Making homemade baby cereal or porridge is SO easy and inexpensive! If you've only been serving rice or oat-based cereals, give this iron-rich quinoa version a try!
What is the best best cereal to start with?
While the popular recommendation is to start with iron-fortified rice cereal, you DO NOT have to as this is outdated advice. There are plenty of flavorful, iron-rich foods to choose from.
You also don’t have to start with baby cereal or other smooth purees, unless it’s what you feel most comfortable doing.
You can introduce soft finger foods from the beginning, if your baby is showing ALL the signs of readiness for solids. If you are unsure whether your baby is developmentally ready, grab this FREE handout.
Having said all this, I want to answer this question by reframing it - The best first
cereal foods are those that are iron-rich and allow for your baby to experience a variety of colors, flavors, and textures.
By doing so, not only will your baby get all the nutrients necessary to grow and thrive, it will help minimize picky eating down the road.
Related: Best Iron-Rich Foods for Babies
Enter Quinoa Baby Cereal/Porridge
Quinoa is such an amazing grain and iron-rich food to introduce your baby to! So much so that I've written a whole post about it!
Not only is it a nutritional powerhouse, but this simple recipe will serve as a great vehicle for incorporating VARIETY to your baby's diet.
Variety is the name of the game when it comes to feeding your baby! It's important for nutrition, acceptance of new foods, and development of skills necessary to chew and swallow effectively.
It will also make family mealtimes that much more enjoyable because nobody, not even your baby, wants to eat the same foods and texture day in and out.
Whether you are doing purees or baby led weaning, this porridge will be a wonderful experience for your baby. Even my toddler enjoys it as his breakfast with all the toppings.
On top of that, this will be the least messy way to serve this tiny grain to your baby! You're welcome ;).
Related: Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Babies
Add cooked quinoa and liquid to a blender and process until smooth.
You can control the consistency by adjusting the amount of liquid. If you feel like you’re stuck on smooth purees, try adding less and less liquid each time so you can gently challenge your baby to get accustomed to texture.
Need more guidance in moving forward with texture? Click here!
Add those toppings!!
Sure, you can just serve the porridge plain. It will have a slightly nutty and earthy flavor. BUT please don't stop there!
- Have leftover cooked vegetables? Ripe fruit? Finely chop (or mash) and add them in!
- Mix in some nut butter or ground nuts/seeds for a boost of healthy fats.
- Stir in some yogurt or low-sodium cheese like ricotta or mascarpone.
- So good with dips/sauces!
- Spice it up!
There's no need to measure any of these. Eyeballing works just fine. I always suggest starting with less and then mix in more to taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t like to call any food “bad.” They all have a place and purpose. If you are struggling to get more iron into your baby’s diet and in need of convenience items, then I say go for it!
What I do encourage, however, is to not serve it every single day. That’s because rice contains arsenic, which you want to be mindful of. You don’t have to completely eliminate, but it’s a good idea to invite other grains into the rotation, like quinoa, oats, farina, etc.
And here's how to reduce arsenic in rice considerably.
There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there surrounding this topic. Babies CAN digest grains, and they should be introduced to these nutritious foods!
Absolutely! Refrigerate and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. I suggest holding off on adding the toppings until right before serving. It will make for a better textural experience for your child.
I suggest making a big batch and freezing in individual portions. I like to use my freezer tray for this. Once frozen, pop out of the tray and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Will keep for up to 3 months.
When ready to enjoy, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and combine with whatever topping(s) you fancy!
Flavor Combination Inspirations
I say add whatever you have on hand, but if you're in need of more specific ideas and guidance, you will find lots of fun and delicious food combinations to try!
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Easy Quinoa Baby Cereal (4 Ways)
- 1 cup cooked yellow quinoa (160g)
- ⅓ cup water, broth, breastmilk/formula
- Add quinoa and liquid of choice to a blender and blend until smooth. Feel free to add more liquid depending on your desired consistency.
- Divide into ¼ cup servings and add desired toppings of choice. It's such an easy and delicious way to incorporate variety throughout the week!
- 1 teaspoon smooth peanut butter + 1 tablespoon mashed banana + a pinch of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped cooked broccoli + 1 tablespoon hummus
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped cooked carrot and spinach + a pinch of curry powder (a splash of coconut milk is delish!)
- 1 tablespoon full-fat Greek yogurt/ricotta + 1 teaspoon finely ground nuts/seeds