A healthy and warming brown rice meal for babies that cooks easily in one pot! This has an amazing flavor and a soft but sticky texture that baby can manage from a spoon, or fork, or their hands. A tasty textured baby meal for older babies, also ideal for baby led weaning.
This recipe was first published in April 2018, and has been updated in 2022 with new photos and a video.
We had a lot of success introducing rice to our first baby, who was a little tricky when it came to texture. She did well with it’s fairly soft texture, and enjoyed the control it gives her; she could decide exactly how much she picked up with her hands or bit off her fork.
This brown rice pot was a favorite in our home, and has since been enjoyed by so many other families too (the little ones and the grownups!), so is well worth your time if you’re looking for a rice based recipe for your little ones.
It’s an easy one pot recipe…
This meal is super easy, and all cooks in one dish. Since the vegetables cook in the same pan as the rice, all of the flavor (and nutrition) stays in! Which is how we end up with something so tasty, yet salt free and simple.
You just sauté some veggies and herbs and then cook the brown rice right in the same pan. Since brown rice takes a while to cook, those veggies boil for a long time so they turn super soft. Then you will melt cheese in so that it becomes moist and a little sticky. It can be cooked shorter or longer, mashed or unmashed, depending on your desired texture.
What Age Is It Best for?
The texture of this dish is very flexible and works for a range of babies.
- You can also spoon feed this to your baby as a textured baby food. Ideal for older babies, maybe 9-10 months plus.
- It’s perfect for babies who like to self feed with their hands or follow baby led weaning. A baby with a pincer grasp can easily pick up small bites to feed themselves. A baby without a pincer grasp can grab a sticky handful and shovel it in.
- It is also great for older babies or toddlers who are learning to use utensils because it sticks so easily to them.
- If you have an extremely good blender or baby food maker, you could puree it as an early baby food. Mine would never get rice smooth enough, so only do this if your blender has proven itself!
You can also control the texture a little, as you can see from the two different photoshoots that we’ve done for this recipe, it turned out a little different both times:
On the left side, it’s been made so that the rice is still fluffy and distinct and the vegetables are still in cubes (soft, but distinct pieces). On the right side, it’s been cooked with some extra liquid, and stirred and mashed a little bit to break up the vegetables and make the whole result stickier and softer. Each will suit different babies at different stages.
Making this as a side dish for the whole family
This is one of the baby food recipes that adults love too, I was shocked by how flavorful this dish was considering how few ingredients are present! It’s as if the rice were cooked in vegetable stock, but with no salt. It would make a great side dish for the whole family if you want to double the recipe!
Some variations on the recipe
- Try with other veggies! Squashes and sweet potato work well here.
- Add some chopped garlic along with the mixed herbs for added flavor.
- Substitute a little bit of the brown rice for red lentils. The lentils will puree and add some extra creaminess to the sauce.
- Once your baby can handle more texture, add some beans or peas at the end of the cooking time.
Storing your leftovers
These freeze well for up to 6 months in baby food containers. They will continue to serve you well as your baby gets older.
Cheesy Vegetable and Brown Rice Pot for Babies
- 1 medium carrot, chopped into small chunks
- 1 medium parsnip, chopped into small chunks
- 1-2 tsp of mixed herbs
- ½ cup (90 g) dried brown rice
- 1 cup (75 g) grated cheddar cheese
- In a small saucepan, sautee your carrots and parsnips in a little olive oil or butter to start softening them.
- Add herbs and brown rice, and cook for another minute or so, until fragrant.
- Add 1 and 1/2 cups (350mls) of water.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 40 minutes, until the rice is cooked.
- Stir in the cheese until melted.
- OPTIONAL – you can use a fork to mash up the carrot and parsnip pieces if you prefer a more uniform texture. They are very soft and will easily disintegrate with a little encouragement.