I loved discovering that I can make homemade baby rice cereal! When I ask others what they feed their baby 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 (my first baby) I started searching out answers to a lot of the whys behind rice cereal. I originally posted this recipe in January of 2014 but I’ve used it so many times since then I thought it was worth refreshing.
Many of the commercial brands of rice cereal are fortified (vitamins are stripped then put back 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 that 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!
Making your own rice cereal is quite simple! It only requires one ingredient, brown rice, and a high powered 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 to grind the rice into a powder and then cook it over the stove top. 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 blender takes 20 seconds, while my food processor takes about 8 minutes to turn 1 cup of rice into powder. If you’re using a blender you may need to use less rice (like 1/4 – 1/2 cup) at a time while you’re processing. Over time I found that my 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 or eventually nut butter or tahini) for meals. The porridge adds more substance to the baby foods and keeps my baby’s tummy full. You can easily tell that this stuff will literally stick to their bones!
About the Recipe
• Brown Rice has more natural nutrients than white rice, which was been stripped of most of the good stuff. Organic is also best here.
• A blender has been proven to process the rice into a powder more easily than a food processor.
• It will take 6-10 minutes for the rice powder to fully cook in the simmering water. Add more water if necessary and cool down with an ice cube if serving right away.
• I use filtered water in all steps of this recipe
• Store the leftover rice powder and cooked rice cereal in the fridge for it to stay fresh longer. The cooked cereal will last about a week and the powder for a month.
It was a fun learning about why we feed babies rice cereal and what it is exactly. Now I can stop agonizing over the what and whys of the food and just enjoy feeding my little ones something I know is good for them!
- 1/4 cup organic brown rice
- 1 cup water
Using a food processor or blender* grind the brown rice until it is a powder (this should take about 1 minutes unless you have a really powerful blender).
You can make the dry brown rice cereal in bulk (like 1 cup of rice at a time) 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. 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, quinoa or millet. Or you can combine grains. Grinding is easier if you grind small amounts at a time (1/2 cup).
Original photo from 2014