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Food recipes I offered my baby (6-12 months old) - Part 2

Hello Reader,

This post is a continuation to the Part 1 of homemade recipes that I prepared for my kid (when he was 6 to 12 months). The previous post also has few essential points to consider about offering solids to infants. So I recommend you to go over that post first, by clicking here.


Rice-Lentil Cereal/ Porridge

Rice can be offered to babies right from the 6th month, as it is super light on tummy and not allergy prone. Gradually you may start including dal i.e., lentils to it, making it more nutritious and filling. 

This cereal is completely home-made and you don't have to worry about what ingredients went into the making as in the case of store bought cereal. And of course, it costs lot lesser than the ones you buy from market. You may prepare this cereal and store it for 2 months. If you wish to increase the shelf life, you may store it in the refrigerator. But I prefer to use it within 2 months and a make fresh batch again. You can offer this cereal to your kid even up to the age of 2 years, in combination with boiled veggies and greens.

Ingredients (based on baby's age)

  • 6 months: 1 cup rice, 1/4 tsp jeera
  • 7-8 months: 1 cup rice, 1 tsp moong dal, 1 tsp chana dal, 1 tsp masoor dal, 1 tsp toor dal, 1/2 tsp jeera
  • 9 months: 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup dal (all the varieties mentioned above in equal proportions), 1 tsp jeera
  • 12 months and above: 1 cup rice, 1 cup dal, 1 tsp jeera 

How to make rice cereal

  • Wash rice and dal separately 
  • Soak rice for 2 hours and dal for 4 hours. This process helps to break down the hard to digest components and aids in easy digestion
  • Drain the water completely and air dry rice and dal (separately) on a white cloth for 1-2 hours 
  • Take a pan, roast rice until it starts to splutter
  • Similarly roast dal until it turns aromatic
  • Finally add jeera to dal and roast until it is done
  • Cool all the ingredients, powder them in a blender and store it in an airtight container

How to make rice porridge

To a vessel, take 1 tbsp of the cereal powder, add 1/2 cup water, mix well and then cook. You can adjust the water quantity to achieve desired consistency (semisolid). Add a little ghee to this and feed it warm. 

It will hardly take 5-10 minutes to prepare this porridge. Once the baby develops a taste to this porridge, you may offer the porridge along with mashed vegetables. You can adjust the quantity, based on your kids appetite.

Ragi (Finger Millet) Cereal/ Porridge

Ragi is considered as a super food as it is gluten free, rich in iron and calcium. It helps in healthy weight gain and strengthen bones. Many advocate to feed ragi porridge to babies once it is ready to take solids. But I would not personally prefer offering it until the baby is at least 9 months old. Ragi is full of fiber and babies at this age will not be able to digest it well and often may experience loose stools or constipation.

If you intend to feed ragi, follow the 3-day wait rule and do not offer any other new food, to check your baby is not allergic to ragi and doesn't have colic or constipation. Do not use store bought ragi flour as it might be contaminated with other flours and prepare it at home. 

There are different ways in which the cereal can be made. I shall share 3 variations. You may choose the one that best suits you. 

Ingredients: Whole Ragi or Finger Millets

How to make

Variation 1
  • Wash and soak 2 tbsps of whole ragi overnight (8-10 hrs)
  • Drain out the water and grind ragi by adding 1/2 cup of water and strain out the milk
  • Regrind the pulp with another 1/4 cup of water and strain the milk
  • Now in a thick bottomed vessel, boil this ragi milk by continuously stirring, until the porridge turns into a thick consistency
  • Serve warm, as is 
  • If you are using formula milk, you may add 2-3 tbsp of it to this porridge and serve
Variation 2
  • Wash and soak 1 cup of whole ragi, overnight (8-10 hrs)
  • Drain out the water, sun dry it for a day, roast and grind it to very fine powder
  • Store the powder in an air tight container and use as and when required. It stays best for a month on shelf. 
  • To prepare the porridge, take 1 tbsp of ragi cereal into a thick bottomed vessel, add 3/4 cup of water and mix well so that it is free of lumps
  • Boil the mixture by stirring regularly until it reaches the desired consistency
  • Serve it plain or mixed with formula milk 
Variation 3
  • Wash and soak 1 cup of whole ragi overnight
  • Drain out the water, tie it in a muslin cloth and allow it to sprout
  • Once sprouted, sun dry it, roast and grind it to a very fine powder
  • Store and use to make the porridge as explained under variation 2
Sprouted ragi is more nutritious. If you couldn't sprout, then stick to variation 2.

Tips:
  • If your child finds it hard to digest ragi, you may serve ragi mixed with mashed banana. It not only enhances the taste but will also aid in digestion
  • Instead of plain ragi porridge, you can also add small pieces of apple while preparing the porridge to make it taste better
  • Also feed this porridge in the first half of the day, so that the liquid intake over the day helps to digest it easily
There are several other ways in which this super food can be included in the diet of infants. I shall share those in the post on food recipes for babies beyond 1 year.

There are many more wonderful and healthy recipes to feed your baby. Wait for my next post to know how to prepare infant special rasam, idli, kichidi and its variations

Note:
The intent of this post is just to give you an idea of how and what can be fed to infants, based on my experience. I am not a certified nutritionist or pediatrician. So please consult your pediatrician before introducing any new food to your baby.

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