I loved discovering that I can make homemade baby rice cereal! When you ask others what they fed their baby’s first, most people say, rice cereal. But no one seems to know why or if it’s even nutritionally good for the baby. So, when I started feeding Everett I started searching out answers to a lot of the whys behind rice cereal.
Many of the commercial brands are fortified (vitamins are put into the cereal) with iron and other supplements. But I really wanted to give Everett whole foods, foods that hadn’t been processed, modified or altered and were in their natural state, including their natural vitamins. So, discovering homemade brown rice cereal was a thrill for me! Not only is homemade brown rice cereal filled with natural (God-made) nutrients but it’s also super cheap!
In the end, I honestly don’t feel like its a huge deal I do believe there are some good natural rice cereals, like Earth’s Best, that are available at stores. But it is worth it to ask why and to find out what you’re actually feeding your baby in a processed food like store bought rice cereal or canned baby food. So, that’s simply what I did… I asked why and tried to get to the bottom of it.
That’s when I found out that making your own rice cereal is quite simple actually and very inexpensive! It only requires one ingredient (brown rice) and a blender or food processor. Brown Rice is an unrefined, whole grain, loaded with Vitamin B, Iron, Magnesium, and Fiber, making it perfectly nutritious as a first food in a baby’s diet. At 6 months a baby is able to digest the rice (when made into rice cereal) and absorb these vitamins and dietary minerals. The fiber in the cereal is good for colon health and overall health of your baby.
The only thing you need is a little time (like 10 minutes) to grind the rice into a powder. Some blenders or food processors take less time than others. You will be able to hear the change of sound of your machine when the rice turns into a powder. My food processor takes about 8 minutes to turn 1 cup of rice into powder. Some blenders take less time and if you use less rice (like 1/4 – 1/2 cup the time decreases as well). Over time I’ve actually found that my old blender works better than the food processor and quicker too!
Once you have the rice cereal in powder form, you can store this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. I store the cereal in a glass jar and then at the beginning of every week I make a batch of porridge that will last the whole week.
When you make the porridge, you will need 1/4 cup of the rice cereal and 1 cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, then gradually stir in the cereal, using a whisk to combine. Simmer the rice cereal stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until the rice is not gritty or chunky (I taste test a few times to make sure the rice is cooked).
Once your porridge is made, you can serve up a little bit to your little one and store the rest in a glass container in the fridge. Throughout the week I get a spoonful of cooked rice cereal (porridge)and combine it with other foods (banana, apple sauce, sweet potato) for meals. The porridge adds more substance to the baby foods and keeps Everett’s tummy full. You can easily tell that this stuff will literally stick to their bones!
It was a fun learning about why we feed babies rice cereal and what is it exactly. Now I can stop agonizing over the what and whys of the food and just enjoy feeding my little guy something I know is good for him!
An easy recipe for homemade baby rice cereal.
- 1/4 cup organic brown rice
- 1 cup water
- food processor or blender (I find a blender works best!)
- Using a food processor or blender** grind the brown rice until it is a powder (this should take about 8 minutes unless you have a really powerful blender).
- You can make the brown rice cereal in bulk and store it in a jar in your fridge. This stays fresh for a month or so.
- While the brown rice is grinding bring 1 cup of water to a boil on the stove. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the ground rice into the water while stirring briskly with a wire whisk. Keep on low heat for about 10 minutes and stir frequently to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. The pot can be covered or partially covered while its cooking. When it is done cooking it should look like porridge.
- You can store this in the refrigerator for about a week and reheat individual portions (I started with about a tablespoon and gradually increased the amount).
- If the porridge is too thick, you may add a bit of warm water before serving it.
*Over time I've found my blender to be more effective than my food processor for this! The fine grind is necessary for beginning eaters. If your baby is a little older and eating chunkier foods then you may only have to grind the rice for a half a minute or so. Add mashed banana, apple sauce, or sweet potato to your rice cereal for added flavor and vitamins. After introducing the rice cereal you may change the grain to oatmeal, barley, or millet. Or you can combine grains. Grinding is easier if you grind small amounts at a time (1/4 -1/2 cup)