Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Hub2dee's Porridge Pancakes

Hub2dee is a chap, although I didn't immediately twig that. He posts on Mumsnet (and he's not even a mum… they are very lax about these sort of things.)

Anyway, there had been some discussion on Mumsnet of the Glaswegian tradition of lining a kitchen drawer with baking parchment and pouring leftover porridge into it to be eaten later when it had set. Much of the discussion had centred, most irritatingly, around the 'grossness' of such a practice, to which I should have replied that if you were devastatingly poor, oppressed by slum landlords and working a hard day in a shipyard you maybe weren't so precious about these sorts of things but I didn't cos I was too chicken.

Anyway, Hub2dee went away and thought about this recipe in the context of Baby Led Weaning, bless him, and came up with this fantastic 'recipe' for porridge pancakes. There aren't any measurements, it's a bit trial and error-tastic but the babies love them. I've posted a photo of Babybear enjoying some in the Photos folder.

Basically, put a thin layer (oh I don't know, 4mm deep) of porridge oats into a round flat bowl (I have a tupperware which fits the bill and has a lid for keeping in the fridge, hurrah.)

Then add enough expressed breast milk or water to cover. If you are formula feeding then you can do as I do and add a scoop of formula powder to the mix before adding the water. Give it a wee stir, smooth over and stick it in the microwave for about a minute, sometimes more, sometimes less. Depends on your bowl, your microwave and your baby's personal taste.

You should be left with a solid pancake that looks a bit dried-out and flap-jacky on the top. DO NOT touch it or fanny about with it, leave it alone, it needs to cool and set.

I tend to make one up at night before I go to bed then stick it in the fridge, so that when we get up I can peel it (well, it really is just the skin of the porridge which I appreciate is un petit peu gross) and cut it into segments and feed it to the baby.

Apparently you can add things to the porridge, cheese, fruit etc, but I think I like the simplicity of the original recipe. We made it with cheese once and the baby ate it but I thought it was a bit stinky and it fell apart more easily. Oh, and if I'm making some to go out I don't bother with the milk.

As you know I don't yet have much of a clue about allergies (phew) but I believe that although oats do contain gluten it's not the freaky-deaky coeliac disease kind so I use these as a bread substitute. You can spread Philly or hummus on them to your heart's desire.

(As a complete aside, you would not BELIEVE what the 'renowned childcare expert Gina Ford' is doing to Mumsnet. She's trying to get them closed down cos some of their members had a pop at her. Have a look at if you don't believe me…)

Post Script
We have recently discovered that the desirability of the porridge pancake is entirely dependant on the quality and nature of the porridge. We had been using some fancy-schmantzy organic oats from Sainsbury's to make them and they turned out brilliantly, all light and porridgey but still held together well. Cut to the horror of the Scott's Porage Oat… a Jock classic and I'm ashamed to admit absolutely keech for making these pancakes. The oats seem to be five times as large as the ones from Sainsbury's and so they fall apart immediately. They don't even seem to absorb the milk that well, and as for the mess… one porridge pancake can wreak absolute devastation and havoc… they're going back in the cupboard for Anzac biscuits and I'm going back to Sainsbury's as soon as I get a minute.

Post Post Script. Where does it say on the recipe that you should cover the dish with clingfilm? Nowehere, that's where. Yet one of the mothers who most complained that she could not get this recipe to work has just sent me this image as evidence. Can you spot the mistake, pancake fans?

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43 Responses to “Hub2dee's Porridge Pancakes”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Aitch you're shameless! Are your trying to attract media interest to your blog? Go on say something mean about World Famous Childcare Expert.

  2. Anonymous says:

    do you know the annoying thing? i wrote that the night the 'please don't piss off The Fat Nag' instruction went up on Mumsnet (long before anyone else was even onto it) and then the bloody blog promptly disappeared. think of the many lawyers and journalists DESPERATE for info on finger food who have missed out. it's dreadful. think of their poor babies, fed on slops.
    PS. i love Annabel Karmel. Scrupulous personal hygiene, very much against attaching infants to warheads.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Aitch – not sure this is the place but I've been away and missed the best of it! can you enlighten me in a possibly coded and totally unlibellous way as to what exactly the personal hygiene slur was?!

