First cereal recipes

Things to keep in mind

• Rice is the first cereal to be introduced, as it is not only nutritious but also the easiest to digest. Once your baby adjusts to rice mixed with soups and purees, you can slowly start introducing other cereals and foods.

• Start with a combination of rice and pulses (Khichri), rice and finely chopped/pureed vegetables (Vegetable biryani or pulao). Once your baby adjusts to rice based foods slowly introduce other cereals like suji, ragi, bajra, jowar, and sabudana.

• Wheat and oats should be introduced later (after eight months) when your baby’s digestive system is stronger.

• You may add half a spoon of desi ghee or yellow butter to give a salty flavour and to increase the calorific value. However, do check with your doctor before adding any extra fats to your baby’s diet.

• Remember to start one new food/cereal at a time. Keep a track of your baby’s reaction to each cereal.

• To add variety and to make rice more nutritious, substitute water with vegetable soup or vegetable stock.

Mashed Rice

Vegetarian

Good source of protein, vitamins, calcium and starch

Ingredients
2 tablespoons rice
2 cups water (use vegetable stock as a variation)

Method
Cook the rice in pressure cooker and mash well to a smooth consistency.
Once your baby adjusts to this add some daal and vegetable stock to make it more interesting and tasty.

Quick tip: You can easily store powdered daal and rice (in equal ratio) in a clean dry jar. Before making this powder, wash the daal and rice properly and dry them thoroughly under the sun. Whenever you want 1-2 tsp of powdered mixture in a bowl for sometime and cook it in the same water to make tasty gruel. To increase its nutritive value, you can also add milk or curd or puree of boiled potatoes or blended vegetables.

Khichadi

Vegetarian

Good source of protein, vitamins, calcium and starch

Ingredients
1 tablespoon (split yellow or green moong daal)
2 tablespoons rice
A pinch of turmeric
2 cups water (use vegetable stock as a variation)

Start with khichri a week or two after your baby has adjusted to simple rice cereal and mashed rice.

Method
Wash and soak the rice and daal for about half an hour.
Add turmeric powder and cook in a pressure cooker for about 2-3 whistles.
Mash well and serve.

Quick tip: You can alter the consistency by increasing or reducing the water. More water will make the khichri creamier and less water will make it grainy.
Once your baby adjust to this, change from 1 part daal, 2 part rice to a 1:1 ratio of daal and rice.

To add some variety make khichri like fried rice.

Fried Rice

Vegetarian

Good source of protein, vitamins, calcium and starch

Ingredients
1 tablespoon (split yellow or green moong daal)
2 tablespoons rice
2 cups water (use vegetable stock as a variation)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon desi ghee

Method
Wash and soak the rice and daal for about half an hour.
Brown onions and add a few cumin seeds.
When the seeds crackle add the rice and daal and pressure cooker for about 2-3 whistles.
Mash well and serve. You can alter the consistency by increasing or reducing the water.
More water will make the khichri creamier and less water will make it grainy.

Quick tip: Once your baby adjusts to this, add grated cottage cheese (paneer) and vegetable puree to increase the nutrients and flavour.

Suji upma

Vegetarian

Good source of protein

Ingredients
15gm suji
1-2 cups water

This is a highly nutritious breakfast meal.

Method
Dry roast 1-2 tsp of suji in a clean pan till it turns brown.
Keep stirring constantly to avoid burning.
Add water and bring to a boil.
To make upma of pouring consistency add more water.

Vegetable Suji Upma

Vegetarian

Good source of protein, vitamins

Ingredients
15gm suji
1-2 cups water
Pureed vegetables

Method
Dry roast about 15 gm suji (without oil) in a clean dry pan till it turns brown.
Cook on low flame and keep stirring continuously otherwise the suji will burn. Keep aside.
In a separate pan add about 1 tsp of butter/ghee.
When the butter/ghee melts, add vegetable puree and fry.
Add water and suji. Cook the mixture on a low flame till the time suji grains absorb water.
Keep stirring so that lumps do not form.
Serve checking the temperature of the food.

Quick tip: As your baby gets older substitute pureed vegetables with finely chopped/diced vegetables. If you want suji upma to be of pouring consistency, then don’t let the water dry completely. If you want suji upma to be thicker and creamier, then let the water be absorbed completely.

Vegetable Sabudana Khichri

Vegetarian

Good source of protein and vitamins.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons Sabudana
1 cup water
Pureed vegetables

Method
Wash and soak about 2 tbsp of sabudana in 1 cup of water till the time it doubles in size and grains become soft.
Puree the vegetables and keep the mixture aside for few minutes.
Heat oil/ghee in a pan and add few cumin seeds.
When the seeds start crackling add the pureed vegetables and stir well.
Add sabudana and mix gently.
Sprinkle some lemon juice over it (optional) and serve.

Malted cereals

Vegetarian

Good source of protein, iron, calcium and folic acid.

Ingredients
1/2 cup each of washed rice, ragi, moong (green gram)

Malted cereals are a staple in many homes. Start with malted cereal once a day and then increase it to twice a day.

Method
Soak the cereals overnight in separate containers.
Drain the water and tie the cereal in separate moist muslin cloths.
Keep in a warm place and allow to sprout — remember to sprinkle water continuously so that they remain damp.
(The cereal will sprout in about 48 hours.)
Once the sprouts appear, dry roast in a pan to remove excess moisture.
Combine all the cereals and remove any burnt skins from the mixture by passing through a sieve.
Grind this mixture into a fine powder and store in an air tight container.
The next time you prepare your baby’s meal, just add ½ to 1 tsp of malted cereal to increase the energy content of the weaning foods.

Quick tip:You can also add malted cereal to milk, fruit purees and vegetable soups.

Malted cereals have a short life span. Store in a cool, moisture-free place. Discard any left over malted cereal after two weeks and prepare a fresh batch.

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