Okay, so most babies in Singapore will begin their weaning journey with iron-enriched rice cereal and proceed on towards rice porridge.
I like to switch things up a little and introduce my weaning baby to a variety of different cereals like barley, oats and quinoa. This is partially because rice – even in its baby cereal form – is a natural source of arsenic (and I want to avoid too much of it), but mostly because I like my children to become accustomed to a wide variety of tastes and textures in their diet.
As soon as my weaning tots are well established on an iron-rich diet1, with plenty of meat and green leafy veggies, I like to start them on wholegrain cereals which are higher in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than their refined counterparts.
Now, I normally associate oat cereal with a hearty breakfast porridge, but another way to include some wholegrain goodness in the diet is to add it to the rice cooker!
Here’s a great recipe that my entire family has enjoyed – and it’s suitable for weaning babies from 9-12 months of age too!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- one brown onion – diced
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets – diced
- 500g pumpkin or butternut squash – diced
- 200g courgette – diced
- 2 cups washed rice
- 2/3 cup wholegrain rolled oats (I used Quaker Oats For Rice)
- 800mls water or unsalted stock (I used homemade chicken and vegetable stock)
- Optional: grated parmesan or cheddar cheese
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat
- Add chicken, pumpkin and onion. Cover the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent.
- Pour into a rice cooker, adding the courgette, rice and oats as well as the water or stock
- Cook for 20 minutes (or until rice is done)
- Fluff up and serve (with grated cheese topping) for the family or blend to the desired consistency for your weaning tot!
Update: For those of you with a Thermomix, here’s how to do it
- Place onion in Themomix, chop 3 seconds on speed 5
- Scrape down bowl, add olive oil and saute onion 3 minutes/varoma/speed 2
- Scrape down bowl, add diced chicken and pumpkin/squash, sauté 3 minutes on 100C/reverse/speed soft
- Insert butterfly attachment (optional)
- Add stock/water, courgette, rice and oats, cook 20 minutes/100C/reverse/speed soft
- Pour all into thermoserver and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes to allow risotto to thicken
- Blend to the desired consistency for baby or serve with parmesan cheese
(This post is sponsored by Quaker Oats, which has been a staple in the Owls Well household for 10 years and has been favoured by our families for generations. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Owls Well.)
P.S. Quaker is having a promotion at NTUC Fairprice supermarkets till 12 Mar 2016. Stand a chance to with a Tiger Induction Ricer Cooker worth more than $700 with every $5 worth of Quaker products purchased. Check in stores for details. T&C applies.
1. Wholegrain cereals are high in phytates, naturally found chemicals in the bran of the cereal, which bind to iron during digestion and inhibit absorption. If your baby is not receiving iron from other sources, and you are counting on cereals as the main source of iron, either choose refined cereals to improve iron-absorption from the gut or consider using home-processing methods (such as soaking) to reduce the phytate levels in your chosen wholegrain cereal.