  4. Anonymous says:

    i have no idea whatsoever, disappointingly. unpleasant habits as well, apparently. whatever they are…
    harpsi and morningpaper took the brunt, someone called mooma questioned her hygiene but i don't recognise the name and the thread is deleted.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thought I'd test your comment page before I write at length ;-)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yay ! Posting works.
    Am delighted you have firstly noticed my chromosomal make up and secondly that the porridge pancakes continue to be enjoyed by your little guinea pig.
    I made one with raisins that was tasty enough to be a decent adult snack too. Should deffo be tried at some point.
    It sounds like you cook yours longer than mine so they come out harder, and I might try nuking mine for a little longer to see if it is even nicer than norma !
    I wonder if we could do pancake sarnies, top and bottom pancakes with layers of somethigng suitable in the middle, like marscapone (yum) or cream cheese etc.
    Great blog site, nice domain name grab too. You might want a links section so you can point to some of Gill's chat transcripts as well. They were good background info.
    Take care, and watch out for the hairy handed truckers, eh…

  7. Anonymous says:

    cheers, hub. you are right, i should link to some things, particularly that broestvoeding (!) site. i will look into it (which is aitch-speak for 'i will ask my little sis').
    and we've been experimenting with even thicker pancakes recently. oooooh, nearly 8mm in cooked-width today. this is the white heat of porridge pancake technology we're talking about.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, above about 7mm and you're into new territory, aitch… normally requires security clearance, but seeing as it's you….

  9. Anonymous says:

    I tried this but didn't really pay much attention to actual instructions! result was one melted bowl, however a few trys later and also a few more disasters we finally got something that was like a pancake. I mixed in some honey (yes I now my child might get infant botulisim but since the honed comes from her grandpas bees and he knows them all personally I think it's ok – ok ) which was good for a snack pancake.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I tried this recipe and must say it must have been an absolute genius who came up with this.
    Top Show.
    Oh. Erm. My recipe. Excuse me.
    Nice work on the site Aitch. I'll try and get you some shoots of dd eating various things at some point.

  11. Anonymous says:

    hello mr genius, thanks for that (and for humouring me with the blurry tortilla photie). thought up any more recipes recently?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I'm working my way through various fruity options which, I have to say, are ^delish^.
    1/2 mashed banana in the mixture was my fave.
    Two chopped up dried fruits – prunes or apricots – also works well.
    I'll have to try the cheese to entice Angelcake…she's growth spurting and a bit off solids at the mo, but I am getting some lovely breakfasts as a result!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hello! Probably not the correct place, but I couldn't find an email address for you on your site. Love the blog, despite being baby-less (and happy about that!) – very entertaining!
    Anyway, my brother passed on your kind comments about my site a while back ( and I just wanted to let you know that we have our market on this Saturday at Hillhead Library, 10-4. We're also at the Botanic Gardens on Sunday at a fair in the building up the back. We will have a whole load of baby/kids stuff on display plus things for adults as always!
    That's all! I am off to read more about brocolli tree felling now!

  14. Anonymous says:

    cheers claire, will try to get to see you there, hopefully you can solve some christmas present worries…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ok, so in general this baby led weaning thing is a great idea but porridge pancakes? cmon….
    I have a 4 year-old who feasts on porridge every morning. One day, my then 7 month old baby got feverishly excited watching her big sister eat, so I thought, well, maybe she'd like some porridge too? I put some in a little bowl for her, bibbed her up and offered her some on a spoon. Although she had never eaten anything off a spoon before, she really went for this porridge, rocking back and forth with delight and looking at her sister, as if to say 'hey, we're both eating this!'
    This experience, and a similar one with yoghurt a few weeks ago, does make me question the idea, fairly explicit on this site, that spoon-feeding is simply pushy 'shovelling' and can never be baby-led. I consider my baby's excited porridge-eating to be TOTALLY 'baby-led'. She was the one who communicated what she wanted! I was convinced she wouldn't take it off a spoon, but because she saw her sister eating, she did. And to be honest, if I am making a saucepan of porridge for my 4 year-old each morning, the last thing I want to do is to make some extra 'pancakes' for my baby before I get them both dressed and head off to work.
    Don't get me wrong, in most other respects I am fully behind the idea of 'baby-led weaning'. But the last thing mothers/ parents need is yet another ideological camp of childcare whereby one 'type' of parent is set up against another. I think the comments elsewhere on this site regarding formula feeding (that it can be just as sensitive to a baby's changing needs and appetites as breast feeding) are spot-on. So please, is it not possible to be 'baby-led' in one's approach to weaning and also use spoons every now and then?
    PS. on the subject of 'non-meat protein sources', I highly recommend Cauldron Foods Organic Smoked Tofu. It is delicious, cut into cubes and shallow fried. My baby loves it (and my 4 year old too).

