Baby’s First Cereal (From Scratch)

Making your own baby porridge costs a fraction of what you can buy it for and only takes a few minutes! Learn how with our simple tutorial.

a bowl of baby cereal on a wooden cat plate with wooden beads in the background

What is the best baby cereal to start with?

For years, the recommendation was that you start with plain white rice cereal. There have recently been indications against rice muesli, now the experts recommend simply feeding baby food that is easy to digest and contains iron. A cereal is a good choice to start with.

Which grains are best for making baby cereal?

There are so many highly nutritious grains that are great choices for making baby cereal from scratch.

  • rice is typically the least allergenic grain and easily digestible. Organic brown rice, jasmine rice, and basmati are great.
  • Oats are a great starter cereal for babies. It’s high in fiber, calcium, protein, and even some B vitamins. Old-fashioned, steel-cut, and rolled oats all work well for making baby cereal.
  • barley is a good source of fiber as well as vitamin A, folic acid and even protein. When cooked, the texture of barley is similar to oats. Barely the most common, it comes in peeled, rolled, and pearled forms, and all three are perfect for baby cereal.
  • kamut is a protein-rich grain, about 30% more protein than wheat. It has a sweet and almost buttery taste. Its shape resembles basmati rice.
  • millet is rich in B vitamins, potassium, iron and is even considered a good source of protein. It looks like a tiny round ball and has a mild flavor, which we think makes it a great option for blending other flavors. It’s gluten-free and a great option for grain sensitivities.
  • Andean millet is packed with fiber, iron and is a great source of plant-based protein and gluten-free. It has a slightly nutty flavor but is not very strong overall. Make sure you rinse your quinoa well.
Ingredients for homemade baby muesli

How do I make my own baby cereal?

Here’s how…..(You won’t believe how easy it is!)

You take your uncooked grain, put it in a high speed blender and pulse until it has a fine texture. That’s it! It is really that easy. Making your own will cost you pennies, provides your baby with whole grain nutrients, and is super quick and easy to prepare.


1/2 cup ground grain + 4 cups water

Put them together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. That will do a lot! You can save the leftovers as individual servings and then freeze them for later. I like to use silicone bowls because it’s super easy to squeeze out a single serving. I love the NUK silicone tray because I love the size of the cups. They have a really good portion size and I love that it has a lid that covers the entire tray rather than individual lids.

Process shots for the production of baby muesli

When can I give my baby muesli?

Most babies are ready to start solids between 4 and 6 months (and experts recommend waiting until around 6 months in many cases). Your baby’s individual development is really what you should consider when deciding whether or not it’s time to start solids.

These are some of the signs that your baby is ready for solid food:

  • Your baby can hold their head up well when supported to sit. Overexerted baby food should also not be offered until then. Lumpier foods should wait until a baby is comfortable sitting up on their own, usually not before 7 months.
  • The tongue thrust reflex has disappeared. Try this test: Using the tip of a baby spoon or your finger, place a small piece of baby food diluted with breast milk or formula into your baby’s mouth. If the food comes right back out with that tiny tongue and keeps going after several tries, the push is still there and the baby isn’t ready for spoon feeding.
  • Your baby will grab food from the table and otherwise show interest in it. If she takes the fork out of your hand or watches every bite you take intently and excitedly, it may be a sign that she is hungry for more real food.
  • Your baby can move their tongue back and forth and up and down. How do you know? Just watch carefully.
homemade baby cereal in a small white bowl with a spoon

Other great foods for babies:

  • 1/2 Cup Brown rice or oats
  • 4 cups Water For oats, use 2 cups
  • If you use rice, rinse it thoroughly.

  • Pour your grain into a blender; pulse until fine.

  • Mix ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

  • Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved.

  • Remove from heat and let cool before feeding your baby. You can mix this cereal with a small amount of breast milk or formula when feeding.

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If it’s too thick, add a little more water. That will do a lot! You can save the leftovers as individual servings and then freeze them for later up to 3 months.

Calories: 29kcal | Carbohydrates: 6G | Protein: 1G | Fat: 0.2G | Saturated Fatty Acids: 0.05G | Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1G | Monounsaturated fatty acids: 0.1G | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 0.3G | Sugar: 0.1G | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Natalie Monson

I am a Registered Nutritionist, mother of 4, an avid food lover and a strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you’ll find lots of delicious fruit and veg-packed recipes, tips on how to get your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters, and plenty of resources to feed your family.

Learn more about Natalie

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