Porridge is a special type of food made from various cereals and legumes. At first glance, it seems that cooking it is not so difficult, because it is based on cereals and the liquid in which it is cooked. But this impression is erroneous, and long ago, there were even experts in this field – cooks.
Nevertheless, every mother should be able and know how to cook porridge for her baby, even if she owns such a profession, because porridge is the first dish in the life of a baby after breast milk.
Cereals: what they are
On the shelves of shops you can find a wide variety of cereals, but not all of them are suitable for feeding a small child. When choosing the first cereal for feeding, you need to give preference to those that have the following properties:
- One-component, that is, there is only one cereal in the composition. This is due to the fact that it will be easier to calculate an allergy to a specific component, as opposed to multi-grain.
- Gluten-free, because in most cases gluten is poorly absorbed, often causing allergies and stomach diseases. These include oatmeal, semolina, millet and barley groats.
- Dairy-free, as cow protein can provoke allergies, and is very difficult for babies to eat.
Knowing how to properly cook porridge for a child, choose the following three types of cereals to start feeding :
- Buckwheat is the lowest allergenic, so almost all children tolerate it well. It is easily absorbed, but it contains complex carbohydrates that provide the child’s body with energy for a long time. In addition, buckwheat is one of the richest sources of iron, which is very important for the rapid growth of a child in the first year of life. Read more about how to cook delicious buckwheat porridge for a child?
- Rice is very nutritious and rich in B vitamins. For children who have a tendency to loose stools, rice is the undoubted leader because it “strengthens”.
- Corn – favorite baby porridge. It is nutritious and contains many useful trace elements.
After the child grows up a bit, cereals from the following cereals can be introduced into the diet :
- Oatmeal – porridge for babies, rich in antioxidants and is the most useful cereal from the point of view of nutritionists. In addition, it has a mild laxative effect.
- Millet – useful for the cardiovascular system, but it is very slowly digested.
- Manna is very high in calories, so it helps to gain weight. But in the first year of life, it is better to abandon it, and later use it as a treat, than a daily breakfast. More on how to cook baby porridge semolina?
First porridge: when to start
Since you have to cook porridge for babies every day, you need to think about the timing of its introduction into the diet.
Pediatricians recommend starting to feed porridge at six months. But you need to take into account some points:
- If the child is in good health, then at 5 months they begin to give vegetable purees, and after a month – cereals.
- If a child is small in weight and often suffers from an intestinal disorder, it is necessary to begin to introduce “adult” food with porridge.
- For large and overweight children, the introduction of cereals can be postponed until 7-8 months.
In any case, each child needs to select an individual feeding scheme.
Features in feeding
When choosing which porridge to cook for a child up to a year, one should not forget that she needs to be fed in a completely different way than older babies:
- To introduce complementary foods gradually – half a spoon in the morning, tracking the reaction throughout the day. If there are no problems with the stool and there are no allergic rashes, you can safely continue by increasing the dose every day. If on the contrary, then it is worthwhile to postpone acquaintance with a certain cereal until a later time and not give other cereals for at least a week.
- Introducing new cereals, observe the time interval of a week, waiting for the body to get used to the previous product.
- No need to add sugar and salt to the porridge, because at an early age they will not bring absolutely any benefit to the children’s body.
- Making the first porridge is better in breast milk or in water.
- To diversify the recipes for cereals for infants, after 7-8 months, you can include fruits or vegetables in the dish.
First porridge: buy ready-made or cook it yourself?
Now many parents are tormented by doubts: to buy ready-made porridge or to cook it yourself. Heinz, Nestle, Baby – not the whole list of manufacturers of baby food in boxes. The opinions of pediatricians on this subject also differ. Therefore, before making a choice in favor of one of them, you need to find out what advantages and disadvantages they have.
Advantages of cooked porridge :
- Whole grain is always healthier than processed, therefore porridge will bring more health benefits to the growing body.
- The child will quickly develop chewing skills, since you can always vary the size of the grinding.
- Homemade is much tastier than ready-made, because mom cooks it herself and there is no synthetic taste in it.
Disadvantages of porridge cooked independently :
- Cooking for a long time – you need to not only cook it, but also grind it first, and not everyone wants to do it daily for the sake of one spoon.
- We need additional equipment – a coffee grinder or a blender to grind the grits.
- Not all grains contain a stable composition.
- If the cooking rules are not followed, porridge can become useless, that is, it will no longer have any useful properties.
Advantages of purchased finished porridge :
- Quickly cook – in the case of a small child this is a definite plus: the mother does not always have free time to cook, especially for the first time the baby will need only a couple of spoons.
- Enriched with vitamins – an additional complex
- Easy to use, so you don’t have to bother with how to cook porridge for a one-year-old child.
Disadvantages of cereals from boxes :
- High price – not all families can afford it because open packaging is suitable for two weeks. And since at the beginning it is needed quite a bit, half a pack will end up in the trash.
- The dishonesty of some manufacturers and the possibility of fake, so you can stumble on a poor-quality product.
- In some cases, it contains synthetic additives, and they may also be allergic.
The best option is to combine both types of cereals, starting complementary foods with purchased gradually translating into cooked. The most important thing when choosing at least ready-made cereal, even whole grains is to pay attention to the manufacturer and expiration dates. And the children are different: some are happy to kill homemade porridge, while others prefer the purchased.
Oatmeal porridge recipe
If you prefer home-made products more, you need to know how to cook milk porridge for a child. This will require:
- milk formula, goat or cow milk.
Order of preparation :
- Krupa need to sort out, rinse well and dry before cooking. For convenience, it is better to do these procedures in advance with a large volume, so as not to do it every day. Typically, cereals are cooked in a ratio of 1 to 2, so a half cup of porridge needs a glass of milk. For an infant, the dosage is: 1 teaspoon of porridge per 100 ml of liquid. You can still cook porridge in the water, and already in the finished – add milk.
- Grind on a coffee grinder, and if it is not, then use a blender after cooking.
- Pour the mixture into warmed milk (do not lower the boiling oatmeal), stir occasionally and simmer over low heat until cooked. It is better to choose a metal pan with a thick bottom, because the milk does not burn in it, another optimal option is a slow cooker.
- Add a little oil (4-5 gr), but only if this is not the first porridge in complementary foods and the baby is not allergic to cow protein.
Now that you know how to cook oatmeal for a child, your child will never be left without tasty and healthy food. We wish your kids good health and bon appetit!