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hi Anonymous
    I too occasionally give The Weeble food on a spoon. There are some things which are just easier to eat that way, be you baby or adult! I put the spoon by his lips, and he generally lunges forwards and sucks it off the spoon. If he doesn't open his mouth, he doesn't get it. Mostly he firmly removes the spoon from my grasp and does it himself (well, 10% of the time; it often gets flicked across the kitchen).
    I don't think there is an ideological camp forming in the way you imply: if you read Aitch's blog entry, “Oh, we are doing Baby Led Weaning but I do use a spoon to get stuff down him if I don't think he's eaten enough'” you'll see she also uses a spoon in much the same way;

    if she wants to feed herself off a spoon then fabulous, or if I load up a spoon and she leans forward to take the food that's equally marvy.

    With regard to porridge pancakes, I view it as making porridge portable and more long-lasting; why not feed your bubba porridge as you do, then make a pancake from the leftovers that she can have later?
    Incidentally, and not meaning to offend, but I think if you are going to post something that seems designed to encourage debate, you shouldn't be “anonymous”. Pick a silly name like the rest of us!

  17. Anonymous says:

    i think you'll find that Morv has been spoon feeding Boomer pretty much since day one with the sorts of foods that might require a spoon, such as yoghurt. she's said so, plenty of times.
    and there are pictures of Babybear with a spoon in her hand and i've commented on how she feeds herself while i load up the spoon and has been doing since about 8 months.
    if you are making food for one child already and the baby can eat it, it would indeed be pointless to make extra if you don't have to. but morv and i don't have more than one child each and it's our blog, so this is what we do at the moment.
    i do think that giving your child finger food until they stop eating it, then deciding that you don't think that they've eaten enough and 'shovelling' it in is dodgy, and i've seen people do it. Don't think Babybear would co-operate, to be honest, but i've seen other babies eat more than they seemed to me to be comfortable with in order to finish a jar or whatever. i suppose i'm just highly pro demand feeding (thanks for the comment about the formula feeding, by the way, that's a subject close to my heart).
    so to be honest i don't think we have an argument here, i'm not against spoons so long as the baby is into it, just spooning… if you know what i mean?
    there is an inordinately long thread on exactly these issues on mumsnet right now
    if you want to have a look. welcome to the site, by the way, and apologies if i am sounding ratty, i've been at the dentist today and the anaesthetic has worn off. cheers.

  18. Anonymous says:

    oh, i thought i'd linked to that thread. i'll try again

  19. Anonymous says:

    weird. it's not working… it looks like it should work on the preview thingie.
    oh well, cut and paste it if you want to, it's very intersting and much of it is quite anti-BLW (for a while, until some BLWers come along and duff them up with porridge pancakes…)

  20. Anonymous says:

    So how come Bunny was able to link to something? (she says in a whiny, toothachey sort of a voice…)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Cos she's special ;-)
    HUGE sympathies with the Root Canal thing, by the way, ick ick ouch, I am sending you healing vibes and wish you better.
    The Weeble, incidentally, having just learned to crawl, motored across a friend's living room today and snaffled a cream cake. And ate it.
    My friend assures me it was organic cream, so that's OK…

  22. Anonymous says:

    Boomer granny and grandpa always have rice pudding in the fridge for Boomer – which she loves (no wonder it's a pudding) but it's ok because its organic – mmmmmmm grit teeth and explain again!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I have been trying to make these bloody pancakes for weeks and have yet to progress from a kind of flabby, gelatinous, pockmarked, grey discus that resembles nothing so much as one of John Prescott's buttocks (or so I've, in darker moments, imagined).
    I haven't got a microwave OR a toaster, they had to go to accommodate steamer and an industrial-sized coffee maker, so have been making it up in a saucepan and then decanting it into different containers. Have tried different oats etc but it is still nasty slimy sludge.
    Any suggestions, porridge pancake experts? I lack the imagination to come up with wheat-free breakfasts for Grizzles and am relying on the pancake coming good.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I started by making the porridge in a pan. Three tablespoons of Sainsbury's Organic Porridge Oats to nine tablespoons of water. Stir on low heat for five minutes. Then I spread it as thinly as I could on a tupperware lid. As thin as I could without it going holey. I covered it with clingfilm and stuck it in the fridge over night. It was a bit rubbery in the morning (are you picturing Prescott now?) but Minky enjoyed waving it around..oh and eating a bit of it.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Ta Moomin, I attempted this last night and it was MUCH better. Not a hint of buttock.
    Think I wasn't putting enough water in.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hurrah, someone else failing at the bloomin pancakes. I kept thinking it was just me. Honestly, its only oats and milk/water for crying out loud. I don't think I was putting enough liquid in either. And my oats are really big so might get some smaller ones. Anyway, thought I would post in solidarity.

