Baby Food

After I had baby, I have been getting a lot of requests for baby food. Many readers are asking for those traditional recipes which are fed to babies from many generations in India. I haven’t prepared anything special for my baby so far, accept this baby food. Ishaan is almost 8 months old now and I pretty much feed him what we eat, I usually cook one side dish daily that he can eat. I rely on Earth’s best/Gerber baby foods, rice cereals etc when he is at daycare.

My parents sent the ingredients of this baby food. Aayi collected this recipe from a cousin – Aditi, who has a small baby. Usually this can be fed for babies of age 6 months and up. It has proteins in the form of dal and also Ayurvedic roots which are good for health. Because Ishaan does not take cow’s milk yet, I just make it in thick paste and feed him with spoon.

Most of the ingredients here, are very common day to day ingredients.

Vayuvilang(Vidang) is added to food for it’s medicinal properties. It helps in getting rid of gas and worms. It looks a lot like peppercorn. It is also added to gravies many times to avoid gas.

Baje or Ekkand is sometimes mixed with water and applied to baby’s tongue, people say that it helps in learning to talk early (Bhashe evche in Konkani).

Ashwagandhi is a root with medicinal properties.

Ingredients for powder:
1/4 kg basmati rice
200gm moong dal
125gm parboiled rice (ukdo tandul/matta rice)
125gm wheat
60gm finger millet(ragi/nanchno)
50gm toor dal
50gm dried peas
2 almonds
15gm pista
1 piece ashwagandhi
1/2 tea spn vayuvilang
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
3 black raisins(sukkil drakshi)
1 small piece baje(ekkand)
2 peppercorns
1 small nutmeg(jaiphal)
2 cardamoms
1-2 dry dates (uthuthi)

Method:
Keep all the ingredients for a day or two under hot sun.
Powder them and store in a air tight container.

While Feeding:
Heat 1/2 cup water. In a bowl, mix 1 tea spn of powder in a little cold water to remove any lumps and add it to boiling water. Keep mixing with a spoon to avoid any lumps. When the mixture thickens (it turns a lighter color), take it off heat.

You can add a little salt or sugar to it while feeding the baby.

I add a drop of molasses(liquid jaggery/pattal god) to it while feeding. Sometimes I mash up a banana or some other fruit mix with it for the sweetness instead of adding molasses.

If the baby takes milk, add enough milk to it and feed (like a drink).

Important Notes:
- Doctors here in US advice against giving any dry fruits to babies under age of 1 because some babies can have severe allergies to them. So be very careful.
- If one or more of the ingredients is not available, leave it out and try with remaining.
- Sugar (or molasses) is good to avoid for infants. In my case it is the only way I can get my baby eat this. I just add a drop of it to get my baby eat it. I want to leave it out completely as soon as possible. Add fruit whenever you can instead of sugar/molasses.
- As per doctors here in US, whole milk cannot be given to babies under age of 1. In India, cow’s milk was fed from a very young age. So add milk if your baby takes it, otherwise feed as it is.

Very important note : After all it is your baby and you know what suits your baby. So use discretion while feeding this.

I will post some more pictures of it when I can, it is very hard to take pictures with a small baby in one hand!!!. Since I was getting many requests, I thought of atleast posting the recipe.

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  1. Hi Shilpa,
    Thank you for posting this recipe.. I have been searching for some authentic Indian recipes to be fed for infants.
    Your efforts are greatly appreciated.. :)
    Neetha

  2. thanks for sharing this Shilpa….
    feeding babies after 9 months is really a tough job…(atleast for me….as my 11 months old is really picky about what she eats)
    it will be a nice alternative from gerber…

  3. Hello,
    vayuvilang to me looks like kebabchini, or cubeb pepper or Java pepper, or even tailed pepper…
    usually added to kebabs and saalans with meat…slightly bitter in taste?

    • Sridevi, I know my friend’s 3 year old daughter still drinks this mixed with milk. So I think you can give it till the baby/kid takes it.

