This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

Super easy to make, this beef and vegetable rice porridge for babies is easy-to-digest, nutritious, and suitable for 6 months and up. It’s also a great meal to serve when your child is feeling sick or teething.  

a close up shot of the porridge for babies in a brown bowl with a spoon
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

While I’m calling it baby porridge, this dish is for all ages! Rice porridge is commonly enjoyed in Asian cultures as a hearty savory breakfast. It’s also our “chicken soup.” Warm and comforting, it’s the perfect meal during an illness. 

If your child is running a fever, teething, having diarrhea, etc., make this porridge ASAP!

Porridge is such a great way to invite variety into your baby’s diet! It can be made with any types meat, seafood, vegetables, and other flavorful toppings.

Here I’m sharing a veggie-loaded version with beef!

Is rice safe for babies?

Being Korean, we eat a lot of rice. That’s why when the report about rice containing about 10 times as much inorganic arsenic as other cereal crop came out, my anxiety initially skyrocketed. Perhaps you can relate.

Why so much in rice? It’s due to the way they’re grown and rice tend to absorb more heavy metals from the soil in which they are grown.

Arsenic is especially concerning for babies and young children as their bodies are so small and therefore getting much higher exposure than the adults. Arsenic is also a neurotoxic compound and thus can lead to impaired brain development. I know. Scary.

BUT! don’t let fear get the best of you. I share this information because knowledge is important. It helps us to learn and make informed decisions.

What this knowledge further motivated me to do, and I hope it does for you, is to focus on offering a wide variety of grains instead of relying heavily on rice.

Overall, oatmeal (we make variations of this ALL the time for a quick breakfast), barley, buckwheat, quinoa, and wheat contain much lower amounts of inorganic arsenic. 

How to cook rice for baby 6 months and up

an infographic of how to parboil rice

Resource

Here’s a simple way you can significantly reduce arsenic from rice while preserving its nutrients.

According to the research, parboiling rice removes about 54 percent of arsenic in brown rice and about 73 percent in white rice, while retaining the most amount of the nutrients potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and manganese.

parboiled and strained rice placed in a colander

For this recipe, not only will this extra step remove the arsenic content considerably, it also shortens the cooking time.

Ingredients

all the ingredients for the rice porridge laid out on a large wooden board

Rice – Sushi or jasmine rice will work best. I don’t recommend basmati as it doesn’t break down into a creamy, “gluey” consistency. 

Vegetables

zucchini finely chopped in a mini manual food chopper with carrots and kale in the background

Feel free to use whatever vegetables you wish – bell pepper, broccoli, asparagus, spinach…endless possibilities!

You can finely chop using a knife or a food processor. I like to prep a lot while the baby is napping so this manual food chopper is my go-to (affiliate link). It’s super quiet, lightweight, and powerful.

Step-by-Step Instructions

two image collage. On the left cooked ground beef and onion and garlic added on the right
  1. cook beef in sesame oil
  2. add onion and garlic
two image collage. On the left rice mixed in with beef and onion and the rest of the vegetables added on the right

3. add parboiled rice

4. add the rest of the vegetables

a two image collage. Water added to the porridge mixture and simmering and on the right shows what porridge looks like once done cooking

5. Add water and cook for 15-20 minutes

6. Add a drizzle of sesame oil before serving

Expert tips

It’s important that you stir frequently. The more you do so, the more the rice will break down and become silky.

While water is used in this recipe, you can use stock for more depth of flavor. Just be sure to use low-sodium or no-salt-added variety.

baby porridge placed in a baby bowl and adult-sized bowl with kimchi

Storage Suggestions

Leftover porridge can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Stir in a little water, breastmilk, or formula to loosen it up, if necessary.

How to freeze baby porridge

If intending to freeze, be sure to cool first. Do NOT leave the porridge in the large pot at room temperature to cool. Instead, transfer to shallow containers (I like to divide into single-serving portions) in the fridge before transferring to the freezer. Here’s an in-depth post on how to store leftovers safely and effectively.

This baby porridge can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

baby led feeding journey program cover

Do you want to minimize picky eating and set a solid foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating habits?

Check out this 3 month mastering self-feeding program! It’s the closest thing to me being in your kitchen

4.98 from 47 votes

rice porridge for babies

Super easy to make, this beef and vegetable rice porridge for babies is easy-to-digest, nutritious, and suitable for 6 months and up.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (220g) sushi or jasmine rice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup (70g) finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup (70g) finely chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup (70g) finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup (15g) finely chopped kale
  • 4 cups water or low-sodium broth of choice

Instructions 

First, parboil rice

  • Rinse rice in a strainer. Add 4 cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add rice and boil for 5 minutes. Strain the rice. Discard the water.

For the porridge

  • In a large pot add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add beef and cook over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, breaking up large clumps, until no longer pink.
  • Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add strained rice and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables and stir for about a minute or so.
  • Pour 4 cups of water into pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes. Be sure to keep scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent rice from sticking. 
  • At this point, you can add more water if thinner consistency is desired. Before serving, add a drizzle of sesame oil. For older child and adults, can season to taste with salt and pepper, or add a splash of soy sauce. 

Video

Notes

It’s important that you stir frequently. The more you do so, the more the rice will break down and become silky.
While water is used in this recipe, you can use stock for more depth of flavor. Just be sure to use low-sodium or no-salt-added variety.
Leftover porridge can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Stir in a little water, breastmilk, or formula to loosen it up, if necessary.
Can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




35 Comments

  1. Thank you for the information regarding parboiling the rice to remove inorganic arsenic. I never knew about this until I read it here. I was wondering how I would be able to remove the inorganic arsenic, but using a rice cooker instead of stove top.

    1. The best thing you can do is to rinse really well until the water runs clear. I mention arsenic here because it is important to parents with babies to be aware of BUT being Korean, I also know that rice is an integral part of many cuisines worldwide. Honestly I only parboil rice if I’m making porridge. Otherwise I just rinse and cook in the rice cooker as well because parboiling really alters the texture. What I do encourage you is to enjoy rice with your little one(s) but don’t let it be the only grain you serve. Variety is always the answer :).

  2. 5 stars
    My 12 month old is obsessed with this recipe. Can I substitute 1:1 ground beef with ground chicken? I feed my kid a bit too much red meat. Trying to cut down. Ty!!

  3. Can you use quinoa instead of rice? I’ve been feeding my 14 month old the porridge. I was wondering since she eats variations of the porridge often, should I be concerned about arsenic levels. I do parboil the rice first. Just curious if quinoa would work well either alone or mixed with the rice.

    1. Hi! Yes rice does have arsenic so it’s best to not eliminate completely but vary it up with other grains so quinoa would be a great alternative! Check out my quinoa baby cereal for ideas!

  4. Hello, my baby has potential nut allergy. I’m worried she has sesame allergy too. Do you have any substitute for the sesame oil? Thank you