Homemade Super Baby Porridge

Karis’ cereal in preparation today, including: cooked brown rice & millet, egg yolk, sprouted sunflower seeds, and tahini – to be combined with my mason jar on the blender trick!

Making wholesome baby cereal for my little girl has been such a fun experiment learning how to incorporate nutritious supplements that are cheap and give a well rounded breakfast. This is called “Super” Baby porridge because it has all the ingredients needed to provide good nutrition to your little one. Thanks to Super Baby Food for all the wonderful ideas of making my own homemade cereal! You can’t beat the frugal cost and nutritional value of this concoction!

I like to wait till one year before introducing grains. Grain is not digestible, especially if it has not been soaked. Grain is a poor source of protein, iron and zinc. The starch-digesting enzymes in a child’s body do not kick in for one or two years.

According to nutritionist Jen Allbritton, “Babies do not produce the needed enzymes to handle cereals, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat, before the age of one year. Even then, it is common traditional practice to soak grains in water and a little yogurt or buttermilk for up to 24 hours. This process jump-starts the enzymatic activity in the food and begins breaking down some of the harder-to-digest components.”

That being said, I did introduce soaked brown rice cereal for my daughter around 10 months of age! ;) Soaked is key!

Super Baby Porridge

Basic Recipe:

1/2 cup ground brown rice, millet or oats (or other grains) – use brown rice if child is younger than one year
2 cups water

Soak overnight with 1 Tbsp of kefir/whey for all the extra benefits, especially for oats. Cook and stir continually until it thickens. You can give it to the baby now, or add some of these boosters. This makes enough for a 2-3 meals.

Include any of the following:

Ground Sunflower Seeds
Ground Flax Seeds (1/4 tsp when first introducing)
egg yolk (hard boiled)
tahini (ground sesame seeds)
fruit (banana, or applesauce)
2 Tbsp. any bean/legume flour (for a complete protein)

After cooking my cereal, I place a portion of the cooked cereal (1/2-3/4 cup presently) in a small pint size jar that fits on my blender (as pictured, read how to do this here) with any of the combination of ingredients listed above. It grinds them all together nicely without having to individually grind them! You can also grind seeds in a coffee grinder. I normally chose just one type of seed, 1 egg yolk (every other day as recommended in the book), and some sort of fruit. This is all grinded smoothly together in the blender and enjoyed by my little one! She absolutely loves this!

NOTE: For those who do not have a grain grinder, try cooking the grain on the stove (like you would rice), and then blend to puree in your blender or mason jar. (For 1/2 cup rice, use 1 1/4 cup water). If you cook in too much water, no big deal…you are making a porridge anyway! I often use this method because I will be cooking up some oatmeal for Aaron & I, and just pull out a portion for Karis. You can soak the grain in the water and kefir/whey/lemon juice as well, to receive that benefit.

Further Reading:

Flax Seeds for Babies – all the benefits

Works for me!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

56 Responses to Homemade Super Baby Porridge

  1. Toree March 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Jenni November 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    I stumbled upon your blog as I was searching about Tahini (as read about in the Super Baby Foods book) and I love your ideas! But you now have me worried that I need to re-think how I prepare the porridge grains for the porridge. My baby doesn’t seem to be showing any signs that it is bothering him and he LOVES the stuff…do you really think this extra soaking is worth all the extra effort? (my little man is 8.5 months right now)

    Thanks!

  3. holly July 12, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    hi lindsay – can you use steel cut oats (aka irish oats) for the baby porridge?

    • Lindsay July 12, 2011 at 6:27 am #

      Yes, you can. You may have to adapt the amount of water depending upon normal steel cut oat preparations.

  4. Megan March 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    While I realize this post is three years old, I must point out that babies do not have the capabilities to fully digest grains until they have two set of molars or around two years old. Feeding them grains sooner than that can damage their intestinal tract.

    “Finally, respect the tiny, still-developing digestive system of your infant. Babies have limited enzyme production, which is necessary for the digestion of foods. In fact, it takes up to 28 months, just around the time when molar teeth are fully developed, for the big-gun carbohydrate enzymes (namely amylase) to fully kick into gear. Foods like cereals, grains and breads are very challenging for little ones to digest. Thus, these foods should be some of the last to be introduced. (One carbohydrate enzyme a baby’s small intestine does produce is lactase, for the digestion of lactose in milk.1)”

    http://rowdiness.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/317-nourishing-a-growing-baby.html

  5. Mrs. U December 18, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Hi there!!!
    Do you put your rice in the blender first and then soak? Or do you soak, cook and then blend it??

