Homemade Cerelac for Babies | Sathu Mavu Recipe | Health Mix


Why homemade cerelac for babies when instant ready-made baby foods are available?

What are the benefits of sathu maavu or homemade cerelac over packaged baby food?

How to prepare healthy homemade cerelac or sathu maavu in the proper way?

home made cerelac recipe

I am a person who believes in everything homemade for my bundle of love. Even my hubby and I refrain from having packaged and processed foods. This quality I got from my mother who puts so much effort to give the right and pure homemade food for her children and grandchildren.

So here I am with my signature style homemade cerelac or sathu maavu for babies, a recipe I got from my very health-conscious mom who prefers everything traditional and homemade.

What is sathu maavu or homemade cerelac?

Sathu maavu/ energy mix / homemade cerelac for babies is one of the rich foods which gives wholesome energy and strength. It is filling and can be consumed by everyone, even by our grandparents, but for babies strictly above ten months.

It is a porridge mix made using several kinds of cereal, grains, pulses and dry fruits. Some ingredients are soaked and sprouted too to increase the nutritional value.

Homemade cerelac is also known as sathu maavu porridge. In Kerala it is also known as the navadhanya mix or 9-cereal-mix as mostly this mix is made with 9 dhanyams or grains. But you can customize this mix according to the cereals you have at home.

Why go for homemade cerelac when packaged one is easily available?

We always have the tendency to go by the easy way, but forget the fact that easy doesn’t always mean safe. When we go behind hundreds of varieties of packaged instant ready to cook or ready to eat foods from the market, we always purposefully forget the fact that it is not the safest choice for our health. It stands true for baby food too.

It is true that the cerelac baby food powders or the kinds we get in tins from the market are hassle free and easy to make. But do you know how much of preservatives go into these baby foods to increase the shelf life? Preservatives eventually aren’t good for a little baby’s developing intestine.

Then again flavored baby foods that can make even adults drool are another hit in the market. But a quick look at the ingredients will tell you that such baby foods have nothing but artificial flavors in it. So what you are feeding your teeny tiny sensitive baby is nothing but a load of chemicals and additives.

Again we can never be sure about the storage conditions. The process passes through many stages before reaching our kitchen counter. We never know if the packaged food got infested during manufacture, godown storage, transportation and what not.

Then comes the allergy part. Kids who are allergic can have allergies from the ingredients in the store-bought baby foods. When we prepare baby food at home, we can avoid the allergy causing ingredients and make baby food accordingly.

A mom made food will be virtually safe food to be consumed. Is there a second reason required to tell why one should choose homemade food over packaged food! Moreover, entertaining homemade food will inculcate good eating habits and simultaneously you end up saving a great amount along with opting for home-made food.

Benefits of sathu maavu

  • As it is homemade the quality of the ingredients is guaranteed and also you can adjust the ratio of ingredients in the recipe according to your liking.
  • It is the best complementary food that can be introduced once basic early food items are introduced
  • It is the best food for weight gain in babies
  • Homemade cerelac boosts stamina
  • It comes with a combination of healthy dietary sources such as cereals, dry fruits, and pulses
  • It is highly beneficial for pregnant and breastfeeding ladies for it contains tremendous healthy ingredients
  • The sathu maavu mix can be used to make idlis, dosa, laddoos, cakes etc. and so can be enjoyed by the entire family

Let us see the health benefits of the ingredients used in homemade cerelac.

Health benefits of the ingredients used in sathu maavu

I have used 16 ingredients here. It is not mandatory to include all the ingredients, but if you include it is the best.

#1. Ragi

home made cerelac with ragi

Ragi or finger millet is easily digestible and is a rich source of calcium, fiber, thiamine, protein, carbohydrate and iron.

The other names of ragi are kooravu/kora/panjapullu/ in Malayalam, kelvaragu in Tamil, mandika or ragi in Kannada. It is called taidalu in Andhra and nachni in North India.

