Baby’s First Cereal {From Scratch}

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Today my first baby is 5!  Seriously where has the time gone??  This last year she has grown like crazy – she looks older, she acts older.  She is old!  For some reason 5 is like the golden age for her.  She has been talking about turning 5 for a long time and it has been fun to watch her grow up.  For her birthday today, I made her a picture book of pictures from when she was born until now.  When I was making the book it was fun to remember the days of when she was a baby.

I remember the first time I gave her real food.  It was so exciting and my husband was right there with the video camera ready to capture every second of it.  At the time, the recommendation was to start with plain old rice cereal.  And that is exactly what we did.  She pretty much just pulled funny faces and stuck her tongue out a lot that first time.  But it is all about exposure and learning right?

Now with my 3rd child I do things a lot different.  I feed him more of what we are eating and not ‘special’ baby food that I purchased.  I make more of my own baby food from fruits and veggies I already have.  I also discovered that it is super easy and much less expensive to make your own baby cereal.  I usually just stick to oatmeal and rice cereal, but I’m sure you could do other grains as well.  Plus instead of white gooey rice cereal, you can make it from brown rice!

Here is how…….(you won’t believe how easy it is)

You take your uncooked grain, place it in a high powered blender, and pulse until it is a fine powder.  That is it!! Really it is that simple.  Making your own will cost you pennies, provides your baby with whole grain nutrients and is super fast and easy to make.

To Cook:

1/2 cup milled grain + 4 cups water

Add together to a pot and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  If it is too thick, add a little more water.  This will make a lot!  You can store the leftovers as individual portions and then freeze for later.  I like to use  silicone trays because it is super easy to pop an individual portion out.

I personally think that plain whole grain cereal is kind of bland, and so I usually mix it with some kind of fruit or vegetable.  To make your own fruit and vegetable baby food, check out our post here.

Baby’s First Cereal {From Scratch}

I love the the NUK silicone tray because I love the size of the cups.  I feel like they are a really good portion size, and I love that it has a lid to cover the entire tray instead of individual lids.

Baby’s First Cereal {From Scratch}

4.07 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baby food, cereal, homemade
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup milled grain
  • 4 cups water


  • Combine ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.


If it is too thick, add a little more water. This will make a lot! You can store the leftovers as individual portions and then freeze for later.
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What about iron fortification? The cereals up in Canada are all fortified with Iron and that is usually what is recommended by our physicians when first starting the babies on solid food.

This is a condensed version of our thoughts about iron: Babies are born with a reserve of iron, which comes from their mother’s blood while they are in the womb.
For the first 6 months of life, breastfed babies will get what they need from their mother’s milk. After that they will need iron from other sources which is one of the reasons why they say to start feeding babies at 6 months.
Homemade baby cereal definitely does not have as much iron as the commercially made fortified cereals. Homemade will have about 1 mg of iron for every 4 Tbsp of cereal and commercial brands are about 5 mg of iron for every 4 Tbsp of cereal. If you choose to feed your baby homemade cereal, there are other ways to get iron: a liquid vitamin with iron, or other foods high in iron: meats, prunes, spinach, beans.
So basically your baby will definitely need more iron, you will just have to choose how you will give it to them Hope that helps!

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This was incredibly helpful and informative for me! Exactly the answers i was looking for about iron. Thank you!

When you go to use it from the freezer, after its thawed, do you add warmed milk (breast or formula) to it and then feed baby? Plus baby food if needed for flavor?

5 stars
I am a first time mom of a beautiful baby girl who will be 5 months on Sunday. I have been exclusively breastfeeding and plan to start her on cereal at 6 months. I have always planned on making her food (as much as possible) instead of buying baby food and this is great info! Thanks so much!

How do I make this with breastmilk instead of water? And does homemade cereal have less chemicals than the store bought one?

Hi May, you can use breast milk instead of water and try using just a lot less of both the milk and grain. I can’t give you a clear answer about “chemicals,” but I can say that we support making food from scratch because homemade tends to include more fresh, flavorful whole foods than store-bought.

Using breastmilk to help thin it, when feeding, or making it with breastmilk, would help add some iron to it. ( To those concerned with iron levels. )

Do you have to cook it, like you instructed or can you just use your freshly expressed or thawed or breast milk and just stir it?

5 stars
If I make cook it with breastmilk can I freeze it ?
And if I freeze it can I cook it with already frozen breastmilk?
I have a way oversupply so I want too use some of my frozen stuff!!

There has been research done that shows that breast milk that has been thawed and refrozen within an 8 hour window had no bacterial build-up or decrease in nutritional value- but we recommend that you do your research and use your best judgement. 🙂 We understand not wanting that liquid gold to go to waste!

Hi, thanks for the great tips! Talking about rice, I always wash it before cooking. How then to grind rice to make poridge if wet? You don’t wash rice before blending it?

In our research, it is not necessary to wash rice before using it if purchased in the US. 🙂 If you choose to rinse it, I would recommend letting it dry before blending it. Good luck!