Making sure plant-based babes get enough iron through baby-led weaning can pose some challenges, but it’s not impossible! Here’s an easy way to help meet your plant-based baby’s iron needs using baby cereal in a non-traditional way.
One of the challenges of baby-led weaning with a plant-based baby is getting enough iron.
Baby-led weaning is an approach to starting solid foods that allows baby to lead the way. This is typically done as opposed to starting with purees, and research shows that baby-led weaning can help children develop a more positive and intuitive relationship with food.
Why? Foods must be provided in sizes and shapes that baby can grasp with his or her full palm. This makes many of the most common iron-rich plant-based foods like beans, grains, nuts, and seeds a no-go in their whole form.
That being said, it’s not impossible to meet baby’s iron needs through baby-led weaning on a plant-based diet. It just means that you need to get a little more creative!
That’s why we wanted to share this recipe with you. These iron-fortified baby cereal pancakes are one easy, scrumptious way to meet your babe’s needs for this critical nutrient.
We like Earth’s Best Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal for this recipe. Given recent reports about glyphosate in conventional oats and arsenic concerns in rice products, we opt for organic, oat-based baby cereal as a safe, nutritious option for our little ones and their growing bodies and brains.
Tips for success
This recipe was updated in December 2020 based on reader feedback. The original recipe was very thick; after testing a few different rounds, we decided that adding in more liquid to the overall batter created the best taste and texture. As the cereal absorbs liquid as it sits, you may need to add in additional liquid if the batter becomes too thick.
We prefer these cooked on a well-greased cast-iron skillet and noted different cooking times depending on what skillet you use. You may need to cook them longer than the 2-3 minutes per side recommendations.
Iron-Rich Baby Cereal Pancakes
- 3/4 cup iron-fortified baby oatmeal cereal
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons warm water, gently mixed)
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (we like soy milk)
- In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: baby oatmeal, oat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, combine wet ingredients: chia egg, mashed banana, water, and milk.
- Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients together, creating a smooth batter.
- On a hot, greased griddle, cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side.
- For baby-led weaning, slice them into strips and serve to baby!
For more nutrient-rich first food ideas for baby-led weaning, check out our ebook, First Bites.
Tell us in the comments:
- What are your favorite iron-rich foods to make for baby?
- Have you ever used baby cereal in other non-traditional ways for your kiddo?