I have three kids, the youngest is six months old. I have utilized the same weaning method for all my kids and I have seen the amazing results in how well my kids benefited from homemade baby foods that are free of preservatives, free of added sugars or additives and one hundred percent natural. I discovered when my first child was born that she stooled often when fed processed commercial baby foods and sometimes, her bum turned red. I realized that the added sugar in commercial baby foods or cereals were just too much for the baby.
Now that I am weaning again, I am back to making all kinds of cereal foods for my baby. I make use of whole grains like wheat, guinea corn (sorghum), millet, maize, brown rice, basmati rice, oats and lots more. Like any Nigerian mother, I have relied on whole grains because they are abundant and cheap in Africa but I am also conscious of the fact that grains and cereal-like foods are deficient in fat, oil and protein which a baby needs. In Nigeria, mothers have had to rely on pap (locally called akamu or ogi) which is basically cereal porridge and milk thinking this was adequate nutrition. But sadly, Ogi or akamu with milk isn’t nutritious enough. Hence, accompaniments like crayfish (animal polypeptide), sardines, mackerel, egg yoke, peanut, palm oil, butter, even fruits like apple & banana and vegetables have become necessary.
So here is my guide to making your own baby cereal at home:
THIS RECIPE CAN MAKE 3 260ml FEEDING BOTTLE
Basmati rice, peanut, crayfish, fresh apple juice & infant milk.
Why these ingredients for making homemade baby food?
Well, Basmati rice is a nutritious, energy giving food due to its high carbohydrates content. Your baby benefits more from its dietary fiber if you use brown basmati rice. White basmati rice contains higher folate (known as folic acid) but either is high in minerals and vitamins.
Peanut is also very nutritious as it contains calories, dietary fiber, fat, omega 3 & 6, protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium and much more minerals especially selenium, potassium and phosphorus.
Crayfish (animal polypeptide) is a rich source of vitamin A & D, calcium, potassium copper, zinc and iodine. Crayfish is easily absorbed and because they grow in clean lake waters, they are usually clean from pollution thus are pollution-free and very healthy for consumption.
These are the reasons I include crayfish & peanut in all my baby cereals. Fresh apple juice is a part of the ingredients for homemade baby cereals because it contains vitamin C and other nutrients and helps digestion without causing a baby to stool.
STEPS TO MAKING HOMEMADE BABY CEREAL
1. Boil basmati or brown rice until very soft. Please do not give your baby regular white rice as they have been stripped of all fibers. Brown rice is also gluten free which is great for babies with this allergy.
3. Add 1 tablespoon crayfish, 1 tablespoon homemade peanut butter & 3 tablespoons of fresh apple juice & some hot water.
4. Blend all the ingredients to a cream
5. Remember to add milk before serving
I take this food with me in the vacuum flask wherever I go and it doesn’t spoil because I do it add milk until my baby is about to feed as milk make food go rancid pretty fast. In fact, you should discard left over food if it is not consumed within an hour.
I have more posts on natural baby food recipes coming up so stay tuned for cost-effective, highly nutritious homemade baby cereals.