Making your own baby cereal costs a fraction of what you can buy it for and only takes a few minutes! Learn how with our simple tutorial!
What's the best baby granola to start with?
For years, the recommendation has been to start with plain white rice grain. There has been evidence of rice cereal recently, and now the experts recommend that you simply feed your baby food, which is easy to digest and contains good amounts of iron. A single grain cereal is a good choice to begin with.
Which grains are best for making baby cereals?
There are so many very nutritious grains out there that are great choices for making baby granola from scratch.
- Rice is usually the least allergenic grain and is easy to digest. Organic browns, jasmine rice, and basmati are great.
- Oats are great starter grains for babies. It's high in fiber, calcium, protein, and even some B vitamins. Old-fashioned steel cut oats and oatmeal go well for making baby cereals.
- Barley is a good source of fiber, as well as vitamin A, folic acid, and even protein. When cooked, the texture of barley is similar to that of oats. Hardly the most common in peeled, rolled, and pearly shapes, and all three are perfect for baby muesli.
- Kamut is a high-protein grain, about 30% more protein than wheat. It has a sweet and almost buttery taste. Its shape is similar to basmati rice.
- Millet is rich in B vitamins, potassium, iron and is even considered a good source of protein. It looks like a tiny round ball and has a mild flavor, which makes it a great option for us to mix in other flavors with. It's gluten-free and a great option for those with grain sensitivities.
- Filled with fiber and iron, quinoa is a great source of vegetable protein, and is gluten-free. It has a slightly nutty taste but is not very strong overall. Make sure to rinse your quinoa well.
How do I make my own baby cereal?
Here's how … (you won't believe how easy it is)
You take your uncooked grain, put it in a powerful blender, and pulse it until it's a fine texture. That's it!! It's really that simple. It costs you pennies to make it yourself, provides your baby with whole grain nutrients, and is super quick and easy to make.
1/2 cup of ground grain + 4 cups of water
Put in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. If it's too thick, add a little more water. That will do a lot! You can keep the leftovers as individual servings and freeze them for later. I like to use silicone trays because it's super easy to pull out a single serving. I love the NUK silicone compartment because I love the size of the cups. They are a really good portion size and I love that they have a lid that covers the entire tray rather than individual lids.
Personally, I think plain whole grains are a bit boring, and that's why I usually mix them with some type of fruit or vegetable. To prepare your own fruit and vegetable baby food, read our post here.
When can I start giving my baby cereal?
Most babies are ready to start solids between 4 and 6 months (and experts recommend waiting until just before 6 months in many cases). Your baby's individual development is exactly what to look for when deciding whether or not it is time to eat solid foods.
Some of the signs that your baby is ready for solid foods are:
- Your baby can hold their head up easily when supported to sit. Even strained baby food should not be offered until then. Chunkier foods should wait for a baby to sit comfortably on their own, usually not up to 7 months.
- The tongue shift reflex has disappeared. Try this test: Place a small piece of baby-friendly food diluted with breast milk or formula from the tip of a baby spoon or your finger into your baby's mouth. If the food comes back out with that tiny tongue and persists after several tries, the thrust is still there and the baby is not ready for spoon-feeding.
- Your baby reaches for table food and otherwise shows interest in it. If she takes the fork out of your hand or watches carefully and excitedly with every bite, it can be a sign that she is hungry for more real food.
- Your baby can move back and forth and up and down with his tongue. How do you know? Take care.
- 1/2 Cup Grain, ground
- 4th cups water
Mix the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool before feeding your baby. You can mix this cereal with a small amount of breast milk or formula when feeding.
Store leftovers in an airtight container. Stays in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If it's too thick, add a little more water. That will do a lot! You can keep the leftovers as individual servings and freeze them for up to 3 months.