    His,
    Mrs. U

    • Lindsay December 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

      You can do it either way. I find it easiest to grind and then soak.

  6. Rachel August 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    I started my son on Super Porridge at 10 months also, but didn’t know about the ‘soaking’ thing, so thanks! I need to make a batch today, but alas the brown rice will soak tonight!
    I start by making the brown rice like normal. I freeze 1/4 cup portions in baggies and take them out as needed to thaw in the refrigerator for about 24 hours. I add 1 tsp. brewers yeast to make the complete protein, 1 tsp. flax seed meal (ground just before I put it in to make the porridge), 2 tsp. organic unsweetened applesauce, and an egg yolk every other day. Oh, and 1 oz. water. Grind for 2 minutes in the little baby food processor and it’s great every time! He loves it! I’m hoping to add the cod liver oil soon, because I know it’s SO good for him!

    Thanks again for your post! And I’m so glad a friend recommended your site! I’ll be coming back often!

    Rachel

  7. cori October 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    You mentioned above that you started grains and yogurt for your daughter at around 10 months…what did you serve her to eat before then? I have a 7 month old and am learning (Nourishing Traditions) so much, but not sure how to incorporate that into my babies diet. I read the portion in the back of the book, but they did not give many specifics other than egg yolks and she can’t have that every day! Any nutritional baby food ideas would be great. Maybe you could even do a post on that soon??? Thanks!

    • Lindsay October 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

      Yes, this post is on the way! I gave Karis mainly fruits and vegetables of all kinds before she had grains. This time around I will probably wait till Titus is 1 year before introducing grains. Stay tuned!

  8. Lenae September 16, 2009 at 6:58 am #

    I am just starting to add seeds and beans to my daughters porridge, and I am wondering how you do it. Can I mix millet/brn. rice, beans, and flax all together and then grind them and soak them all together? Also, if I sprout sunflower seeds, when do I mix them into the cereal? Thanks!

    • Lindsay September 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm #

      Yes, I would recommend grinding them all up and then soaking them together. Grind your seeds in a coffee grinder and the beans/grains in a grain mill for best results. If you sprout the sunflower seeds, I would just grind them up and add them just before serving.

  9. ~M September 9, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    I recently bought a package of Bob’s Red Mill teff grain and cooked a batch. It is fabulous!!!!!!! It tastes very similar to cream of wheat but is gluten-free and full of protein, iron, and fiber since it’s a true whole grain (with even a larger ratio of bran to grain since teff is so teeny tiny). I cooked it according to the package directions and served with a splash of grade b maple syrup and unsweetened coconut milk. Next time, I think I will try soaking it with the water in a mason jar (without a lid) and then using it in the morning as is…I never know whether I need to drain the soaking water or how much water to replace it with (since I’m guessing the grain does soak up some of the liquid). Any advice? Also, with teff, there is the concern that the grains might fall through a strainer. If my experiment is successful, I’ll try adding lemon juice (my preferred acidic medium).

    By the way, I know you mentioned that you use Trader Joe’s Apple Cider Vinegar, but that is pasteurized (Bragg’s is raw). Is that not a problem? Thanks!

    • Lindsay September 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

      Michele, you only need to drain the water and rinse when using quinoa. That is the only grain that has the bitter coating on the outside that is removed through the thorough rinsing after soaking. Otherwise, you can soak in the liquids and then cook. I recommend just soaking the grain in the quantity of water called for in the recipe. If it soaks up all the water, just add a bit more when you are ready to cook.

      Actually, TJ ACV is not pasteurized. It says specifically on the label that it is raw. You can also tell by the fact “the mother”, the dark floaty substance inside, is still there. Bragg’s is also raw but more expensive.

  10. Stephanie August 1, 2009 at 1:51 am #

    Hey! My boy is 9 months old. When can I start doing beans? In the book she said something about removing the skins? I was kinda confused.

    • Lindsay August 1, 2009 at 5:21 am #

      You know, I am not sure. I would probably recommend 10 months, but go with what the book says. I never worried about removing the skins. Just blend them up and you will be fine.

      • Stephanie August 1, 2009 at 6:19 am #

        Hey Lindsay – When you say blend them up – does that mean you grind them then cook them or cook at then grind them up?

        • Lindsay August 3, 2009 at 4:20 am #

          I usually grind them and then cook them, but you can also cook them in whole form and then blend it up in the blender. Either way works.