#2. Bajra (kambu in Tamil)

home made cerelac bajra
The starch in bajra or pearl millet has high energy content. Bajra also contains a good amount of calcium. Pearl millet is rich in fiber content and prevents constipation. It is also good to control diabetics and heart diseases.

It is called kambam in Malayalam, sajjalu in Telungu, Sajje/kambu in Kannada.

#3. Wheat
home made cerelac wheat
Wheat is rich in vitamin B, manganese, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc. Wheat is rich is fiber and improves metabolism

It is good for diabetic patients, helps prevent obesity, prevents chronic inflammations and is good for gastrointestinal health. 

#4. Orange Corn
home made cerelac orange corn
Orange corn is rich in carotenoids and vitamin A , a must for good eye health.

It is the same corn that we use for making popcorns.

#5.White Corn

home made cerelac white corn 

White corn is rich in fiber, niacin, vitamic C and potassium. It also contains small amount of iron, folate and magnesium. For this reason it is good for skin, heart and muscles. It is also good to improve immunity.

It is also called maize or sweet corn. Maize or corn is chollam in Malayalam, makka in Hindi.

#6. Red / Brown Rice

home made cerelac red rice

In the brown rice the bran and germ layers are kept intact and so it doesn’t lose nutrients and minerals like white rice in the making process.

Brown rice is rich in selenium, manganese, naturally occurring oils and anti-oxidants. It also has good fibers. It lowers the risk of diabetes, cholesterol and childhood asthma. It is one of the best baby foods.

Read: Brown Rice Moong Dal Porridge Mix Recipe for Babies

#7. Green Gram
home made cerelac green gram
It is rich in iron and magnesium. It also contains the Vitamis A, B and C along with Vitamin E. Green gram or whole moong dal is a good source of lean vegetarian protein.

It is considered anti-cancerous and is good to boost immunity.

Read: Whole Moong Dosa Recipe and Green Gram Sweet Sundall recipe

#8. Chana Dal
home made cerelac channa dal
Chana dal is chickpeas. It is rich in iron, protein, zinc, folate and manganese. It helps prevent anemia, helps improve immunity and hair growth. It is also considered goof for the in the proper functioning of the body and brain.

#9. Fried Gram
home made cerelac fried gram

Fried gram is roasted gram / pottukadala/ porikadalai or pottukadalai.

It is rich in protein and various vitamins and minerals. It is good for iron deficiency problems as it contains a good amount of iron.

It is also good to lessen constipation and heart diseases.

#10.Urad Dal

home made cerelac urad dal

Urad dal or split black gram is Ulunthu in Tamil, uzhunnu in Malayalam, Minumulu in Telugu, Uddu in Kannada and mashkalai ḍal in Bengali.

Urad dal is one of the richest sources of Vitamin B. It also contains iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is also protein rich.

#11. Almonds
home made cerelac almonds
Almonds or badam are good for bones and boost immunity. It helps improves skin complexion and is good for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

#12. Cashewnut
home made cerelac cashew nut
Cashewnut is kashuvandi in Malayalam and Kaju in Hindi.

Cashewnuts are rich in vitamins E, vitamin K and B6. It also contains minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. Iron and selenium are also found in cashew nut. All these minerals and vitamins are important for the proper healthy functioning of the body.

#13. Peanut

home made cerelac peanut 

Peanut is also known as groundnut/ goober. It is a legume and is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids and dietary proteins. It also contains Vitamin E and B plus minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium zinc , copper, and selenium.

#14. Pistachios

home made cerelac pistachio

Pistachios are a nutritionally rich food containing good amount of protein and dietary fibers. It also contains high content of copper, which aids in better absorption of iron. It also has various other vitamins and minerals.

#15. Cardamom
home made cerelac cardamom
Cardomom is Elakkai / Elaichi/ Yaalakkaya or Elakkaya.

It is rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and manganese and helps to fight against nausea, acidity, bloating and heartburn. It is also good to improve appetite and better kidney function.

#16.Dry Ginger

home made cerelac dry ginger

Dry ginger is known as sukku, chukku or sonth and is good for improving digestion and curbing gas related problems. It also helps improve immunity and fight flu and common cold.

