I've been making my 1-year-old son's food since he was 4 months old. I do have days when I give him a packet of organic baby food especially when we're on the go, but nothing gives me more happiness than seeing his face and smile after a meal I've made myself. Giving your child tasty wholesome meals with the freshest ingredients is one of the most satisfying feelings for a mom--and so much more satisfying for baby.
I made the following recipe for my son when he started to eat solids. You don't have to be a kitchen master or chef to achieve desirable results. I used red quinoa, but I have tried brown rice, red rice, regular quinoa, and old fashioned oats. I cooked it in a rice cooker, but you can also just use a pot of boiling water.
What you need: 1/2 cup grain of any of the following: old-fashioned oats, brown rice, quinoa, red quinoa 2 cups of water to cook grain Breast milk or formula Blender, pot or rice cooker
Make it! 1 Blend grain until the consistency is almost like powder.
2 Bring water to boil in a pot if you're using stove top. If you’re using a rice cooker, just add water and blended grains into pot, and hit the 'cook' button. Once it starts to boil, I recommend stirring just a few times so the grains don’t burn or stick to the pot. This applies whether you're using a stove top or rice cooker.
3 Once cooked, bring out to cool. Add breast milk or formula milk until desired consistency is achieved (start with a runny consistency--almost like it's still milk--if this will be his first solid food). I usually add here 1/4 teaspoon of coconut or fish oil from a reputable brand and retailer. These provide essential healthy fats and are beneficial for brain development.
A few things to keep in mind: Use an ice cube tray to approximate serving size. One cube is 1 ounce and for the ages of 4-6 months, one cube a day is all that is recommended. Don't fret if your baby can't even finish an ounce. At this stage, there is no need to force a baby to eat solid food since his nutrition should still come from breast milk or formula.
Freeze the extra servings of baby food. Put it in an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cubes into freezer zipper bags and arrange them by recipe and/or date made. Frozen homemade baby food should be consumed within a month from the day it was made.
Start with single grains. Move to multi-grains once you’ve managed to test which ones your baby will like.
I totally get that there will be days when you need to go for store-bought baby cereal. Just check the label to see that it does not contain any artificial flavorings, colorings or added sugars. Organic cereals and cereals that are made with other types of grains like quinoa are always good options. It’s also a good way to introduce your baby to grains other than rice and until you can make your own.
If you tried this recipe out, tell us how it goes in th comments section below or and send us a message at our Facebook page.
A former beauty queen, Rene Rose Rodrigo is a US-certified holistic nutrition coach who is now living and working in the Philippines. Mom to 1-year-old Luca, she shares her lifestyle while discovering her roots at her blog Eurasian Rose.
*Images here are for the illustration purposes only.