For an older baby, add plain, cooked rice to sweet and savoury purées to encourage chewing. Rice pudding is also good for babies from 9 months. Put 50g (2oz) of pudding rice into a pan with 600ml (1pt) milk and ½tsp vanilla essence. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add dried fruit while it’s cooking, or mix in a fruit purée or a little low-sugar strawberry jam. Two easy fruit purées are plum and apricot.
For plum purée, skin two large plums (plunge into scalding water for 1 minute, then cold water) and chop the flesh. Plums can be puréed, using a hand-held blender, uncooked if they’re soft and juicy. Purée, then stir in baby rice to thicken.
For apricot purée, skin two large apricots (as for the plums), then purée using a hand-held blender. Fresh apricots can be quite sour, so simmer some dried apricots in water for 5 minutes, and blend with the fresh ones. Then stir in some baby rice mixed with milk.
For more recipe ideas with rice, check out Risotto with butternut squash in our recipes section.