Preparing Baby Food at home is the best thing you can do. That is especially essential when you start thinking of introducing solid food to your baby. Wholesome homemade baby food is always advised. I still remember Amma making those Ragi Kanji, Rice Kanji apart from trying out with Dalia, and other lentils.
I get many emails asking for baby food ideas, especially wholesome baby food for infants. By the time I realized that many new mothers have lot of questions on how to make baby food, my twins crossed that stage. I prepared some of those best baby food based on Indian diet again just for the requests.
Dal Tadka is one of the basic food used as introducing lentil to babies of 7 months and older. Then there were few other variations that we used to follow, each time introducing an ingredient at a time. It has always been a challenge, hitting on the correct menu and getting the babies eat without making a fuss.
We recently visited my 14 months old niece who was so adorable and very sweet. For all I was told about her throwing tantrums for eating, she was so much better than my boys I felt. Or maybe she wanted to show her best behavior in front of us or she was entertained by our company. Or so I want to think.
When I saw my Aunt preparing the baby food, I immediately asked if I can take pictures of the food and also take notes on what she was preparing. I knew this diet coming from my Aunt who is a doctor, is mostly surely very balanced and nutritious. She gladly shared her recipe and half way after feeding my niece she gave it to me for taking pictures, while baby looked at us very keenly trying to understand what we were doing.
This food made with Rice, Lentils, Vegetables can be introduced when the baby is 7 months old. More complex lentil like Kidney Beans, Soya Bean can be introduced after 12 months.
Rice Porridge | Indian Baby Food | For age group from 7 months
Rice - 1/4 cup
Toor Dal - 3 tsp
Potato - 1 small
Radish - 3"
Beans - 4 medium
Carrot - 3"
Salt to taste
Clear Rasam water
Method to prepare:
Wash and soak rice, dal for 15 mins. Prep the vegetables and cut into pieces.
In a pressure cooker add the rice, dal and all the vegetables along with salt and cumin seeds with 2 times of water.
Once the pressure is off, run it in a mixer to get a smooth porridge. Adjust the salt if required.
Then add clear water you get from Rasam. Since Rasam will have Asafetida, garlic, it aids as a digestive food for the baby.
Add 2 tsp of Ghee to the porridge along with just enough of rasam water to make the porridge consistency easy for the baby to eat. It should not be very runny at the same time not too thick.
Lentils to be introduced after 12 months:
To the same measurement given above, you can add about 4 Kidney Beans, 6 Soya Beans during pressure cooking. And follow the same process.
The menu that can be followed after 12 months
For Breakfast : Chapati, Idli, Upma, Pongal.
As babies are active, they need to be fed every 2 hours solid. If you are giving liquids/ fruits then give by 1 hour of gap.
The different food items can be like this.
For snack - 3 Threptin biscuits
Fruits can be Apple/ Pomegranate / Banana / Orange
After 13 months, you can start introducing non veg if you want to include in the baby's diet.
In India we are not very fussy about verifying if the vegetable introduced suits the baby or not. We normally introduce one at a time and check out if the baby likes the taste or not. But my cousin said she had to add a small piece of the vegetable for 4 days in small quantities before adding more of it to the baby food. Though I understand the logic behind this rule, it is not followed so strictly in India.
Verdict on the porridge: Baby mostly eats without complaining after couple of times, provided she has enough distraction to know she is even eating. Which I guess is very normal.
Sending this to Roma, who is host an event My Baby’s Favourite Food
Please always consult your baby’s pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby. I am sharing what we have given to our kids, but your pediatrician may have a different opinion.