March 4, 2011
homemade baby cereal
Here is a quick tutorial on making brown rice cereal for your baby. I know it's really easy to buy a box of powdered baby cereal at the grocery store, add a little water, and there you go. But this is really just as easy if you spend any amount of time in the kitchen already, it is definitely less expensive (wait til you see how much it makes!) and I am willing to bet you a night of babysitting that your baby will like it more. Plus, I am sure the fiber content and minerals are higher than than in the processed kind. It a whole food, and what is better than that?
I posted earlier on how I believe the taste and texture of foods is important and how when I tried the powdered stuff with June she spit it out. It was a weird gray color and the consistency was awful AND it tasted bad. No wonder. And while I don't believe in force feeding a baby anything and I am a huge fan of babies feeding themselves, this brown rice cereal is so loaded with nutrients and hard to find minerals that it is the one thing I make that I spoon feed to her. She is old enough now, though, to grab the spoon out of my hand and do it herself, which mostly works and only sometimes ends up all over her. I'm okay with that.
Six months is a good time to start this one because the baby's digestive tract is mature enough to digest the whole grains. Later, at about 9 months, you can make it with other whole grains (millet, oatmeal, barley, quinoa for example) and really increase the nutrients.
I start with organic, short grain brown rice. I like the short grain because it makes the cereal a little thicker and creamier. Depending on how much you want to make, these amounts may vary.
For 1 cup of brown rice use 2 cups of water to cook*
Boil the water and cook the rice for about 45-50 minutes until tender and all water has been absorbed.
Let the rice cool completely then spoon into blender
Add as much water as rice --1 cup of rice = 1 cup of water to blender
Blend until the consistency is like a porridge or oatmeal
Spoon into serving size portions (an ice cube tray is great for this)
Freeze. When frozen, pop out and into a plastic bag and put back into freezer. Take out and thaw in fridge overnight, or in microwave for 15 seconds before serving. *Make sure it is not hot, but just warmed or even room temp when serving. My baby eats it cold too.
*this will make about two ice cube trays of cereal (each cube is one serving)
For about 15 min. of actual work, plus the cooking time, you have at least two weeks of cereal made. How easy is that?