Adding dry ginger to home-made cerelac lessens the chances of indigestion and gas that can occur from consuming so many pulses and grains.

How to prepare homemade cerelac for babies?

As said earlier, sathu maavu is recommended for babies above 10 months of age as by that time babies will be introduced to most of the ingredients used to prepare this health mix.

I started to prepare this from the ninth month end so that I can start giving sathu maavu to my darling daughter as soon as she is 10 months old. I have used almost 16 ingredients as listed above and I have sprouted certain cereals too to increase the nutritional value.

So here is the step by step method to prepare homemade cerelac.

Step By Step Method With Pics To Make Homemade Cerelac For Babies

home made cerelac ingredients
Step 1
: Soak all the ragi, bajra, wheat , corns, green gram and chana dal separately in water overnight.

Step 2: Drain each of them and tie them in a piece of cloth separately as shown in the image and place them in a dry area.
home made cerelac sprouting process

Step 3: When you open the cloth, they will turn into sprouts after almost 8-9 hours.

Step 4: Sundry or dry under the fan till the entire moisture is removed.

Step 5: Roast all the sprouted ingredients as well as the other ingredients like dry fruits, rice, fried gram and urad dal separately.

home made cerelac roasted ingredients

Step 6: Once roasted well and all the moisture is gone, mill it into fine powder with cardamom and dry ginger.

home made cerelac powder

Step 7: Store in airtight containers.

Note: You can exclude any of these ingredients if you don’t have it available or if your baby is allergic to it.

4.5 from 17 reviews
Home Made Cerelac for Babies (Step By Step Pictures)
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baby Food
Cuisine: Indian
  • Ragi - 1 cup
  • Bajra (kambu ) - 1 cup
  • Wheat - 1 cup
  • Orange Corn - 1 cup
  • White Corn - 1 cup
  • Red / Brown Rice - 1 cup
  • Green Gram - 1 cup
  • Chana Dal - 1 cup
  • Fried Gram - 1 cup
  • Urad Dal - 1 cup
  • Almonds - ½ cup
  • Cashews - ½ cup
  • Peanut - ½ cup
  • Pistachios - ½ cup
  • Cardamom - 2 pods
  • Dry Ginger - small piece
  1. Soak ragi, bajra, wheat , corns, green gram and chana dal separately in water overnight.
  2. Drain each of them and tie them in a piece of cloth separately as shown in the image and place them in a dry area.
  3. When you open the cloth, they will turn into sprouts after almost 8-9 hours.
  4. Sundry or dry under the fan till the entire moisture is removed.
  5. Roast all the sprouted ingredients as well as the other ingredients like dry fruits, rice, fried gram and urad dal separately.
  6. Once roasted well and all the moisture is gone, mill it into a fine powder with cardamom and dry ginger.
  7. Store in airtight containers.

Precautions while preparing cerelac at home

  • Since the process includes sprouting of certain ingredients, at most care should be taken.
  • If you find the sprouted product smelly or sticky or greasy, it means the sprouting process is not proper and the sprouted grains are spoilt. In such a case discard the sprouted product.
  • If you are not sure of the sprouting process, you can leave that step and simply wash and dry the ingredients separately and roast them well to make the sathu maavu
  • Roasting each ingredient is very important as this ensures that the moisture content is gone completely. If the moisture content is present it cannot be powdered properly and also can attract mold and bacteria growth.
  • Store sathu maavu safely in an airtight container
  • Exclude any ingredient that you think can cause allergy to your kid.

How to store homemade cerelac?

Store the health mix in a BPA free airtight containers in a dry place. If stored properly it can be stored for 2-3 months. In refrigerator, it can be stored for 6 months or more. But I always prefer and recommend mothers to prepare this as fresh batches for 2 or 3 months.

Can home-made cerelac be given to babies below 10 months?

It is best to exclusively breastfeed babies up to 6 months for it is a natural way to nourish a healthy baby.

Homemade cerelac can be given to babies below 10 months and above 6 months by excluding the dry fruits. Also it will be best if cereals and grains the baby is not introduced to are excluded to rule out the chances of allergy.