  4. Dear Shilpa,

    Would like to update on some things. In India too cow’s milk is discouraged for babies. Infact 2 parts of water are added to cow’s milk are added before feeding babies for thinning the fat . Infact my relatives in USA give full cream milk to babies. Sugar is bad for all ages, but not molasses. It has a high iron content and can be consumed by any one not suffering fron diabetes. Don’t U remember that babies are fed with “rava bol ” in India wchi contains sugar. Infact U will very soon realise that going by USA doctor’s instructions U will very soon realise that U have a fussy baby as tastes have not been introduced at young age. The universal fact remains that all food in moderated proportions are always good for every one !!

  5. THank you for this beautiful post. We have been giving Meera a similar concoction. This has been truly positive for her health and her development has accelerated. Out recicpe is slightly different with a larger portion of Raagi – African millet which we all know is very high in nutrients and iron. Will share our recipe in a few months once M gets here.

    Many thanks
    Arun

  6. Recipe must be good for babies, I cant comment on that, but I am truly stunned at your dedication to this blog – photography and posting with a 9 month old! Kudos Shilpa!

  7. Dear Shilpa…. Here is my version of baby food…. I have used almost all ur ingredients… but instead of powderingthem directly… I use to dry roast the grains (except nuts and ayurvedic herbs) saperately till It gives good aroma (be careful it shouldnt get black or burn).. then make powder… daily I use to boil the water and put this powder disolved in water( just to avoid lumps).. and boil it for 2 mins switchoff the gas cover with lid keep it aside… while feeding add milk(for babies younger than 1yr add baby formula like enfamil or similac …once they cross first yr or if they are OK use regular milk)… My baby use to love this food because of the aroma… try with roasting.. and for Vayvinang Sanskrit name is VIDANGA (http://www.ayurveda-recipes.com/vidanga.html).
    Thanks for posting…. Have fun with Ishaan.

    • Nice recipe!!!

      My baby has completed 5 months. Could I feed him this? I want to introduce semi solids to him. Till now he is taking only mothers milk. Suggest.
      Thank you.

  8. Hi Shilpa, I have been following your website and love the vegetarian recipes you post (I am a vegetarian). I have just started blogging today :) and would love so see your comments.

  9. Hey shilpa

    Just wanted to let you know that the search function in your website is not working. You can’t search recipes if you put the name or the ingredient.

    Medha

  10. Thanks so much for the recipe shilpa.This would be good to give my son other than the regular eatrth’s best/gerber products.
    Can you also please let me know how you started with homemade food for your baby? My son is 8 months old too, doc told me I can start giving him our food but I generally make ours spicy , so never gave it to him.Do you add salt/chilly/garam masala etc or do you make food bland for your baby? Also do you add oil/ ghee or make it very dry? I don’t know if babies so young can digest all our indian spices.Does your son eat this 3 times a day now?Thanks so much in advance Shilpa.

    • Sk, I started with cooking vegetables like sweet potato, carrot, peas, butternut squash (just one at a time) and making paste of it. He did not care for it long and it was very hard to make a smooth paste in such a small quantity. I was not comfortable with making it in advance and freezing it. I started giving him Earth’s Best (as it is Organic). Now I make simple side dishes with carrot, butternut squash, sweet potato and give it with rice. I mash it up well with a spoon and feed him. I usually don’t make it too spicy when I want to feed him. I also give him a taste of sambar/dals that I make, in very little quantity. I also give him idlis/dosas whenever I make them. He loves upma too. My son eats 3 times a day – Morning rice cereals (on weekends when he is at home, I feed him some of our breakfast). Afternoon he eats Earth’s best vegetable(again, if he is at home, I feed our food, if he refuses, only then I feed Earth’s best). Night I feed him either our food(if I have made something that he can eat) or Earth’s best vegetable or fruit. He loves banana. So I feed him fresh banana many days. I feed this babyfood atleast twice a week mixed with either a fruit(or Earth’s best fruit) or if I don’t have any fruit at home, I use jaggery.
      I want him to get used to both kinds of food, so I try to feed him both our food and ready to eat baby food. I will be posting some of the recipes that I make for him, so keep visiting. Hope this helps.
      I use very less ghee/oil in my cooking – like one tea spn for a side dish. So I don’t think that is too much.