  11. Megan June 28, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    how young can a baby be to eat this? my son is 6.5 mo and i really want to make homemade cereal. thanks!

    • Lindsay July 1, 2009 at 6:29 am #

      It is totally up to you. Some people recommend you wait till a baby is 1 year old before introducing grains, but I started this recipe around 10 months old. The soaking definitely helps make this digestible for the little ones. If you have wheat allergies in the family, then I would recommend delaying your introduction of grains. That is usually the main concern.

    • Victoria July 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

      I just wanted to say that the GFCF version of this is a safe way to go if you are really worried about wheat and dairy before age 1. This seems to be the main concern on some people’s minds. Sometimes even soy bothers babies, but they will be ok with soy yogurt and kefir just because of the cultures in it. To make it GFCF, just don’t use grains that contain the gluten protein (and ultimately, wheat), and avoid casein proteins (milk from mammals). Soy and rice milks aren’t considered dairy, but soy can sometimes upset babies anyway (the protein is very similar to casein). Kefir is generally made with mammal milk, and is more expensive when made with soy (and isn’t really doable with rice milk at all), so if you are avoiding milks, don’t bother with kefir until later because it makes a big ding in the pocketbook. Brown rice is gluten-free (yay!), and if baby has issues with it, white rice is often better digested. Rice milk yogurt is full of other types of ingredients that make the consistency more like yogurt and really shouldn’t be used unless your baby absolutely can’t handle soy and you can’t find any other way of getting acidophilus in them (even some baby formulas now come with cultures). To be totally honest, the stuff is horrible, and rice milk is really not a great liquid for incubating cultures anyway. This diet and the recipes involved are soo flexible, I think any mom can tailor it to their baby’s needs.

    • sonya August 20, 2009 at 9:12 am #

      I began my baby girl on super porridge as one of her first foods. I wish I had thought to do it with my older children. My daughter is 1 year old right now, but when she decides that she doesn’t want anything else to eat (just like adults, sometimes only certain things sound good), she will ALWAYS eat her porridge. I grind my Oats and store it for the week. I grind my lentils and store it for the week. Every morning I make it fresh. I add 1/3 cup of ground oats, 1/8 cup groud lentils and add 1/2 tsp Wheat germ to it. Boiling water and let it steep til it gets goopy. It is cool enough by the time she is ready to eat it. Usually by the time I’ve had my first cup of coffee. She has not been sick at all since birth and I attribute this completely to her diet. My boys are older 10 & 12, and have also only been sick a handful of times in their life. Again, because of their diet. I made their baby food til they were 2-3 years old (just not their porridge). Example… My youngest son, 10, will not eat lettuce. BUt he loves Fresh spinach in his salads and on his sandwiches. I have not purchased a head of lettuce in 5 years. Just spinach.

  12. Soccy June 22, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    About the super baby food diet. In the book she says the porridge is the first meal and the second meal is based on yogurt.

    At what age can you give baby dairy? I thought you had to wait until 1 yr.

    Also, can you substitute Kefir for yogurt?

    • Lindsay June 22, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

      It is really up to you as to when you should introduce dairy. You definitely want to start with cultured forms and wait till a year before introducing milk. I use a combination of kefir and yogurt all the time and started giving it to my little girl around 10 months or so.

      • Tera August 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

        I read that one of the reasons pediatricians say to wait until a year for dairy is that they are afraid that drinking cows’ milk could cut down on the amount of breastmilk (or formula) a baby receives. I have been giving my daughter both yogurt and cheese since 8 months, and they have really helped her to put on some weight (since she was on the skinny side)!

  13. Soccy May 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    Hi Lindsay

    Another question. This time about the Tahini. Do you make your own or do you buy it premade? If planning to make my own, what type of seeds should I buy: white or brown? hulled or not? I’m following your advice and placing an order with Azure. Thanks your site is a blessing!

    • Lindsay May 29, 2009 at 8:57 am #

      No, I have always bought tahini at my local Fred Meyers, but your question got me thinking. It sure would be easy enough to make your own or just grind up some sesame seeds for this recipe. Here is a homemade tahini recipe that sounds very simple. Apparently, tepid water is a mixture of two parts cold water to one part boiling water.

      • Victoria June 12, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

        When tahini got to be too expensive for us, we simply bought organic sesame seeds and ground it up (fresh everyday, of course, so it didn’t go rancid) and put the powder directly into the porridge. We don’t always do it this way, but it can be a money-saver, especially when your kid starts eating 2 cups of the stuff a day! I’m positive doing it this way gives you the same or even more benefits as using organic tahini.

