Jan 18, 2013

Homemade cereal as First Food for Weaning Babies

Here's a recipe that is not exactly gourmet, but healthy nevertheless. I made some cereal as weaning food (as in, supplementing with solids) last week.
A note about home made baby food and disclaimer:
When to start solids and what to feed a baby are very important matters that you need to discuss with your child's pediatrician. Also, if you choose to make first foods at home, first follow what your family's tradition is. This is just an attempt to document  what is commonly followed in my community. I am not a pediatrician :)  . Please use extreme caution in matters of your baby's health.

Weaning Cereal

Here's the recipe, as dictated by mom over the phone:
  • Par boiled rice - 1/2 cup
  • Toor dal - 1 fistful
  • cumin seeds - 1 scant teaspoon
  • ajwain seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
  • asafetida - 1 pinch
  • dried ginger  (sukku) - 1/4inch piece

  1. Dry fry all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan on medium flame.
  2. When the ingredients are warm , remove from fire and let cool on the counter.
  3. In a small mixer jar, grind these to a fine powder.
  4. Sieve and store in an air tight container. This mix will keep for a month.

How to use:
  1. Take 1/4 cup of cold water in a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring it to a rolling boil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of the mix with 1 tablespoon of cool water. This ensures that the cereal does not form lumps during cooking.
  4. In a steady stream, pour this cereal mixture in to the boiling water.
  5. Keep stirring on a low flame until the cereal is cooked. It will turn a pale white and will get to a liquid glue-like consistency.
  6. Remove from fire and cool well before feeding.

Why this is good as a first food:
  • While raw rice causes gas in babies, par boiled rice is easily digestable, has a low GI index and does not cause gas.
  • Toor dal is a powerhouse of protien.
  • Cumin seeds help in keeping the body cool.
  • Ajwain seeds and dried ginger aid in digestion.
  • Asafetida is good for the GI tract.
If you have a special weaning food recipe, leave a link in the comments.


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