How to Make Homemade Baby Rice Cereal
Using only 1 ingredient, this Homemade Baby Rice Cereal is a simple and easy recipe to make for your baby! Plus, it is completely freezer-friendly, so it’s a great addition to your freezer stash of baby purees. It’s great for babies 4-6+ months and up as a Stage 1 baby food.
Homemade Baby Rice Cereal
Homemade brown rice baby cereal is packed with manganese, magnesium, and selenium. It is a good source of fiber, protein, and a ton of other essential vitamins and minerals for a growing baby. 💪
It’s a nutritious first food for your baby, and you can easily mix it with other fruit or veggie purees for a more wholesome and delicious meal! 😋
Plus, this homemade baby cereal is one of the easiest purees you can make for your baby! All you need is 1 ingredient and less than an hour of your time 🕐.
For this recipe, we will cook the brown rice, blend it up, and then pop it into the freezer for easy-to-grab cubes of baby rice cereal. I have found that this cooking method makes the creamiest and smoothest baby cereal you can ever imagine. Besides, there is nothing like having a freezer stash of healthy baby purees at your fingertips!
Is it your first time making homemade baby food? Then I suggest you start this journey by reading my in-depth Guide on How to Make Homemade Baby Food. The detailed guide goes over all the important information such as the best cooking tools to have on hand, safe storage, how to know when baby is ready for solids, how to introduce purees, the best first foods for baby, and more! You can also check out my best-selling cookbook for even more information and recipes!
Rice Cereal Video
Watch this video to see how easy making your own homemade rice cereal can be!
Reasons to Love this Rice Baby Cereal
- easy to make
- 1-ingredient puree
- simple and wholesome ingredients
- freezer-friendly — great to stash in the freezer
- free from allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, corn
- full of essential nutrients for a growing baby — fiber, manganese, protein, selenium, and magnesium
- works great stirred into other combination purees
- for babies 4-6 months and up — stage 1 puree
- mild taste
- creamy and smooth
Make sure to read the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and instructions!
- Rice: I recommend using organic short grain brown rice in this recipe. Brown rice has health benefits and loads of nutrients in it, as opposed to white rice, which has all of the key nutrients stripped from it. I strongly recommend using organic brown rice as the cost difference ounce-per-ounce is very small. The organic variety has not been soaked in pesticides and has significantly less arsenic in it. You can use either short or long-grain organic brown rice for this recipe.
- Water: This will be added to cook the rice. You can also use sodium-free bone broth or sodium-free veggie broth for more nutrients and flavor or a mixture of broth and water.
- Liquid for Blending: While blending the rice, you’ll need to add more liquid to thin out the rice into a puree. You can use water, bone broth, veggie broth, fresh breast milk, or formula.
TIME-SAVING TIP: If you are in a rush, you can use quick-cooked brown rice (I like the organic brown basmati rice from Trader-Joes) that only takes 20 minutes to cook!
Soaking the Rice
Soaking brown rice (or any grain) helps remove some of the naturally occurring phytic acids, which are some of the hard-to-digest components of the grain. Getting rid of these acids speeds up the cooking time and makes the rice easier to digest.
If you are introducing grains as your baby’s first food, soaking the grains would be helpful as your baby would have an easier time digesting the puree.
But if thinking 2-8 hours ahead of time is holding you back from making your own cereal, then feel free to skip this step.
How to Soak Rice: Place 1 cup of rice in a medium bowl and add 2-3 cups of hot water (enough to cover the rice) and leave at room temperature for at least 2 hours. You can also leave it overnight. Drain the rice and rinse well. Follow the recipe below on cooking and pureeing instructions, but note that the rice will cook faster, so check the rice after 20 minutes.
How to Make Baby Rice Cereal
- Rinse Rice: Place the rice in a fine-mesh colander and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. This will help remove any excess starch from the rice grains and make the rice fluffier and easier to blend. PLEASE DO NOT skip this step, or your puree will be starchy.
- Add to Saucepan: Add the water and the rice to a medium saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Cook: Once at a boil, turn down the heat, and let simmer on low for 35-45 minutes or until the water is gone and the rice is tender. Rice cooking times vary, so taste test the rice after 35 minutes to see if it is tender.
- Sit: Remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Blend: Transfer the cooked rice to a blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes, adding liquid to thin out the rice puree.
- Store: I recommend storing a small quantity of the rice puree in the fridge for use that week and then freezing the rest for future meals.
- Blender or Food Processor
- Storage Containers for Fridge
- Freezer Tray
- Stasher Bag
- suction bowl or baby bowl
- baby spoon
- open lid cup
- bib with catch pocket
Other Cooking Methods
I have found that cooking the rice first and then blending, creates the smoothest rice cereal for your baby. But there are a couple of other ways to make rice cereal for your baby.
You can cook small or large batches of white or brown rice in your instant pot. For white rice, you will put 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water into the instant pot and cook for 3 minutes with a natural pressure release until the pin drops. For brown rice, you will put 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water into the instant pot and cook for 24 minutes with a natural pressure release until the pin drops. Feel free to double the recipe if needed.
