Quinoa for Babies (Quinoa Baby Food)


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Transform nutrient-rich quinoa into a delicious baby food—with options for older kids and parents to share it—with this simple method. (Find flavor variations and storage tips, too.)

quinoa baby food in bowls

Quinoa for Babies

I love to maximize nutrients and flavor in baby food we’re offering right from the start—and also be able to easily make foods that the rest of the family can enjoy to limit waste. This baby cereal, which is made with quinoa, achieves both of those goals with a flexible method, easy storage, and so many ways to add a variety of flavors.

The beauty of this method for homemade baby food is that you can start with an ingredient you may already have in your pantry (or that you can easily pick up at the store), and then make it from start to finish in about 20 minutes.

The leftovers can store in the fridge or freezer, so you don’t have to do the work very often.

Quinoa Baby Food

Quinoa is a perfect early food to share with the kids since it’s packed with nutrition—including complete protein (which is rare in a vegetarian food) and fiber. It’s also versatile and can be flavored with so many spices or other fresh ingredients, which means you can change this according to what you have on hand.

The options I’m going to share here are for a blended baby food that can be used as a Stage 1 option for babies just starting solids. Then I share a more textured version that older babies can enjoy as a Stage 3 baby food—and that can be shared with toddlers, older kids, and parents, too.

The base recipe has just three ingredients and then there are easy options to change it up.

Quinoa Baby Cereal

Classic baby cereal is made from rice or oatmeal, which are both nice options. Quinoa offers a different mix of nutrients, doesn’t have the potential heavy metal concerns as rice, and is really quick to cook.

ingredients in quinoa baby cereal

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Quinoa: You can use any color. I use yellow (or the most common one) here.
  • Cinnamon: Optional, but recommended for some flavor.
  • Vanilla extract: Optional, but recommended for some flavor. I am using alcohol-free here since that’s what I had on hand, though the amount used in each serving is tiny, so the regular kind is fine too.
  • Liquid such as water, breastmilk, formula, or unsweetened nondairy milk.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • You can use red quinoa if you have that variety.
  • For the liquid in this recipe, you can use water, breastmilk, formula, or unsweetened nondairy milk such as soy milk, oat milk, or a plant milk (for example, the Ripple brand).
  • Use another spice, such as a pinch of ginger, cardamom, or pumpkin pie spice instead of or in addition to cinnamon.
how to make quinoa baby food step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this quinoa baby cereal. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve.
  2. Add to a pot of water and cook until very soft.
  3. Add quinoa to the blender with chosen liquid.
  4. Blend until very smooth. Serve with desired optional ingredients for more flavor.

TIP: You can serve this on its own or mixed with another puree for more flavor. You can also serve the quinoa unblended as a breakfast similar to oatmeal for kids 9 months old and older.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can babies eat quinoa?

Quinoa is a great baby food since it’s nutrient-dense and easy to flavor. You can make pureed smooth quinoa baby food or a thicker, more textured quinoa baby cereal.

Can babies eat pureed quinoa?

Pureed, fully cooked quinoa is an easy baby food to make at home that’s also easy for babies to eat. It can be offered as a Stage 1 baby food soon after baby starts solids—and then for as long as you like. (It resembles cream of wheat, so adults can enjoy it, too.)

How do you serve quinoa to babies?

To serve quinoa to a baby just starting solids, you blend fully cooked quinoa with liquid to make a puree. You can add cinnamon and vanilla and/or stir in other purees. You can also serve fully cooked quinoa with nondairy milk as a thicker breakfast cereal for babies about 8-9+ months.

Is quinoa good for constipation?

Quinoa is rich in fiber and when paired with healthy fats and hydration may help with constipation.

quinoa baby cereal blended with strawberries

Quinoa Baby Food Combinations

Here’s a look at ways to combine quinoa baby cereal with other purees and ingredients to make new flavors. Feel free to add a sprinkle of cinnamon or other spices to these, or to mix in a liquid such as unsweetened nondairy milk.

  • Strawberry Quinoa Cereal: Mix in 2 tablespoons Strawberry Puree to ¼ cup quinoa baby cereal.
  • Peanut Butter Quinoa Puree: Mix in 1 tablespoon unsweetened smooth peanut butter to quinoa baby cereal.
  • Sweet Potato Quinoa Cereal: Stir in 2 tablespoons Sweet Potato Puree to quinoa puree.
  • Banana Quinoa Puree: Stir in 2 tablespoons mashed Banana Puree to quinoa baby food.