  11. wow!! great recipe.. my daughter is 18months old who is very fussy wen it comes to eating.hope she eats wen i give her this. thanks a lot..

  12. thank you. But it is very difficult to feed the toddler. they want to it themselef. My dr has adviced me dont fed them alone. make sure that kids shd hav food with parents.my daughter 20month old now a days i m giving her food in small plate and spoon.she eat half and another she throw it. but she enjoying it, in food i m preparing khichiadi, pulav(less masala) mixed flour pan cake. chapti and milk,sugar, ghee.etc

  13. Hi Shilpa
    I am vijeta, tell me one thing dear r u a goan, bcoz i think u knows konkani, I had a son he is just 13 months old, if I try something new cereals/food he just start vomitting (not everytime) why is it a so? Even I told my doctor but he said its a natural. Will u pls help me wat else to feed him.

    • My baby used to spit up a bit when we tried anything new too. We were told that their system takes a while to adjust to new food. If he threw up a lot, I would stop giving it and try again after a month or so. If it was little, then I would try the same again for next couple of days and he would be fine. This is the reason we start one type of vegetable or fruit and give the same daily for a week before trying next one.

  14. My baby has colic. I have some Vidanga / Vavding seeds. Can someone advise me how and in what amount to add them to her formula, please? Like do I add some seeds to the water we boil for her formula? How many seeds? Thanks!

  15. cow’s milk is not encouraged for babies under 1 as it may make them more prone for eczema / wheezing /allergies etc .Even in India , Paeds give the same advise .Regarding avoiding sugar , better for their teeth ,also reduces the chances of childhood obesity.Someone has mentioned that US medics’ advise can turn the kids to “fussy pots”.I totally disagree with that , as a medic myself , I think it is better to follow the evidence based approach rather than making a fuss when people come up with new ideas or suggestions .I have worked both in India and abroad and I feel there is no harm in embrassing the good things in the western society.

  16. Hi Shilpa,

    I guess you might already know this, but just thought of checking, just in case you missed it due to the difference in cuisines we have across India.

    One very easy to make and tasty food for kids is khichdi (I have a 7 month old who just loves this). You can use moong dal as that is easier for kids to digest and add onions, tomatoes, carrots and 1/2 tsp of sambar powder. Even grown ups can eat it :)

  17. Hi All,

    I see a lot of confusion here about feeding stuff to babies. I know each baby is different but at the same time they are just a part of the family and they can eat all that you eat with the exception of cow’s milk, egg whites, peanuts, honey and fish( in the US ) under 1 year. This definitely is a gradual process though.

    You can start feeding solids to your baby at 6 months. You can start with something like applesauce(lightly steam apples and puree them), rice kanji water, mashed banana, vegetable soup/puree, nachni, boiled and mashed potaties, almond paste etc in very small quantities. Gradually you can start giving khichdi as Deepti has mentioned. Do soak the rice and moong dal before cooking though and make it soft so that the baby can eat. You can add a bit of salt, very little pepper powder and a drop of ghee to it. Some veggies can be added as well. As far as possible make this soft enough so that the baby can eat it as is.( without pureeing ) That way they know how to slowly start chewing. First 1 or 2 days would be a little tough.

    At 9 months, the baby can eat 1/2 egg yolk and also chicken if you are a non-veg. This chicken soup for babies is filling and so yumm that even adults can eat it.

    Starting 10 months, you can give your regular home-made food to the baby minus the red/green chillies. Garlic, ginger, onions, black pepper could be added for flavor. That way they don’t get sick of eating the same bland stuff and its easier for moms as well as you don’t have to cook something special after some long hours at work.

