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.)

Porridge oats
Milk (cow, soya, formula, breast, whatever!)
Optional extras: raisins, dried apricots, dried prunes, grated cheese

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.

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? Nowhere, 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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54 Responses to “Hub2dee's Porridge Pancakes”

  1. scarletts Mum says:

    Hi, I have just made this for Scarlett tonight – looks really nice am keen to try it myself in the morning. Just wondered how long you can keep it in the fridge – couple of days?? Have you any other nice breakfast suggestions? Scarlett is just 6 months. :)

  2. Julia says:

    Fab will try these thank you. Please can you tell me if you can also use goats milk? Thank you :-)

    • Aitch says:

      i can’t imagine why not, can you, but then am not that familiar with goat’s milk. if you try them, would you report back, that would be really helpful. cheers!

      • Dawn says:

        Don’t see why not, but I’ve heard it’s like cows milk and best avoided until 1 year old.

      • Aitch says:

        I’m not sure I’m with you. Do you have guidelines where you live that says cow’s milk is to be avoided until one?

      • Rebecca says:

        As I understand it, cows milk is fine to put in food from 6 months but not as a drink until after 1 year old because it doesn’t contain enough of the right nutrients, I think goats milk (and sheeps milk) are the same so would be fine to use from a baby health point of view.

      • Aitch says:

        Goat and sheep to add to the pancakes, you mean? Sure.

  3. Sara Rodrigues says:

    is it too early togive these pancakes to a 7mth old child? I’m still breastfeeding but have already introduced other solid foods.
    Thanks :)

  4. Jennifer says:

    Hi, I have tried these with different types of oats, different amounts of water, different containers… and I can’t get a good result! Either the bottom is soggy, or they don’t stick together well enough for my little one to eat. Any chance of getting more specific recipe? The recipe in the BLW Cookbook doesn’t seem to do the trick either. I am not great in the kitchen, but surely I can master these! ;-)

    • Aitch says:

      they put hub’s recipe in the BLW cookbook? did not know that… what kind of oats are you using? i used to like plain old Sainsbo’s porridge ones.

  5. wacky12 says:

    You can always make porridge on the stove and then spread on a side plate to cool….. that’s what I used to do!

  6. Frog31 says:

    Does the mixture have to be completely firm before you let it cool? I have zapped mine in the microwave for nearly 3 minutes and it is still a bit runny!

    Can you give any sort of porridge oats to a 6month old? If so what is the difference between regular porridge and the “baby” porridge you get in the supermarkets?

    • Aitch says:

      that, my good friend, is the (possibly literally) million dollar question. probably the baby porridge is milled finer and has some added vits (ie is more processed) but apart from that…
      and yes, if i recall correctly, it was pretty firm on exiting the micro, so maybe a spot less milk less time? it can be trial and error with different oats, we found.

  7. […] (also raw) and George liked that. And for breakfast he is having porridge oats done like this .…idge-pancakes/ He loves […]

  8. faye says:

    I also bought ‘less desirable’ oats one time before I was pregnant for my own breakfast. They were cheap and really didn’t cook up well. So I stuck them in the food processor (dry) and made oat flour – which resembles baby porridge. They are far more useful this way!

  9. YellRedder says:

    This seems to be a lot of faff – I thought BLW was supposed to be about not making special foods just for baby! Think me and 7 month old will just continue to have our porridge as normal – even if it does involve me feeding her part of the time!

    • Aitch says:

      go for it! i used to find it less faff for the mornings because i knocked them up the night before, and, well, it is really just overcooking some porridge in the microwave so presumably pretty much equal faff on the recipe front, but sure, if you want to feed the baby your porridge then great. having been brought up on the stuff, i loathe it, but no doubt would just have stuck it on a spoon for the dds had it been knocking about in its legitimate form. ;D

  10. michelle says:

    gonna gie thes a wee bash for alfies snack they sound great and my gran used to get the drawer thing lol

  11. Lilia says:

    Do you have any suggestions on how to do it in a regular oven, with no microwave?

    • Aitch says:

      you’ll just have to give it a try, i guess… i’d try it on a bit of oven paper i think, do blobs and then put in a low oven. but it might be a fair amount of hassle.

  12. Caroline says:

    My little one loves these – i add frozen raspberries and they go a lovely shade of pink! I do them on greaseproof paper

  13. JGee says:

    Hi, I’ve just made this and wanted to ask about the consistency. It’s kind of sticky and squidgy. Is that right or should it be harder? I gave some to my daughter but she just squeezed it through her fingers.
    I was wondering if it needs longer in the microwave or perhaps I added too much liquid? I put it in for 1min 20secs.


    • Aitch says:

      it’s a trial and error thing, i think, so much depends on the micro. try it for a bit longer next time, definitely. and remember, squeezing them through her fingers is great, she’s getting used to textures etc.