For babies above 10 months you can include all the ingredients mentioned in the list but do follow the 3 day golden rule while giving this for porridge for the first time.

How to cook cerelac porridge?

For babies above one year you can use milk and for babies below one year you can use water to make this porridge.

Add 2 tbsp of the health mix powder or homemade cerelac mix to 1 cup of water/milk and break the lumps. Cook it on low to medium flame for 5 to10 minutes. You can add ghee or jaggery too. Once the porridge is cooked, it starts coming off from the edges of the cooking utensil and becomes thicker. A nice aroma also comes. Adjust the consistency by adding boiled water or milk and serve according to the baby’s preference.

For the frequently asked questions on homemade cerelac for babies and the step by step pictorial instruction on how the make the sathu maavu porridge, please read the article Everything About Homemade Cerelac for Babies You Need to Know.

Hope you now got an idea on how to make cerelac powder at home. Though the process of making sathu maavu is strenuous and requires great patience, it is worth all the efforts. It gives the best nutrition for your kids minus the preservatives and artificial flavours.

Where to buy sathu maavu online?

If you are not confident to prepare this health mix at home or if you have no time or patience to put into this strenuous process, you can buy it from bumpsnbaby online store.

You can find Early foods sathu maavu porridge  and Yummicious multi millet porridge from our store.

Hope you liked this article on sathu mavu or homemade cerelac for babies.

Do you have any similar cerelac substitute recipes that are way healthier and better than store-bought baby food? Please share it with us.

Kindly spread the word about this helpful article by sharing it on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.


About Author

Yamuna, mommy to 2 yr old Tejaswini & 6 month old Pragalya, loves to cook, write and believes good health comes from good eating habits. Eat natural is her mantra. Watch out for her home based traditional recipes and remedies.


  1. Can I add foxtail, jowar, dates etc.
    Do I need to cook this powder b4 giving it to 1.5 Yr old baby
    How to give it to 2.5 years old kid, if he doesn’t like powder food

  2. Sri lakshmi on

    Thanu u yamuna garu for suggesting that healthy recepie i try to my child now her age around 7 month.

  3. Thanks for the great recipe for my baby. Can you please tell me can we add sugar or salt in this cerelac as per the taste of baby.??

  4. What is the difference between white corn and orange corn? In market we get only one corn in raw form. Is it like one is in raw form and other is in dried form

    • Am a working class lady who is suppose to start work after 3 months of baby’s birth. This means am to introdce other foods other than breast milk after the 3months. Can I include this home made cerelac

  5. Dear Sangeeta,

    I tried the mix yesterday.. by mistake I also soaked the urad daal and brown rice …though not smelly they were slightly sticky..however I roated them extremely well..can I use it for my baby?

  6. hi, pls let me knw whether i need to boil the stuff or else i can use it as instant food. My baby gonna turn to 10 months. Am waiting eagerly for ur reply 🙂

  7. Hi,
    My daughter is entering into 6th month, can I feed this to her, or else we need to skip few items and which one of those? Please suggest.

    • Ambili, homemade cerelac is ideal for babies of 10 months and above only. You can make porridges of rice to start with and later on start this cerelac by 10th month. Hope this helps.

  8. Hi thanks for the interesting article. Our paediatrician recommends not giving any nuts, sugar or packaged drink (like syrups or juices) to babies before they turn one. I guess if we leave these out the porridge you have wrote about here won’t be very interesting to a baby.

    • I think you can feed your baby from 6th month.
      eg: the author mentioned mix.
      or boil carrot and potato and mix them with ghee.

  9. Hi mam,

    I am Banu here. My baby is one yr old. But still he don’t know to swallow the food(idly, dosa or even mashed rice).I m giving him all these only after grinding. How can I make him to have mashed food with hands?

  10. Hi ,

    My daughter is 1 year and 3 months old can i give her this homemade cerelac.

    Also please suggest wat all i can give her as evening snacks.