    This is a great website too
    http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

    Hope that helps.

  18. Hi Shilpa,
    I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime now, but this is the first time I’m commenting.
    Thank you so much for the baby food recipe. My baby is now 9 months old & I’d been struggling with what food to carry when I’m out(since I’m currently on vacation in India). I’ve been using the baby food for a couple of weeks now & my Baby absolutely loves it. I make it like upma by giving it kadipatta & mirchi phodni. It is easy to carry around & not too messy too.

    Thanks a lot
    Janki

  19. Hi Shilpa,

    Just had one question.Do we need to wash the Ragi and Dals and then dry it in sun or just keep it under hot sun of 2 days as it is.

  20. My daughter is 20 months old and not eating any solid food except kurkure items. She is taking only liquid foods and no breast feeding. She got almost all teeth. Suggest some idea

  21. Hi Shilpa,

    I have tried many recipesfrom ur website and all turned out be fav for my family.I have a 11 month old baby and i give him Ragi ceri which is homemade but its quite time consuming and patience but very healthy for babies.In Karnataka a lady prepares Ragiceri and ship to anywhere in India.Please mail cerisiri@gmail.com to place an order.I bought this time 1/2 Kg Ragi ceri for 200rs +Shipping charge of 30 Rs.That box i used for almost 2 months..my son just loving it.Please contact them and encourage a woman.

  22. Hello,

    I like your all recipe, my daughter is 1.5 year old she dont like food specially rice she ran away please give me some tips

  23. Hi. Thanx for your efforts to give advice about weaning.
    Just wanted to clarify few things.
    The reason why cow’s milk is avoided in babies under
    6 months is because their digestive system can not tolerate
    It and can’t digest it. It can lead to eczema, allergies and diarrhea.
    Sometime it is advisable to follow doctor’s advice
    Which is based on newer research.

  24. Hi Shilpa,
    Sorry the link in the previous comment was broken, posting again.

    You have an amazing site. I was drawn to this post as it appears there is lot of confusion about what to feed babies. It is not very difficult to give homemade food to babies, if you have some time.
    Most babies like fruits and mashed bananas, cooked apple, pear can easily be given.
    Rawa or suji is also given to baby and is easily digestible in the form of Halwa or upma.
    Khichdi is complete meal which can be given to baby.

    I got lots of recipes and info on feeding baby and toddlers in below link :

    Baby Recipes

  25. Hi..
    Currently min US n i dont have Baje or ekkand. Can anyoneplz tell me where can i get that here in US? i wnat to give that to my baby.so plz help me

  26. hai shilpa my baby is 2 yrs old n from around 1 month he is troubling a lot in eating anythng he just wants milk n foods like chips kurkure n all,i had tried every thing i can giving him taunics n all but still no progress even he sleeps a liitle n disturbs me at night also pls suggest me food recepies n some tips which can help him sleep a more

    • My son is also going through same phase. I have heard it is usually the case around 2 years of age and then it gets better. Right now, I do not have any suggestions as I am struggling to get my son eat & sleep :(. Hang in there, it will get better.

  27. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for the baby food you have mentioned. I have 1 1/2 year kid and i do it slight differently from yours. I add rice, wheat, greengram, Ragi, badam and i will clean and fry it rather than drying it under sun. when you powder it we get good aroma and can be kept for 6 months.

    It really tastes good!!

  28. I have a 1 yr old baby. She was premature born at 8th month with 1.5 kg weight. At 1 yr she weighs only 5.2 kgs. As such she is very active and trying to stand now, but weight gain is very slow. All tests are normal and no problem has been diagnosed. she puts on only 300gm in a month. She eats very less quntity and has frequent vomitting. happily she takes 5-6 bites, after that forcibly 2 more and anything more than that she vomits. Her food includes cerelac, ragi+rice+wheat powder, badam/utati powder, rice+dal , papaya, banana, upma (not all in a single day though) Do you know any receipes that can boost her weight gain?

