We jumped the gun by about a week* due to a general excitement on the grownups’ part over the solids thing and decided to give it a try. Because I’m ultimately the spawn of hippies, I decided that if Ronin was to be fed, it would be homemade and organic. So I bought a bit of organic basmati (after comparing it to all the other organic options, basmati seemed a little higher in protein and fiber and lower in carbohydrates—of course whether it is best for a baby to have higher protein versus carbohydrates, I don’t know. I cut my research short in favor of not standing in the middle of the grocery aisle any longer, bouncing back and forth from bulk bin to bulk bin reading and re-reading the nutrition facts.)
Next step was to clean the coffee grinder like it had never been cleaned before. I took a photo of it actually as it was downright spectacular to look into the grinder and see my face looking back up at me.
I was a little skeptical that our ancient coffee grinder would be up to the task of making flour out of the grains so I started with the (organic! and less the consistency of small rocks) oats. Happily, our coffee grinder is awesome because it worked perfectly; the oats turned to powder in maybe ten or fifteen seconds. I cleaned it again and ground up the rice. As with the oats, the rice worked just fine, just noisier and I had to grind it longer, maybe 30 seconds or so.
To cook, I used 1 part rice powder to 4 parts water and cooked it like you might cook cream of wheat (boil water, slowly add cereal while stirring). Because the flour is so powdery, you have to be careful to add it really slowly and stir vigorously as you add it; I still got lumps so I turned the burner off and went through the stuff, smashing all lumps with my spoon before continuing. If you had a sifter that you could knock it into the pan evenly and sparingly, this might work best; maybe even knock it through a tea ball. I cooked it for around ten minutes or until it tasted totally cooked. It’s bland but a whole lot better tasting than the Gerber rice cereal, which kind of tastes like tissue paper.
Then I mixed about a teaspoon of the stuff with some breastmilk to make a runny paste and we sat a sort of grumpy Ronin down for her first meal. Naturally, we took so long to find the camera and get the lights adjusted just right for filming that she lost it while waiting for us to get our shit together and we had to pick her up and cheer her up again before trying again.
The verdict: After round one, I thought in general, it was a go. She was interested in it at first and took a few bites like she was liking it but then just sort of melted down. I don’t think the cereal really had much to do with it though—I think she was just getting tired and our timing was off. Thusly, we ended the first session prematurely and she went down for a nap shortly thereafter. Round two didn’t go so well. She took a bite then gagged. Maybe we’ll rest for a week and try again. When she’s six months old.
Video of Ronin eating. (I can’t decide if the sound of my recorded voice or my dorky commentary is worse..)
* By a week, I mean that all the books and the Internet say that you should not start solids before six months of age. Not a day before. La la la.