  11. Hi,
    My son is entering into 6th month, can we feed this to him, or else we need to skip few items and which one of those? Please suggest.

  12. Hi Sangeetha,

    I am feeding this to my 13 months old daughter. She is getting constipation, while eating this food.
    Shall I need to stop feeding her?
    Is they are any other alternative?

    Thanks in advance 🙂


  13. Thanks for the recepies. Actually I was giving Cerelac to my 9months baby. Now she is eating these home made foods

  14. Hi, can we use this mixture during long journey car travel? Is it fine if I pour boiling hot water, keep it closed for 5 mins and use it? Pls advise what foods I can take for travel. My My son is 9 months now.

  15. Hi,
    Thanks for giving this recipe. I would like to ask wheather all ingredientsin home made ceralac is suitable for 7 month baby? Or should I skip anything at this stage?

    • Rajesh,

      Take the grains and wash it once. Soak it for 5 to 8 hours. In a wet soft muslin or cotton cloth, tie the grains and keep in a bowl. Make sure to spray water on the potli or pouch at regular intervals. The next day you can see sprouts out of the grains. Hope this helps.

  16. Hi, is orange corn the one used to make pop corn?

    Also if youcan put the pictures of the ingredients used, it’ll be helpful as different names are used in different states. I found it difficult to find out what kambu or pearl millet is, then gotto know its called Sajje in karnataka.
    Thanks for the wonderful recipes..good going!

    • Devi there are nuts included in this homemade cerelac. So for a 9 month old, it might cause allergy. What you can do is omit the nuts and prepare the cerelac. Yes you need to boil the powder in water.

  17. Hi bnb, i am planning to make this.but when i tried the dried fruits mix i saw that it contains lil moist.so when i make this along with dried fruits hw long will it be in an air tight container.so can i just make ths powdrs of all dals other than dried fruits and put the dried fruits powfercwhen i make porridges
    Is that sound gud.pls clarify me
    Gud day

  18. Hi ,
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe. My son just turned 10 months and I would like to try this recipe for him. But I didn’t get the Orange/ white corn and bajra. Also could see only ragi flour in the Indian stores here in US. So please let me know if it’s okay to skip those items and make it with the other ingredients available. Also would like to know if I skip the step of sun drying instead dry roast it after sprouting it. Waiting for your reply.

  19. yamuna balamurugan on

    hi amulu

    it is enough that you feed your baby once in a day.
    when baby is suffering from fever, it is better to give little watery

  20. Hi Yamuna &Sangeetha,

    Thanx for letting us know this unique receipe. I have made this and my daughter loves this mixture.

    best wishes…

  21. Hi . Loved this recipe. I have been following your blog. Planning to make homemde Cerelac for my baby. I stay in UK and difficult to get whole Bajra . SO can that be replaced by Bajra flour? Wheat/ corn/ ragi? I have flours but not the whole grain. Let me know please. Can any other dry fruit be added to the same? Thank you.

  22. thanks for the recipe.I have too many doubts… soak overnight in water???,…dry them and then sprout them using cloth????…

    Can i use ragi powder instead of whole ragi???…

    any alternative for sprouting???…

    Thanks a ton in advance…

    • yamuna balamurugan on

      i will reply one by one
      1. after soaking over night you need to tie in wet cloth it will sprout.
      after that u need to dry.
      2. yes you can use powder too.
      hope i cleared your doubts

    • Home made cerelac recipe given here has more cereals than the navadhanya available in markets I believe.

      Didnt get your question on ‘In what name can u suggest?’. Kindly clarify Anju.. 🙂

  23. Hi…
    Tysm fr sharing so much…
    Its of g8 help especially new mothers like me…
    Ma daughter is 8mnth old…
    Can u pl suggest me wat should I HIV hr

  24. Hi sangeetha this reminded me about nava dhanya mix. I have been searching for my baby in the markets but could not find. Could u share a home made recipe for that

  25. Pingback: A to Z of Home Made Cerelac for Babies -Bumps n Baby

  26. Pingback: How to Make Cabbage Dosa for Toddlers ? IBumps n Baby

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