    • I think if she is meeting her milestones and she is healthy baby, don’t worry about weight. My son is very underweight too.

  29. Oh is it. btw I am from Karwar. Stoped eating non-veg (fish) a few years ago. But when I see your receipe I get tempted sometimes :) This site is ausum.

  30. Hi Shilpa,

    What exactly is the peas you mentioned in this recipe? is it hurigadale (chana dal) or something else?

  31. Hi Shilpa, Thanks
    This kind of recipe i am searching for my baby
    Plz tell me how often this food recipe i should give to my baby in a Day.

  32. i really liked this recipe of urs..i think i wud be really nutricious.i was wondering is there any place where we can get the powdered ingredients ready.i stay in kolkata.do reply back.

  33. hi Shilpa , Thanks a lot for the wonderful n nutritious reciepe!!! My son is 13 months old n is a very picky eater . He was born 3.25 kgs n at his 1st bday weighed only 9 kgs . He walks comfortably n babbles Mumma n pappa n lots more, Can u please suggest some more recipes for breakfast , lunch n dinner n some in between snacks for a 13-14 mnth old . It will be a great help ……I m based in UAE . thanks !!!!

  34. Hi Shilpa,

    I came across this recipe and very curious to know the purpose of this food. Is this a traditional Indian medicine to avoid kids from falling sick? And how often they should be fed with this? Thanks!

  35. hey shilpa a superb recipe for my 8 mnth old daughter….just a query, how long do we have to cook the mixture, as to wht consistency? also in india before cooking any dal , rice etc we wash the uncook ings.thoroughly under runnng water…suggest can i first dry roast all the ings. and then WASH IT AND SUN DRY IT…?

  36. Hi Shilpa, thanks for ur receipe. thanks for mentioning the quantity of of each items properly.But my query is can I increase the quantity of almonds , dry grapes and dates. Also suggest can i add cashew as well.

  37. Hi thanks for the recipe My baby is 1yr and 1 month so i can give this to him , correct. Pls let us know some more healthy food which we can give baby.Thanks.

    • Yes, you can give it to your baby. There is a category for kid/baby friendly recipes on this site. These are the ones I gave to my baby at that age (yes, he loved pasta and all chunky food).

  38. Hi Shilpa, Thanks this seems to be a great recepie can you please let me know what is baje / ekkand ? I am not getting the correct name in Hindi / sanskrit so i am not able to search on google aswell.

  39. Hi Shilpa,
    My baby is just 45days toddler wen can I start feding this to him? Thanks for the recipe,I ll definately try this

  40. hi i am mother of a sweet daughter of 9months.thanx a lot for dis very gud recepie bt i m lil cnfused dat bfore powderng d ingrediants have to be washed..as i m going to prepare dis plz assist soon.thany

  41. thanx shilpa for ur kindness in rplyng bt sorry to say bt i havent washed d whole thng bt dried n powderd it bt den i roasted it,was it fyn..n ctd u plz tel me wil dere be ny colour change in baby stool. thanx

  42. hi shilpa
    hw r u? hope u doing gud..can u suggest me a timetable for baby reagarding their meal from morning to night………thanx.tc

    • For my son, I started with solid one time a day – that is around 7PM (approx 30mins before he would drink milk). Then after a month or so, started with afternoon also. Then morning. I gave the baby food one time, vegetable puree other time and just rice cereals in the morning. Since he was at daycare at that time, afternoon was usually a packed baby food like Gerber. By 8 months, he started eating what we ate.

  43. hi shilpa..
    hw r u and ur family…….shilpa cud u plz help me with as from where to buy whipped cream which i can u use to decorated cake made at home…..i have cake decorator plastic mould…and hw much it can be cost approx…….as which one will be the best as u are a top cook attempting so much things everytime…….
    thanks
    suja

    • Suja, I live in US and it is available in most of the grocery stores in dairy section. Or you can mix butter and cream to make buttercream which can be used to ice the cake. I use glass/aluminum cake pans to bake the cakes.