        • Camille July 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

          I’ve recently discovered your site and am now soaking my oatmeal and quinoa. This morning just started soaking barley and buckwheat for the first time, but I still have so many questions! For instance, do you need to grind the sesame seeds or can you use them whole? Also, do you need to soak the flax, sunflower, or sesame seeds like you do the grains? Thanks so much for all you do.

          • Lindsay July 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

            It depends upon what you are using the seeds for. Soaking is preferred for flax seeds in order to make them more digestible. I usually just throw them in whole for my bread and let them soak with the flours. I usually grind them up for my oatmeal and throw it in with the oats to soak. So you can do it either way. Ideally, it is best to sprout sunflower seeds and those that are larger in form. Flax and sesame do not work for that, so they are best to soak. Check out how to sprout here.

  14. Soccy May 22, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    Hi there, stumbled across your site and I also have the Super Baby Food book. My baby will be 6 mos soon so I’m getting all geared up for the Super Porridge. My question is about the soaking, what is the added benefit to soaking over night?

    • Lindsay May 23, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by! You can read more about the benefits of soaking your grains here. Basically, it makes the cereal more digestible and the nutrients better assimilated into the body.

  15. Jill braun May 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    I’m super sorry for the confusion. When i soak my millet overnight (1/2 c to 2 cups h20) when i go to cook it the next day do i have to add any more water to cook it? Thanks

    • Lindsay May 20, 2009 at 6:48 am #

      No, the soaking water is what you cook the rice in as well, so there is no need to add further liquids for cooking.

  16. Jill braun May 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    Howdy, wanting to know after i soak my grains overnight that were grinded before hand is it the same water ratio to when the grains were whole?
    I’m supppperrrrrrr excited to make your super porridge.
    Cheers.
    Jill Braun

    • Lindsay May 15, 2009 at 6:34 am #

      I am not sure I follow your question. My recipe is using 1/2 cup of water mixed with the already ground grains. The measured amount is already ground and not whole. Does that make sense?

  17. Victoria April 13, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    oh, and Bob’s Red Mill will sell you certified gluten-free oats if you want. The oats themselves don’t have gluten in them–but most are processed on equipment with gluten residue. That’s what I’ve found through research, anyway. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  18. Victoria April 13, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    I have been feeding my toddler the GFCF version of this with kale, tahini, eggs, nutritional yeast, flax meal, vitamin a veggies, and a vitamin C fruit for ‘nutritional extras’. He eats it for breakfast and dinner and can’t get enough–and he’s TWO! He’s a soy yogurt-lover too. I love the super baby food book and super porridge!

  19. Jessica December 5, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    Do you purchase the brown rice, millet and oatmeal from a health store or can you purchase it from a grocery store in the bulk section? Just not sure what the best is or if there is really a difference.

    • Lindsay December 6, 2008 at 8:52 am #

      I purchase these items from a bulk health food co-op, Azure Standard (www.azurestandard.com). Some of these items can be found at a regular grocery store, but the best quality and freshness will be found at the health food store or through Azure Standard.

  20. Nancy August 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    I LOVE this book. I used it when my twins were babies, and am now getting ready to start making it again for my almost 7-month-old. I actually ran across your blog because I went to the Super Baby Food website and she linked your blog there. I have been reading it like crazy now. I am inspired to try a lot of new things: soaking grains, making kefir and kombucha (I just ordered a kombucha mushroom and some kefir grains off eBay for a spectacular price), using coconut oil…so much to try! Anyway – my question is this: do you grind the grains first and then soak them overnight before cooking? Or do you soak them whole and then cook them and then puree? I was a little confused on that point, and I don’t have the Nourishing Traditions book (on my wish list now, though!). Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy

    • Lindsay August 18, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

      Nancy, thanks for visiting and for your sweet comments! AS to soaking this porridge, I actually grind the grains first in my grinder, making it into a flour, and then I soak. If you don’t have a grinder, you can also soak them whole and then cook and puree. Either way works. You can also use a blender to grind with grains, water, and acid medium and that works as well as a grinder replacement.

      • Nancy August 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

        Thanks Lindsay! That was what I was hoping to be able to do. I have a VitaMix blender (with a dry pitcher attachment) which works great for grinding grains, so I will try it that way. I love your philosophy on life and homemaking, and I am very impressed with your intelligent and well-thought out (and well researched) posts. I will be visiting very often. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

        :) Nancy

  21. Connie June 13, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    Love the idea of adding ground sunflower, flax and wheat germ. Why shouldnt our babies reap the benefits of these power foods as well?! I was wondering about any possible problems with introducing these to a baby under 1yr. I have read, not to give too much flax meal, due to a certain compound that is in the seeds and to watch out for too much fiber – can be hard on their little livers. Any thoughts on adding ground pumpkin seeds to the mix as well?

