Makes 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml)
It's not too early to start teaching your baby to appreciate whole grains. Nowadays it's possible to find brown rice baby cereal and whole-grain oat baby cereal, but barley can be harder to find in prepared cereal form. It's not hard to make, however, as long as you have a sturdy blender or spice grinder for the grain.
1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) pearled barley
Water, breast milk, or infant formula, as needed
1 In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) water to a boil. Meanwhile, put the barley in a blender and grind on high speed until reduced to a powder (this will take several minutes).
2 Whisking constantly, slowly pour the powdered grain into the boiling water, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, whisking, until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
3 Add water, breast milk, or formula to thin the cereal to a consistency your baby can handle. Check the temperature before serving.
4 To store, refrigerate cereal for up to 3 days, or spoon into ice-cube trays or other freezer containers and freeze, covered, for up to 6 months.
Spice it up
You can also thin your baby's cereal with Cherry Puree or any other fruit puree, or with plain yogurt. Add extra flavor with a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, introducing these spices as new foods once your baby is accustomed to the cereal itself.
From Love in Spoonfuls, Parenting's recipe book of fast and easy ways to make nutritious food for your baby.