  14. Rebecca says:

    I just made some by mixing Quaker oats with breast milk. I gently heated until thickened let cool slightly so denser. I lightly fried until golden brown in non stifrypan cake pan – no oil needed.

  15. Melanie says:

    Hi, this sounds great. I’m just at the reading up stage and will start blw in July. I read that babies should not have regular soy or cows milk under the age of 1 year because they contain too much protein. Is it OK to use them within recipes like this one, or should I buy a certain kind?

    • Aitch says:

      Really? where did you read that? My (non-medical but kicked around forums for a while) understanding is that barring allergy or intolerance you can give them cow’s milk from 6 months, in things, but not as a bm or formula substitute because the proteins are designed for baby cows (hence the fact they are de-natured and altered in the formula manufacturing process). So it’s not that cow’s milk is actively poisonous or problematic, it’s that they’re just not sufficient as a food source for young babies. Added to stuff, though, not a problem, so long as the main milk supply is coming from elsewhere.

      • Caz says:

        Cows milk (full fat)is fine from 6 months added to food if cooked, breaks down the protiens. just not as a drink until 12 months

  16. Danielle says:

    These porridge pancakes sound yummy and I can’t wait to go to get some porridge oats. Can I just clarify do you need to make them the night before or can you do them in the morning and leave to cool?

    • Aitch says:

      i just did them in the morning, then used to float the bowl in a bigger bowl of cold water to cool them down quickly. they’re really handy,

  17. Suzanne says:

    Cows milk is fine after 6 months, even not cooked but shouldn’t be given to baby as a drink as it does not contain the nutrients they need like breast milk or formula, so it could fill them up and that means they miss out on nutrients they need from the BM or formula.
    I’ve attempted these pancakes, heated them up on the hob in a saucepan with just a small amount of milk ( full fat cow’s), and am leaving them to set, I’m wondering if I might have to put in oven later but will see……..

    • Suzanne says:

      Didn’t need to put them in the oven as they had set perfectly! Brilliant for baby for breakfast. Used only small amount of milk just to cover oats and so they expanded, brilliant, will be making these again!

  18. Somersaults says:

    While I did these the other day I decided to try a similar thing with weetabix. Y’know, for the hell of it. Anyway, it takes a lot lot longer to go kind of set in the microwave, and then when I came back to it in the morning for Babbity’s breakfast the weetabix ones were really not very appetising looking. I gave them to her along with the porridge ones and she had about the same interest in them. We’re only at the very early stages of BLW so I can’t honestly say she ate any of either but she did gum both of them for about the same amount of time.

    Honestly though I’ve had more success just giving her a weetabix brick softened with a dribble of milk.

  19. Kristen says:

    Tried this today with Farex Pear & Banana Muesli. Mixed in some breast milk (kept it quite thick) then pressed it into the bottom of the bowl. Microwave for 30secs then popped into the freezer (yes, I was in a hurry and thinking on my feet!). Gave bubs (6.5 months) some fruit to play with (oh and eat of course) and then got out the little muesli pancake for him. It probably needed longer to set ut was firm enough for him to hold and munch on. Will experiment with setting in fridge overnight and various consistencies but I think it’s a winner!

  20. Laura T says:

    I have a receipe for porridge pancakes that I make for me, and share with my little one.

    1 Cup porridge oats
    2 egg whites & 1 egg
    1/2 cup greek yoghurt (instead of milk)

    You get a thick mixture that you add to a pan sprayed lightly with oil and cook for a thick scotch-pancake type result. Delicious with maple syrup for me or fruit puree for my son.

  21. annie says:

    These sound great and I’m so looking forward to trying them.
    Although I wonder if anyone realises that microwaving dairy creates free radicals (nasty and carcinogenic) in it? Who knows what it does to breastmilk! But I do know from working in childcare that it’s ill advised -we were never allowed to heat breastmilk up in the microwave.
    Surely it’s always better to avoid using microwaves where possible anyway, especially when using dairy, and when cooking for little ones

    • Aitch says:

      i’m not sure that’s proven, about the microwaves. there was a spanish study, i think, that found that some of the disease-fighting capability was destroyed if you heated breastmilk, and certainly there are hotspots created in bottles that make it inadvisable to heat that way in a childcare setting, but i’m not sure there are reputable studies that associate microwaving dairy with carcinogens. i’d certainly be interested to read them, though, of course.

  22. Val says:

    Is the goal here to get a cake, like a softer rice cake? Or are we shooting for a thin, peelable thing, like a fruit roll-up?

    I second the call for pictures! :)

    • Aitch says:

      LOL, i’m not making the blardy things, my kids are ANCIENT, but i feel your pain. soft roll up, i reckon. a flabby wee pancake. if you crack it, send us a photie and i will put it right up.