- Grind Rice: Place 1 cup of uncooked rice in a coffee grinder or blender. Grind for 1-2 minutes or until you have a very fine rice powder.
- Add Hot Water: In a microwave-safe bowl, add in roughly 1 tablespoon rice powder and 1-2 tablespoons hot or boiling water. Stir until smooth adding more water if needed. Let sit until warm enough to eat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Babies can have rice cereal as one of their first foods. When a baby can start on solids is determined by their own rate of development, which generally comes between 4-6 months of age. Some of the developmental milestones babies need to reach in order to start solids include: if your baby has solid control of their head and neck, if your baby has doubled in weight, and if your baby is reaching for or opening their mouth when you eat (see my guide here). Before you start your baby on purees, you should consult with your pediatrician to make sure your child is developmentally ready.
Rice can 100% be your baby’s first food if you want it to be. It is recommended to wait to introduce the top eight allergen foods to your baby once a few other well-tolerated foods have been introduced, but otherwise, foods can be introduced in any order so choose whatever you are most excited for your baby to have.
No, rice is not a common allergen, however, as with any food, start with a small portion and be aware of any signs that might be an allergic reaction after introducing it.
Rice may cause constipation in babies since it absorbs water and may make it harder to pass stools. Switch to a different whole grain like oatmeal if your baby is having a hard time digesting rice.
How to Store Rice Cereal
This baby rice cereal is quick and effortless to freeze and reheat, making it convenient to have on hand. The frozen cubes are easy to grab and reheat right before mealtime.
How to Freeze
- After you blend the rice into a puree, you can pour the rice cereal into freezer-safe trays . Do not overfill.
- Place the tray into the freezer for 3-4 hours or until completely frozen.
- Transfer the cubes of frozen rice cereal into a Stasher Bag or ziplock baggie.
- This puree will last 4 days in the fridge and for up to 4 months in the freezer.
How to Re-Heat
- Take the number of frozen cubes you want to feed your baby for that meal and place them in a microwave-safe container.
- Heat in the microwave for 30-second intervals until warm, stirring after every session.
- You can also take the frozen cubes and place them in a small saucepan on the stove, heating on low and stirring continuously.
- NOTE: The puree will be thick when you reheat it. You can thin it back out by adding other purees (see the list below for some of my favorite options), fresh or frozen breast milk, formula, or water. Add a little at a time, stirring in-between.
Label Tip: Don’t forget to label your purees before you place them in the fridge or freezer with the name of the puree and date you made it. Take it from me, you will completely forget when and what is in your freezer by the end of the week;).
Rice Comination Purees
While Rice is great by itself, it’s also super easy to mix and match with other nutrient-dense baby food purees. Give these fun flavor combos a try!
Stage 1 Purees
Stage 2 Combination Purees
- Superpower Green Baby Food Puree
- Apple, Spinach + Broccoli Baby Food Puree
- Sweet Potato, Carrot, Cauliflower Baby Food Puree with Chia Seeds
- Banana, Cherry + Beet Baby Food Puree
- Roasted Root Veggies + Thyme Puree
- Broccoli + Asparagus Baby Food Puree with Tarragon
- Mango + Kale Baby Food Puree with Ginger
- Place a small amount of puree on the tray during spoon feeding – so that your baby can dip their fingers or hands in the puree. Allowing baby to explore foods in this way helps them learn to self-feed and can help them be more willing to try new textures and foods in the future.
- Have a spare spoon (or three!) – even very young babies often want to be involved in feeding themselves as much as possible. Giving baby an extra spoon to hold can be helpful in giving her a sense of control and also promotes hand-eye coordination.Allow baby to use spoons as a teether during the meal. There are many great options out there but a few we particularly love include the Olababy 3 Piece Set, the NumNum Pre-Spoon GOOtensils, and the ChooMee FlexiDip Baby Starter Spoons.
- Purees are great to keep in your baby’s regular rotation of foods – but if you start feeding with traditional weaning using purees, make sure to progress beyond eating ONLY purees. Once baby can safely and comfortably swallow purees (usually by 7 or 8 months) it’s time to introduce other textures, such as teething biscuits and soft cooked finger foods. Moving onto additional textures in a timely manner may help prevent feeding difficulties at a later age.
Or watch a shortened version of this video here.
Get the recipe: Homemade Baby Rice Cereal
- 1 cup brown rice (I prefer organic short grain)
- 2 cups water
- 1-2 cups liquid for blending (fresh breast milk, formula, water)
- Rinse Rice – IMPORTANT STEP: Place the rice in a fine-mesh colander and rinse with water until the water runs clear.
- Cook: Transfer the rice to a medium saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is evaporated. Each batch of rice cooks a little differently, so taste at 35 minutes to see if the rice is tender.
- Let Rest: Remove the saucepan from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes, covered. If using fresh breast milk or formula for blending, remove the lid and let the rice cool for 15 minutes.
- Blend: Place the rice into a blender or food processor and add 1/2 cup of liquid of choice. Blend for 1-2 minutes on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy, adding in the additional liquid in 1/4 cup increments, if needed, until you have your desired consistency.
- Eat: Serve to baby or freeze for later.