  44. thanx shilpa for the rply……ya will be trying that but for that i have to whisk this mixture in mixie………ya i too have aluminium one
    regards suja

  45. My kids grew up on this porridge mix. Believe it or not, we still use it as an breakfast options for the entire family. Better that all the breakfast cereals available in the market.

  46. Hi Shilpa, Thanks for sharing recipe , I was searching this recipe for a long time. I have 13 month old baby and currently she is suffering with loose motion , Can you please suggest any lite diet recipe or home remedies?

  47. Hi shilpa.thanks.i have 18 months year baby girl,currently she suffering with vomiting,cold,&cough.she is not intrest in eating food.so pls help me for her diet.

  48. awesome, i already know the ingredients but i did n’t have the ratio.very very thanks to u.
    can u suggest some other things like that.

  49. Can i use baje for my two years daughter? Will it stimulates digestion n improves hunger? She is a fussy eater n regets everything n she wants to eat only ragi cheri preparation….

    • Sorry Ashwini, no idea. This baby food contains baje and we gave this to my child around 8 months. So it should be safe at 2 years.

  50. Hi Shilpa,
    Thanks for your post. I have started giving this food for my 10 months baby. We are mixing this with water and boiling in a bowl for 30 ins. What I have observed is that during eating this food he is getting motion. Is this a common one?

    • Swathi, is this the first time he is eating solid food? Start in very small quantities to make sure there is no allergies or anything.

  51. Hi Shilpa,
    I would like to thank you for the recipe. I was searching for this recipe for long time. I definitely would prepare it for my daughter. My dauhgter is 18 months now, we feed her supplement foods. Also she love mashed bananas,apples & potatoes. I usually buy baby supplement food for her from firstcry.com, a wonderful baby shopping store.
    Check out their supplement food list here: http://www.firstcry.com/formula-and-supplements/2/79

  52. hi shilpa
    hw r u and ur family…mam could suggest the bestest website from where i get enough knowledge abt weight gain in children..foods which will help me.. my baby is 1and half years
    thanx

  53. hi shipa….. hw r u?
    m a mom 7month old baby…. so i need to know some home made recipes… as hz not gaining weight. i have read your baby food recipe… but few things i dont know. so if u have the same type of recipe then plz let me knw.

    n i wanna prepare baby cerelac at home.

    • help me…. wot food i can give my baby 7months completed today, 8th started.. mujhe aur bhi recipes chahiye.

  54. Hi all,

    I would like to know when at the earliest can we start feeding ragi ceri to the baby?? Is it ok for a 4 months baby??
    Plz reply

  55. Hi shilpa

    That looks like an awesome recipe… surely gonna try !
    Juz a query.. u fed this at 6 mths is it? Also did u give this 3 times a day everyday or only once or twice a week? Can i add breast milk to this food once to cools down to get reqd consistency?

    Waiting for ur reply!

    Thanks
    Shreya

    • Shreya, I started giving it to my son when he was 7 month old. I gave only 1 time initially. Yes, you can mix breastmilk. Slowly you can increase it if you want

  56. Dear Sir,
    i am having 12 month old baby & she not taking any think if i feed milk,rise & everything.she just cry,not taking.so please guide me which type of food i will given to her so she can eat easily.

  57. hi shilpa

    Thank you very much for posting this very imp recipe…..many people saying many thing and you have compiled it. i am a working women so now it is easier to give a proper food to my lovely daughter.

    thanks
    regards

  58. Hi Shilpa. My son is 10 months old and he eats very little so I am worried about him please suggest me what to do. He wants tasty food what shall I make for him. Please reply me.

    • Yes give anything as long as baby is ready to eat. Just make sure to introduce new foods one at a time to make sure baby does not have any bad reaction