  27. Anonymous says:

    if you can get some smaller, kinda flakier-looking oats it makes a HUGE difference… i thought i'd gone mad when i tried the Porage Oats, i just couldn't get them to work.
    (although can i just say, in maternal solidarity, that i doubt you failed at the pancakes, just made a different, more Prescott-like version. Which is surely a victory of sorts?)

  28. Anonymous says:

    I bought some Mornflake organic oats from Holland & Barrett and they worked very well. They only take 1 min in the pan from boiling so are convenient anyway.
    I think the Prescott Effect comes from using oats that are too large…

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hurrah, smaller oats definintely make un-prescotty porrigde pancakes. The Pumpkin is relieved, she didn't fancy eathing prescott buttocks for breakfast and who can honestly blame her.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I am so sorry I mentioned John Prescott's buttocks, as we've all thought about them now, and they aren't something you need in your head, frankly.
    Let's pause a moment, and think of the firm, pert buttocks of someone we find attractive.
    But back to BLW, I'm away on the pancakes now, adding dried fruit is a big hit with Grizzles.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hi Loll,
    Yes, I agree. Lets call a Prescott buttocks amnesty, whole thing is making me quite queasy. Very funny though. Pumpkin loves the pancakes and I would like to put dried fruit in them but a little part of my brain keeps whispering “choking hazard”. I know its a really stupid question but what dried fruit do you use?

  32. Anonymous says:

    I have found that dried apricots are a hit with Boomer. We have experimented with other fruits i.e. apple, pear and dadadaaa prunes but apricots are the only ones that have really gone down with any success. Boomer has also polished off a few dates, which she loved although I think they are pretty sweet so maybe not the best idea?

  33. Anonymous says:

    I chop apricots and dates up – they disintegrate quite a lot during the cooking process so there don't tend to be many lumps in the pancake.
    It does end up being a sweet pancake. I grilled one last night and spread with mascarpone for Grizzles – it was like a flapjack. Yum.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Loll , that sounds absolutly delish – must try , although will test before giving to Boomer just in case they are unsuitable! (ok because I'm greedy)

  35. Anonymous says:

    Since I've had nothing but disasters with the porridge pancakes (entirely my fault!) we've been experimenting. Here's one for you dairy intolerents!
    Stir together one cup of Ready Brek and one cup of pineapple juice until they form a thick paste. Microwave for 90 seconds.
    Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and pour on the pineapple mixture. Spread it out into a rectangle, about 5mm thick, and score the surface into smaller blocks with the back of a knife. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the mix to dry out and cool. Cut along the score lines and voila! Slightly chewy fruity flapjacky things!
    These went down quite well with the Weeble, but I ate most of them ;-)

  36. Anonymous says:

    hey hey hey, don't hide your light under a bushel…
    i'll cut and paste this when i get a minute and put it on its own page so it's searchable.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, didn't want to bombard you with emails ;-) No microwave explosions this time, hurrah!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Tesco Value porridge oats are fine too (assuming that you're not too fussy about the organic thing). I tried them alongside the Sainsbury's organic oats that come so highly recommended, and I couldn't tell the difference between the resulting pancakes.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Probably obvious, but these pancakes work well with Rice milk instead of milk for those excluding dairy!

  40. Anonymous says:

    How long would you reckon on being able to store these in the fridge? Piglet likes them a lot (now I've got the texture right, which was a bit of a saga) but I'm dithering about whether making a larger pancake and keeping half back to give her the next day is a) a great time-saving idea or b) a fearful food-poisoning risk. What do you do?

  41. Anonymous says:

    i think they'd be fine in the fridge for a day, really. in fact i'm pretty sure we've done that in the past.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Do you think it would work with baby rice? I've got loads of freebies and just trying to think what to do with them other than donate to another mum!

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