    • Elly says:

      I have some pictures, will email them to Aitch tomorrow :-)

  23. Elly says:

    I just made (as a trial thing) a pancake type thing for lo by mixing about 2tbsp ready brek with a tiny splash of olive oil and enough hot water to make a dough, rolled it into a ball then squished flat and dry fried on a low heat for 5mins each side.
    Its taste is like porridge and texture is like a pancake – I spread some tomato & red pepper spread on it and lo loves it :-D

  24. Helen says:

    Just tried these and my little monster loved them!! I found he was very thirsty afterwards I guess because they’re dry? Anyway, big hit thanks!

  25. Dana says:

    Very useful posts, thank you all!
    My baby is 7 m/o today, but was born 2 months premature. Does anyone have any experience with BLW and premature babies? I am still BF.
    When she was 4 1/2 months old, she started chewing her hands every time we ate (we’ve always seated her at our table in a Stokke Newborn Set when we ate), so I felt tempted to spoon-feed her some home-made purrees (we tried cooked carrot, broccoli, beatroot, potato, and fresh apple, pear, banana – individually purreed). She was so enthusiastic about it that she was getting hysterical but got extremely constipated within 2 weeks and a nasty eczema flared up. The doctor said that some babies have this problem and just need to be helped through it, and simply gave me anti-constipation meds for her, but I find the whole thing a bit strange. I did some reading, decided to stop the solids immediately without giving meds, and give her more time. The eczema went away and the constipation disappeared as well. I have recently discovered this lovely forum with all the suggestions. I would like to BLW, I find it a healthy approach and wish I had read about it sooner. I do have a few questions I could not find the answer to yet (appologies if it had been discussed already, I did try to read everything but may have missed some replies). How do you make sure the baby gets enough fluids? Do you give water every time you give solids? Has anyone had problems with baby constipation when they started BLW, and if yes how did you solve it? I welcome all suggestions, I am a bit reluctant to experiment blindly on DD. Thanks!

    • Dana says:

      Sorry about this, just realised I posted under the wrong thread, I’ll repost on the main forum, please ignore this post here!

    • Aitch says:

      I do, and I really must write about it some day. *adds to list*
      my dd2 was 7 weeks prem, and she started weaning at about 5 and a half mos corrected, which was oddly the same kind of age as her sister, who was term. The baby should get enough fluids from bfing, definitely make that the priority, although formula feeders (like moi) are encouraged to make water available so if you think it’s a problem, just do that. There are some babies who are prone to constipation, i recommend the prune and lentil recipe, it’s in the recipe section of the forum, the name TOTALLY escapes me for the moment, sorry, but someone on the forum can tell you. Best thing, though, is for the baby not to get constipated in the first place… take it slow, keep it boring (if she has a tendency to flare-ups) and avoid banana as they’re a well known bunger-upper. Good luck!

  26. Porridge lover says:

    Unashamedly, this (after eating porridge in various consistencies for brekkie most mornings for the last 10yrs!) is how I make my own porridge and my 10month old boy loves to have a taste of mine (after he’s chomped through his own porridge and a mini banana!) – i can’t think why I haven’t thought this would make a great snack for him!… Btw, a good consistency…
    150ml milk
    35g small (cheap!) oats

    1. Heat milk on full power (in a bowl, uncovered) for 2mins
    2. Add oats, stir.
    3. Back in microwave for 40secs
    4. Remove and stir
    5. Back in microwave for a final 40secs
    6. Wait for it to cool (either until warm, or totally cool) and slice up for them to munch on

  27. Sarah G. says:

    Hello folks, asking because I am both a newbie to BLW, and an American. When you say porridge oats, are these whole oats? I know some folks like to grind oats at home for making their own baby food. Curious if a 6 month old can handle/digest regular oats (here they come in a tall canister called Old Fashioned Oats), not ground into a fine powder. I have the pancake ready, but now I am eyeing it suspiciously.

    • Aitch says:

      Go for it! I dare you! Mine loved them at 6 months. (By 12 months, they’d learned to frisbee, so enjoy it while you can).

  28. Karen says:

    A really unusual recipe – had never come across anything like it before. Tried it this morning and my little one loved it! Going to try some other variations – maybe adding banana, blueberries, raspberries etc. Thank you so much for the idea.

  29. Jo says:

    I am too disorganised to make a porridge pancake the night before, it transpires. However, disorganisation is the mother of invention (or something) so I propose this revision for people who are similarly sleep-deprived and all over the place.

    Follow the first steps in just the same way (milk just covering oats, good good) and then – cook it for 2 minutes 30. Then leave it to congeal (sorry, set) for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a plate with a spatula

  30. meetzorp says:

    I am going to try this recipe tonight for tomorrow’s use. I have such a quantity of expressed breastmilk languishing in the freezer and a very small boy who is very interested in feeding himself. Thank you so much for the idea!

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