If you search the Internet for “food chart for babies”, you will notice that most food charts list fruits as the ideal first-solid-food choice. Rice Kanji or Rice cereal is listed as the next solid food for babies. You can make this cereal at home instead of buying ready made product. In fact rice kanji, or “bhata chi pej” as we Maharashtrians call it, is nothing but homemade rice cereal.
It is a very popular baby food choice amongst us Indians and rightly so. Rice is easy for digestion. Also it is recommended that you feed babies single ingredient food initially to check if their digestive systems accept it. Rice kanji is not just good for babies but also for older kids and adults when they are sick and need to be fed less spicy but nutritious food.
When I make rice kanji, I add hing (asafoetida) and jeera (cumin seeds) powder to it. They not only add flavor to this otherwise bland dish but also provide several health benefits. Both aid digestion. In fact, in Ayurveda hing is used to treat numerous health issues and digestive problems. It is also used for various respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and asthma to name a few. Cumin seeds are good for building immunity and are also used to treat respiratory disorders. If your baby’s just started eating solids texture of jeera powder may irritate his/her palate. You can choose to not add it in rice kanji initially.
You can prepare rice kanji in different ways—you can cook it in a pressure cooker, you can boil the rice in a vessel, or you can add water to cooked rice and then boil it. In the recipe given below I’ve used the last method. However, if you are preparing rice kanji for a baby who has just started eating solids, then it is best to grind the rice coarsely before cooking it.
This post was last modified on April 23, 2019 6:19 pm