Is Baby Rejecting Whole Grains? Try This Lubricating Trick

Laura Lefkowitz

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

There’s no shortage of information out there on what to feed baby. The rules keep changing, which doesn’t make things easy on new parents. Over the years, I developed a feeding technique that takes into consideration baby’s neurology and senses. I call it palatetraining, and it’s a method that may help you in your quest to raise a healthy eater.

Transitioning Baby From Cereal to Whole Grains

The first step of palatetraining is feeding baby whole grain cereals (pureed grains), such as brown rice, quinoa, millet and amaranth. In my experience tallking with parents, this is the easy part. Most parents find that their baby accepted whole grain cereals easily when mixed with breastmilk, water or vegetable or fruit purees. But then when they transitioned to actual grains, the child stopped eating them.

Whole grains have a rough, fibrous outer coating, so they’re chewier and harder in texture than processed grains like white rice, rolled oats and pasta. This is where we must consider baby’s physiology. Up until around 8 months, baby has been eating purees and milk. She hasn’t been chewing or swallowing hard foods, just sucking. Baby’s chewing and swallowing muscles need to be developed and strengthened in order to handle whole grains. If you transition from pureed cereal to whole brown rice, it’s just too much work for baby’s muscles, so she tires easily and gets frustrated.

This is where lubricated grains come into the picture. If you lubricate whole grains with vegetable or fruit puree, the grains need very little chewing and slide down the throat easily. As baby’s chewing and swallowing muscles get stronger, you can decrease the amount of lubrication and eventually give them plain whole grains.

How to lubricate grains

To make a lubricated grains, cook any whole grain according to the package directions, then simply mix it with vegetable or fruit purees. Here are some of my favorite lubricated grain combinations:

  • Black rice with acorn or butternut squash puree
  • Black rice with coconut milk and cinnamon
  • Brown rice with sweet pea and mint puree
  • Short-grain brown rice with zucchini and garlic puree
  • Kidney bean and banana puree
  • Quinoa with ricotta cheese, pear puree and cinnamon
  • Millet and sweet potato puree with cinnamon
  • Millet, sweet corn and ricotta cheese puree
  • Amaranth with vanilla yogurt, blueberry puree and cinnamon