Welcome to Part 8 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!
One of the benefits of commercial infant cereal is also one of its downsides: infant cereal is easy to like. It can be made into a texture that your child accepts and it has a pleasant, slightly sweet taste.
This is fantastic, of course, except that it can be easy to fall back on infant cereal and feed it to baby ALL the time. If this happens, your child doesn’t learn to like other foods.
Store-bought infant cereal shouldn’t be the only food you feed your child. It has its place in the context of a balanced diet that has a lot of variety. When you’re first starting your baby on solids, you want to add new foods to his diet slowly: only one new food every 2-3 days. This makes it easier to identify allergies, if your baby reacts to a new food.
Here are some other ways to include infant cereal in your baby’s diet.
- Mix infant cereal in with cooked egg yolk, one of the best sources of iron for babies. An egg yolk is a great first food for baby, as it’s high in iron and has a soft texture. Try mashing a cooked egg yolk into your baby’s infant cereal. The egg also adds other important nutrients such as fat, zinc, vitamin E, and choline.
- Stir in peanut butter or other nut and seed butters. These butters on their own are a challenging texture for a baby who is just learning how to move food around his mouth. As such, these butters are a choking hazard and shouldn’t be fed on their own to your baby. But if you stir some in with your baby’s cereal, she can eat it safely! Just make sure it’s well mixed in. Nut and seed butters also add other important nutrients such as fat, protein, magnesium, and zinc.
- Bake some high iron baby biscuits! These are a convenient and healthy snack for your baby when you’re on the go! Store-bought baby biscuits such as Baby MumMums are just puffed up grains. In contrast, this recipe is full of nutrition!
- Does your family enjoy pancakes, muffins, or oat cookies? Try making these versions for baby. These will help your child to learn to eat food in forms that your family enjoys.
- Use the powdered infant cereal in place of bread crumbs when making meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf! Again, this helps your child learn to eat the foods your family enjoys, while giving baby an extra boost of iron. In fact, the meat will help your baby absorb the iron from the cereal, better than if he were to eat it on its own.
What recipes do you put baby cereal in?
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