Cerelac is instant cereal offered to 6 months and older babies as a supplement to breast milk. It is not really a replacement for breast milk and doctors do not recommend offering it as a substitute. However, it is believed to be highly beneficial for the baby's growth. Cerelac is a combination of rice grains and mixed lentils. It is a semi-solid food that can be fed to 6 months old and babies up to 12-24 months.
Cerelac is a packaged baby food brand and many fear offering packaged foods to their infant. So, we thought of bringing you an easy homemade recipe for cerelac or baby food for 6 months and older babies.
How To Make Cerelac Or Baby Food At Home?
Ingredients Required -
- Parboiled Rice
- Rinse rice and dal. Make sure you do it separately. Do it until the water runs clear.
- Separately soak the rice and dal in lots of water.
- Keep it uncovered in an airy place for about 6 hours.
- Soaking rice and dal will help break down the hard-to-digest components. This will further prevent colic which is stomach pain babies usually get.
- Strain dal and rice separately.
- Spread both the ingredients on a clean tray and leave it to air dry for 30 to 50 minutes.
- On a medium flame, dry roast dal and rice separately for 5 minutes. Cook till the rice and dal splutter.
- Take off the flame and let both the ingredients cool.
- Once cool, blend into a fine powder.
- Make sure you store both dal and rice separately in different boxes. Store in an airtight container.
Preparing Baby Food
- To prepare cerelac or baby food, in a heavy pot, add 1 tbsp of rice and dal with 1/2 cup of water.
- Mix all the ingredients and cook on low flame. Keep stirring constantly.
- To add to the nutrition quotient of the baby food, you can add formula milk or breast milk to it. Mix well.
Benefits Of Homemade Cerelac Or Baby Food
When you prepare cerelac at home, you prepare and store it in good condition which is much healthier than branded baby food prepared in factories. Baby food is prepared in large factories where the conditions might not be as hygienic as what you prepare at home.
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A lot of brands use strong preservatives for foods like cerelac to increase their shelf life. Feeding preservatives to infants can be harmful and also hamper the organic growth of your baby.
If the baby is fed with food that is loaded with extra additives at an early age, they will end up preferring packaged food all through their life. So, feeding your baby with homemade cerelac or baby food will help you develop healthy eating habits for your kid. (tips to take care of your new baby)
Cost wise too, homemade cerelac or baby food is much cheaper than packaged baby food. This way, you save a lot of money too while ensuring the health of your baby.
As compared to readymade baby food, homemade food mixes are much healthier. They are high on nutrition and the freshness is well retained which is great for the baby. (child care tips)
A lot of readymade branded mixes are flavoured but for the flavours, additives are used instead of natural flavours which are actually chemicals. It isn't a great idea to feed the baby with food loaded with such chemicals.
Though this baby food or cerelac is healthier than the packaged baby foods, we recommend you consult your baby's doctor before feeding them this homemade baby food to prevent any issues.
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