TIP: Stir in a small amount of hemp seeds, chia seeds, or ground flax seeds (or oils) to add more healthy fats to any of these.

How to Adjust the Consistency of Baby Cereal

When you blend up quinoa baby cereal, you can add more or less liquid to make a thinner or thicker puree. When the puree sits in a storage container (or even for a bit at room temperature), it also thickens, so you can thin it out by stirring in additional liquid.

You can really make it as thick or thin as you like. Thinner is easier to serve off of a baby spoon and thicker could be served to babies who prefer to feed themselves with their hands.

I like to use unsweetened plain nondairy milk (such as oat milk or soy milk) to add in extra nutrients and flavor if I’m thinning out the cereal after it’s been in storage.

You can do the same with unblended quinoa cereal—simply stir in more or less milk to make a thicker or thinner breakfast cereal.

quinoa baby food in ice cube tray

How to Store

Store in portions in small containers in the fridge for up to 3 days or portion into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Transfer frozen blocks to a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

To thaw, place a block into a small airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Or leave at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

TIP: Find more about how to store baby food here.

Best Tips for Success

  • Rinse the quinoa before cooking to remove any potential bitterness.
  • Start with a smaller amount of liquid when blending and add a little at a time to thin it out to your liking.
  • You can use water, breastmilk, formula, or unsweetened nondairy milk for blending. (I prefer to use water, then stir in a flavored liquid right before serving.)
  • Add another puree to make quinoa baby food combinations. Favorite options include Strawberry Puree, Banana Puree, Sweet Potato Puree, and Peanut Butter Baby Food. You can also try a savory version by stirring in Avocado Puree.
  • Add cinnamon, cardamom, dried ginger, or another favorite spice.
  • Add a sprinkle of hemp seeds, chia seeds, or ground flaxseeds for more healthy fats.
  • Skip blending and simply mix fully cooked quinoa with nondairy milk for babies at least 8-9 months old—or for toddlers, kids, or adults as a breakfast cereal option.
  • You may also like Quinoa Pudding, How to Cook Quinoa, Baby Oatmeal, and my Master List of Baby Food Recipes.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment and rate it below to share.

quinoa-baby-cereal-in-bowls-on-counter

Quinoa Baby Food (Easy Baby Cereal)

Amy Palanjian

Transform nutrient-rich quinoa into a delicious baby food—with options for older kids and parents to share it—using this simple method. (Find flavor variations and storage tips too.)

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 20 mins

Course Breakfast

Cuisine American

Servings 8

Calories 49 kcal

Ingredients 

 

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup breastmilk, formula, or nondairy milk (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fruit puree (optional)

Instructions 

  • Add the quinoa to a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for about 1 minute. This helps to remove the tannins that can make quinoa taste bitter.

  • Add the 1 cup water to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. (Add 1/4-½ cup additional water if the water is absorbed but the quinoa is not yet fully tender.

  • Turn off the heat. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

  • Add quinoa to a blender. Blend, adding a small amount of liquid at a time, until the mixture is very smooth. It may take a minute.

  • Stir in cinnamon and/or fruit puree if desired. Thin out with additional liquid as desired.

  • (To serve this with a thicker, more textured consistency, simply place a small amount of the cooked quinoa into a bowl, add some nondairy milk, breastmilk, or formula and add cinnamon and fruit as desired. For kids over age 1, you can drizzle on a little honey, maple syrup, or nut butter too.)

Notes

  • Start with a smaller amount of liquid when blending and add a little at a time to thin it out to your liking.
  • You can use water, breastmilk, formula, or unsweetened nondairy milk for blending. (I prefer to use water, then stir in milk right before serving.)
  • Add more liquid to this cereal as needed—it firms up as it sits.
  • Add another puree to make quinoa baby food combinations. Favorite options include Strawberry Puree, Banana Puree, Sweet Potato Puree, and Peanut Butter Baby Food. You can also try a savory version by stirring in Avocado Puree.
  • Add cinnamon, cardamom, dried ginger, or another favorite spice as desired.
  • Add a sprinkle of hemp seeds, chia seeds, or ground flaxseeds to add more healthy fats.
  • Skip blending and simply mix fully cooked quinoa with nondairy milk for babies aged 8-9 months old—or for toddlers, kids, or adults as a breakfast cereal option.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 49kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 87mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 174IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg



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