Friday, October 23, 2009

Recipes for Homemade Cereals,Which Grains You can use for your Baby

Grains for Baby Food - All You Need to Know About Offering Your Baby Tasty & Nutritious Whole Grains.

Rice is the least of the allergenic grains and this is why it is often recommended as baby's first cereal.
Oatmeal is high in fiber, calcium, protein and even some B vitamins and makes a great baby cereal and thickener too.
Barley is a good source of Vitamin A, Folate and even protein. Barley is a great baby food as it is easily blended into a soupy and cereal like consistency and full of nutrients that baby needs.
Buckwheat aka kasha is not related to wheat nor is it a grain. Buckwheat is actually a seed however it is tossed into the whole grain category.
Kamut is like a bulgar wheat. It has a wonderful sweet and almost buttery flavor.
Millet is rich in B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and is even considered a good protein source. Millet is very versatile and may be used as a cereal, as a pilaf or in any dish that uses rice.
Pasta is highly nutritious and most pastas on the market are enriched with vitamins and minerals. Pasta is also loaded with carbohydrates that help our bodies produce energy.
Quinoa is becoming a popular grain in North America however the sweetest and most flavorful quinoa is that grown in South America. Quinoa is packed with fiber, calcium, iron and folate to name a few of its nutrients.

Now Remember: You can add Fruits and Veggies that you have pureed into the Cereal to add flavor

Oatmeal Cereal  (4-6 month old)

1/4 cup of ground oats (do NOT use instant or Quick Cook), ground in blender or food processor
3/4 cup - 1 cup water

1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the oatmeal powder while stirring constantly.
3. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, mix in formula or breast milk and fruits if desired
3. Serve warm.

Barley Cereal (6-8 Months Old)

1/4 cup ground barley (barley ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water

1. Bring liquid to a boil. Add the barley and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly
2. Mix in formula or breast milk or juice and add fruits if desired
3. Serve warm


*Note: Try 2 cups of water per 1/4 cup "cereal powder" has worked well to create a really liquid cereal.


Rice Cereal (4-6 Month Old)

1/4 c. rice powder (brown rice ground in blender or food processor)
1 cup water

1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice powder while stirring constantly.
3. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, mix in formula or breast milk and fruits if desired
3. Serve warm.


What type of Rice do I use for Homemade Baby Rice Cereals?

The type of brown rice that you would want to use for cereals would ideally be a short-grain brown rice. Short-grain rice cooks up more soft than does long or medium grain rice. The only caveat is that it may become sticky and "pasty" when pureed so keep a watch over the rice when cooking and pureeing/blending it. You may use a blend of any type of rice that you like; ensure that it is whole grain however.

Brown jasmine rice and plain brown rice make a nice blend for cereals as do basmati and plain brown rice. If you find that your baby does not like this blend, then consider switching to the plain brown rice type until the palate has become used to solid foods.
Do I Need to Cook the Powder Before I Serve it?

You need to cook the rice-oatmeal-barley powder prior to serving because when you make your own cereal(s) you are taking a whole grain and grinding it into a powder. This powder should be cooked because the grains were not cooked prior to your processing them into a powder. This powder would not be easily digested if left in its "raw" state.

Can Homemade Baby Cereal be Stored in the Refrigerator?

Homemade Baby Cereal may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours maximum. As with thawing frozen homemade baby cereal, you may find the texture changes. Simply warm the baby cereal and then add liquid of your choice, as needed, to reconstitute to a texture your baby prefers.

Can Homemade Baby Cereals be Frozen?

Yes, you may freeze homemade cereal. You would use the ice cube tray method (or whatever method of freezing you currently use) as you would for other baby food purees. It tends to be easier to grind and then store the uncooked grains and simply cook a day's worth as you go. It often happens that when you thaw the cereal, it becomes rubbery and does not reconstitute well. We do hear from parents who have great luck in freezing cereal. You may want to try freezing a few portions and see how it works for you.
Storing Grains You Have Ground for Homemade Baby Cereal:

Grains that you have ground should be stored in an airtight container in a dry area of your cupboard or in the refrigerator. Whole grains may be stored for several months in a cool dry place. If the temperature becomes extremely warm in your home, you may wish to store the grains in the refrigerator.

Milled whole grains, such as rice flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour and the like, should be stored in an air tight container and preferably in your refrigerator. You can store them in a cool dry place however ensure that you check on the status of the grains if you use them infrequently. Since these are whole grain flours, the natural oils that come from the grain may become rancid without refrigeration. When purchasing any type of milled whole grain, it's always best to buy smaller quantities to ensure that your whole grains are used prior to them going rancid.

The same "rules" apply for rice powder or oat powder, barley powder etc. that you have ground (milled) for your homemade baby cereal. You should store it in an air tight container, in a cool dry place but preferably in the refrigerator if your home is warm.

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