    • Lindsay June 18, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

      Opps…I forgot to reply to your question. Sorry Connie. I definitely love the addition of pumpkin seeds as well. They are definitely an excellent seed to include, although I normally only use one type of seed with each batch. I recall reading in Super Baby Food to start out with just 1/4 tsp of seeds when first starting out under 1 year of age.

  22. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home April 7, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    That cereal looks great- lots of healthy stuff in there. My only concern is that you mentioned you want to keep Karis off of gluten until she is one, but oats actually have gluten in them. Grains with gluten include wheat, spelt, barley, oats, kamut, triticale, and rye.

    Does Super Baby Food mention which grains should be introduced earlier rather than later? Personally, we are keeping Caden off of grains completely until one year, but I think I would steer clear of oats for just a little while longer. Anyways, purely just my humble opinion. I’m glad, though, that the recipe includes soaking- perfect! Was that in the book, or your own addition?

    • Lindsay April 7, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

      Yes, I understand that oats have some gluten in it, but it is very minimal. I am not too concerned about it. She has been doing fine with it.

      The book does address what grains to introduce and when. Oats came in around 10 months, I believe. Unfortunately, I had to return my copy to the library, otherwise I could check.

      No, the book does not talk about soaking. This is something I have done on my own!

  23. Sarah April 7, 2008 at 10:08 am #

    Hi Lindsey!

    I’ve been using the Super Baby Food diet for my little guy and he is thriving! We (now) make Super Porridge with organic grains and legumes (favorite seems to be oat groats and lentils but he does well on brown rice and split peas as well) and I just normally make up one batch a week and we get through it! His favorite breakfast is the base super porridge with a cube of sweet potato and a hard boiled egg yolk mixed up. He gobbles it down! He also loves one kale cube plus two orange-veggie cubes mixed with yogurt with a little wheat germ thrown in.

    Now that he is older he is eating hummus with whole wheat pita or crackers and loves pretty much all vegetables (he is so excited to get something green on his plate – he actually “stole” zucchini off of mine last night at dinner!) – we are so blessed and lucky! And I have to credit the use of Super Baby Food and just allowing him to try (and not making a big deal out of) almost everything (within reason of course!)

    I’m so glad to know that others have found success with this “diet” as well!

    Best,
    Sarah

  24. Alissa April 3, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    Hi Lindsay,

    May I ask where you got your beautiful glass containers? I’ve recently started buying a lot of things in bulk and have nothing to store them in! :)

    Thanks,
    Alissa

    • Lindsay April 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

      I purchased the glass jars with lids at IKEA. Great prices and I love them for displaying on my shelves. The other one was a craigslist.org find.

  25. Tia April 2, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    Whew!!! Lindsay I remember when you first mentioned giving Karis an egg yolk, honest to goodness, I thought meant a RAW egg yolk!!! For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine that, or how that could be nutritious! I guess the only way to have not confused me was to say a hard boiled egg lol. W/the white removed. or hard boiled egg yolk. Which I don’t get that, the white has all the protein in it.

    Wow, so glad to hear it’s a hard boiled egg, one of my fave things to eat!

    Instead of a grain grinder, would a coffee grinder work?

    • Lindsay April 3, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

      You can grind seeds in a coffee grinder but not grains. Try cooking them first as I mentioned above.

    • Tia April 3, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

      Gotcha! I wasn’t sure if a coffee grinder would work, or if maybe you didn’t try it or something.

      Is it because the grain are harder?

    • Lindsay April 3, 2008 at 7:48 pm #

      Yes, grain is much harder and larger than seeds, and coffee grinder blades are small. I have grounded grains successfully in my blender as well for Sue Gregg’s recipes.

  26. Linds April 2, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    I love this! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be bookmarking this, our little one has not started solids yet but we’ll give a try when she does.

    Linds

  27. Mrs. U April 2, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    I gave this to Elizabeth when she was smaller. I still do brown rice, banana, yogurt, tahini, nutritional yeast and wheat germ mixed together for her. She LOVES this!! I think following Super Baby Food is not only what has made Elizabeth so healthy, but also given her a great love for all kinds of food.

    And I LOVE the mason jar idea! I definitely need to use this tip!

    His,
    Mrs. U