How to Make Homemade Baby Cereal

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Is Your Baby Ready For Food?

If you are wondering if now is the right time to introduce your little one to food, you have come to the right place. In general, you can introduce your baby to solid foods when he or she is between 4 to 6 months, but the right time to start solids all depends on your baby's development. In addition to looking for signs your baby is ready for solids, you should talk to your pediatrician to ask questions and go over the feeding basics.

It also seems like everyone has an opinion when it comes to how you should feed your baby and what you should try first: Some people say to start with fruit. Some say to skip cereal. Others say you should start with cereal. There's no proven medical evidence that there are any advantages to introducing solids to your baby in a certain order, but rice has traditionally been the "first food." It's plain, it subtly presents a new texture, and it can be used as a medium to mix with other foods.

You do not have to start with rice cereal and in fact, many pediatricians now recommend that you start introducing other types of more nutritious foods to your baby. However, if you would like to start with a simple rice cereal, you certainly can make your own. 

What Kind of Rice to Use

Rice is a good first food for a few reasons: it's low in protein, high in carbohydrates and it can be mixed with breast milk or formula.

Brown rice is a better choice than white rice because it hasn't been stripped of important vitamins and nutrients. Short grain rice is a better base for this particular recipe because it becomes softer than long grain rice. Brown, unenriched basmati and jasmine rice are also good, as are ground barley and oats.

Whichever cereal base you choose, just make sure that it's real, whole grain and as unprocessed as possible. Don't use instant varieties. You want your baby to get the most nutritional value possible.

How to Make Rice Cereal

Making cereal is a rather simple process. Many parents prefer to make it using a food processor, but I've found a coffee grinder to be much more suitable for grinding the rice into a fine powder. Here's what you'll need:


  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • Small saucepan
  • Food processor or coffee grinder

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  1. Bring water to boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Place rice in a food processor or coffee grinder and pulse for 10 second bursts until the rice has become ground into a fine powder.
  3. Once the water in the saucepan has come to a boil, slowly add in the rice powder bit by bit to prevent clumping.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes while whisking constantly to prevent clumps.
  5. Mix in breastmilk, formula or puréed fruits as desired.

How to Store Cereal:

You can refrigerate your homemade baby cereal for up to 72 hours. As with anything stored in the fridge, you might find that the texture changes. Simple warm the cereal up and add water/breast milk/formula to get the right texture.

Freezing tends to be hit or miss. Many who try to freeze cereal find that it thaws out to a rubbery consistency that's hard to improve. Instead of ruining a whole batch of cereal, try freezing a few small portions at a time to perfect your method. You can use an ice cube tray to make individual portion sizes.

How to Keep Powder Fresh:

Your cereal powder - whether made from rice, barley or oatmeal - needs to be cooked prior to feeding your baby because it's essentially raw and harder to digest. You might be wondering, "Then why is the baby cereal at the grocery store okay?" That's because baby cereal sold in stores has been precooked and dehydrated.

Keep your homemade grain powders fresh by storing them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Powders can turn rancid over time, so just make sure you check the freshness before turning them into food.

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