a dietitian’s guide to infant cereal part 5: should i make my own infant cereal?

Jessica Penner, RDBabies & Kids, Baby Health, Infant Cereals2 Comments

should i make my own infant cereal

Welcome to Part 5 of my 8 part series: A Dietitian’s Guide to Infant Cereal.  My goal in writing this series is to provide you with the education you need about these cereals to make an informed choice about when and what cereals you’d like to feed your baby.   To stay connected with me and receive updates on this series, subscribe via RSS, or like Smart Nutrition on facebook!  

Part 1: Infant Cereals: Sugarbowls in Disguise?

Part 2: A Brief History of Infant Cereals

Part 3: The Pros and Cons of Infant Cereals

Part 4: Can Babies Digest the Starch in Infant Cereals?  

Part 6: How to Choose the Right Infant Cereal

Part 7: Myths About Infant Cereal

Part 8: 5 Ways to Use Infant Cereal

So you’ve been making your own pureed baby food this whole time, and that’s great! There are numerous benefits to making your own baby food:

  • All the ingredients are handpicked by you
  • The food options are endless: you aren’t limited to the foods the manufacturers have chosen for babies
  • Control over the texture: you can gradually change the texture to challenge your baby’s developing eating skills
  • You’re going to save a ton of money!

You might as well make your own baby cereal too, right?

Wrong.

Home Made Baby Food, Yes… Home Made Baby Cereal, No?

First, let’s back it up and talk about why we start babies on solid foods. It’s because…

This all happens when a baby is 4-6 months old. 

So the ideal food to feed baby when they are first starting out on solids is high in iron. Some foods that are naturally high in iron include:

  • cooked egg yolks
  • cooked meat, poultry, and fish
  • legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils, edamame beans, or tofu

These are all great options to make at home! Check out this recipe for a homemade beef stew for baby. 

Tweet: All grains, including rice, wheat, oats, and barley, are naturally low in iron. Therefore these don’t fit the bill as an ideal first food for baby.

Missing In Action – Iron

Store-bought baby cereal, however, has iron added to it. This is the main reason these cereals make the list for recommended first foods for babies. So, if you make your baby oatmeal from the steel cut oats you found in the breakfast aisle at the grocery store, you’re missing the whole point of feeding infant cereal. 

Part 1: Infant Cereals: Sugarbowls in Disguise?

Part 2: A Brief History of Infant Cereals

Part 3: The Pros and Cons of Infant Cereals

Part 4: Can Babies Digest the Starch in Infant Cereals?

Part 6: How to Choose the Right Infant Cereal

Part 7: Myths About Infant Cereal

Part 8: 5 Ways to Use Infant Cereal

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2 Comments on “a dietitian’s guide to infant cereal part 5: should i make my own infant cereal?”

  1. But what about if I mix the formula (that has iron added) to the homemade cereal?
    Also, I have a 3 month old that is like a bottomless pit! He eats 5oz every 4hrs & sometimes has to have a 2 or 3 oz bottle in between! He throws little baby fits when i take the bottle away to burp him & when the bottle is empty. Is it too early to give him some cereal? & how much & when should I give it?

    1. Hi Morgan, I’m sorry but I’m not able to give personalized nutrition advice in the comments section! I would recommend that you connect with a local RD where you live! Where I live there’s a “dial a dietitian” option available through public health. Maybe your region has something similar?

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