Thursday, May 5, 2011

First crack at solids - what a "grind"!

OK, so I lied. :) We weren't planning to introduce Starryn to solids until closer to 6 months, however we decided to go for it tonight. Why? Well, she's been super-interested and grabby during recent meals, she's a skinny li'l thing and Granda Mary was over today who we knew would LOVE to get in on the experience as well! Also, Ange mentioned yesterday when we were over for a visit that she's been preparing homemade rice cereal for Sam and I *loved* this idea! Super cheap and all natural - no additives!

You can use either white or brown rice to make cereal. Commercially available rice cereals generally use white rice, however brown is more nutritious. We opted for simple white basmati for this initial "experiment" as we had a bag handy, it cooks nice & quickly and we thought that this might be the easiest for Starryn to digest for meal #1.

There are two main methods for making homemade rice cereal:
1) Cook the rice whole and then puree it
2) Grind rice into a powder using a food processor or coffee/spice grinder and then cook it

We opted for 2). Ange mentioned this is super-easy to do; she uses a coffee grinder which creates a very fine powder and simply adds boiling water which "cooks" it within less than a minute. She also mentioned that the first method results in a pasty cereal which isn't ideal.

We ground the rice using our Oster combo blender/food processor which did a pretty good job, however the resulting powder apparently wasn't fine enough to cook using the boiling water method. We also didn't add enough water initially. We ended up adding a bit more and then nuking it for 30 seconds which got the job done. (As it turns out, 4 parts water to 1 part powder is an effective ratio to get a nice, semi-solid consistency; probably would have been ideal to look this up ahead of time but you know me - I rarely measure in the kitchen ;)

So the big question - did Starryn like it? Well, she was pretty eager from the get-go!


She eagerly welcomed the first mouthful by grabbing the spoon and gumming around at it, and then opening up for more when Mommy was finally able to get the spoon back. Whew!! The "Hmm I'm not sure about this" faces did come as she took a moment to contemplate the texture and taste of this new stuff in her mouth...


 ...but in the end I'm pretty sure she swallowed more than the amount that ended up either drooled onto her bib or splattered across her cheeks. So that's good, right?

Here's a clip showing our li'l eater in action!

video 

So that was lots of fun! Though really it was an experiment more than anything at this point (and, happily, a successful one!) We might try again tomorrow or we might give it a few more days until next time. I'd like to read more about homemade cereals - incorporating breast milk, ensuring she's getting enough iron, expanding to other grains, etc. before we plunge forward with gusto. Alternatively, we might try out banana or avocado rather than more cereal as a next step. Lots of great sites out there with helpful tips, including wholesomebabyfood.com and homemade-baby-food-recipes.com.Squee! I loooove food, so I'm so excited to share this love with our little love! <3

4 comments:

  1. What a fun time! I didn't stick with rice for too long (i did homemade too) as it is fairly constipating.
    I moved onto Quinoa -- a very whole and complete food.

    I have the perfect giveaway for you-- plz pop over to Peek Thru Our Window when you have the chance. Look for the Baby Gourmet logo and click away!

    Happy Eating!

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  2. @Mixtress - MMmmm love quinoa! Will definitely give that a shot w/ S too! Not sure if you read my (lack of) poop post, but she's still only going about every 6-7 days, so we definitely don't need anything else contributing to her getting bunged up!

    I'll take a look at your giveaway - thanks!! :)

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  3. I also worried about getting enough iron for Kieran when not using a fortified cereal (I ended up finding a brown rice one that has nothing but the rice and the iron in it - My Organic Baby) but you could try pureed lima beans (lots of iron and fibre...which it sounds like you could benefit from as well!) and tonight we tried spinach which was also a surprisingly big hit. I've done chicken (which went over well) and steak (not so popular); I have a magic bullet which purees WAY better than the food processor I used for Caleb, making meats a more palatable choice with Kieran than they ever were with Caleb.

    Are you trying some BLW? It sounded like it from the more recent pear post...I'm doing some but not 100% as Robin is a big choking-phobe which limits my options a little :P

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  4. Cool - will look up My Organic Baby. Sounds like a good option. We have a Magic Bullet as well; I just asked Chris why he didn't use this for the rice and he said he wasn't a big a fan of it at that time. Since then we've done peas in there and a couple smoothies and it did a great job, so we'll be workin' it for sure over the next couple months for more baby stuffs.

    I do like the idea of BLW. Our little one is very independent and curious so I want to give her the opportunity to explore foods on her own rather than just have them inserted in her mouth for her. I bought some of those rice rusks tonight for her to gum at - we'll see how she likes them.

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