowl: ½ cup cooked brown rice, diced spring onions (to taste) 1/2 cup diced and cooked chicken breast or sauteed tofu, pinch of ginger. (Add or use leftover cubes of fruit, meat and/or a veggie too)
Vegetarian rice bowl: ½ cup cooked brown rice, ½cup cooked chopped broccoli, ½cup cooked chopped carrots, 1/2 cup sauteed tofu, garlic powder, basil & pepper (Add or use leftover cubes of fruit and/or a veggie too – for ex. add a cube of sweet potato or squash)
Texas rice bowl: ½ cup cooked brown rice, ½cup diced tomatoes, ¼cup chopped onion, ¼cup diced bell pepper, 1 cup drained black beans, 1 tablespoon pepper jack cheese
Breakfast rice bowl: ½ cup cooked brown rice, ½cup sauteed mushrooms, ¼cup sauteed & diced bell pepper, 2 ounces chopped all natural ham, 2 diced hard-cooked egg yolks. (Add or use leftover cubes of fruit and/or a veggie too – for ex. add a cube of applesauce and omit the peppers and mushrooms.)
Foods Good to Mix With Brown Rice:
Fruits, vegetables, yogurt and meats are all good foods to add and mix with brown rice homemade baby cereals.
Visit our Combinations page to see more Homemade Baby Food Combination Ideas
Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.