Product Type: Heinz food products
Newest Review: ... was so bland he ate it but not very convincingly and we moved onto other products but after a visit to the health visitor I was advised t... more
I do these experiments so you don't have to
Heinz Farley's Pure Baby Rice
Member Name: theda
Heinz Farley's Pure Baby Rice
Advantages: Contains vitamins and minerals, but no nasties
Disadvantages: Will go lumpy if you mix it according to the instructions on the packet
It's a sign that All Is Not Well in any mother's life when she finds herself standing in the kitchen shouting 'STOP GOING LUMPY!' at a bowl of powdered rice. A small irritation in the grand scheme of things perhaps, but when you have a baby yelling for his tea in the background, lumpy rice is the last thing you need.
I'd chosen this rice because it is fortified with vitamins and minerals (it also has no artificial colours or preservatives, but this is pretty standard for baby rice so it isn't really a reason to choose this one over any other). It seemed simple enough to make - put some powder in a bowl, add milk, mix and presto! A smooth, tasteless puree that your baby will enjoy. Well okay, probably not enjoy, but eat anyway.
I tried more than once to make up the rice following the instructions on the packet, and each time it came out looking like watered-down cottage cheese (nice). I could, of course, have simply chucked it in the bin and bought a different brand. But out of a combination of scientific curiosity, procrastination (I was supposed to be doing the washing up) and having paid nearly two quid for the stuff and being damned if I was going to throw any of it away, I decided to see if there was a better method.
The problem, I saw, was that the powder is too fine so that when you mix it with liquid it forms clumps which no amount of stirring or mashing with the back of a spoon will dissolve. This is not ideal as, apart from it looking a bit icky, babies who are not used to lumps in food can gag on them, and this is not a nice thing to do to a six-month-old.
First I wondered if using a thicker liquid would help, so I added it to some pear purée. No luck. It just looked like lumpy pear purée.
Then I tried adding lots of milk in the hope that once a little of it had dissolved, it would stop the rest going lumpy when it was added. I've never seen whey, but I imagine it to look something like this. With lumps.
Finally, after powdering most of my kitchen, I cracked it. The trick is to put the milk or boiled water in the bowl first. Then sprinkle the rice over the top to form a thick layer, as if powdering a cake with icing sugar but - and this is the crucial step - don't mix it until the rice has dissolved.
We've moved past the plain rice stage now, so I can't say whether other brands are better than this one, but I wouldn't rule this one out as it has lots of good stuff in it. It comes in a 100g packet, is suitable from four months and is available at most supermarkets and some local shops and chemists, costing around £1.80.
Summary: Good for your baby, if not your blood pressure
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