Baby cereal happens to be a common first food many parents choose. They still question whether this is the best option for their babies. In this article, you will find out more information about baby cereal as well as if this choice is good enough. We will also provide you with some advice on how to pick a good one.
As soon as a baby four or six months old, it is time to start solid foods for the first time. Parents are usually excited about it because it is time when their baby grows up and learns to enjoy food. The majority of parents go for baby cereal as the first kind of food they give to the child. As a matter of fact, cereals tend to be liquid-like, which makes them a great type of meal, to begin with. When you start looking for a nutritious and healthy one, you will see that there is a wide range of brands and kinds of cereals. At first, you may be confused, trying to find out which happens to be the best type for your baby. The good news is that the majority of children eat most of the types of baby cereal, but parents still need to pay enough attention to instructions to make sure that they are choosing the best option.
How do I choose a nutritious cereal for my baby?
When looking for nutritious baby cereal, parents should consider the following things:
- The nutrition label needs to be checked. This is the first thing that must be done when looking for healthy baby cereal. Parents will get a lot of information regarding the product and can compare it to other goods of this kind. If you want your child to receive enough calories to improve growth, this is where you can see how many calories this particular cereal has per serving.
- It is better to opt for fortified cereals. Pediatricians state that parents should start giving baby cereal, which is fortified. This is because such products contain certain nutrients that make food more nutrient. Another thing to consider here is that it is necessary to check whether the mentioned on the front package element, for example, iron presents on the nutrition fact panel and one the ingredient list.
- Decide whether it is going to be organic baby cereal or the conventional one. The first type of cereals is produced just the way every organic food is made. The manufacturers do not make use of any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides when raising the product. Moreover, there is no difference in nutrition between conventional and organic baby cereal.
- Baby eating cereal can be prepared at home. If you have failed to find satisfying baby food in a store, you can make it at home. There is nothing complicated about it. At first, it is necessary to choose what grain you would like to start with – oatmeal baby cereal or something else. Then the grain needs to be grained, mixed with water or milk, and simmered about 10 minutes.
How do I decide which grain is better?
This is another thing that bothers parents. First of all, they should talk to their pediatrician. This is that person who should decide whether it is time for your baby to eat solid food and how many times a day it is better to feed the child. In most of the cases, they advise giving such food twice a day.
Trying multigrain cereals can also be a good idea. It contains more than one kind of grain so your baby will get more nutrients. The first meal can be whole wheat as well as it does not increase the risk of allergies. Another type of grains that contains enough nutrients is oat.
Again, parents should remember to check the labeling to make sure that they buy 100% whole grains, no matter which type they have chosen.
Other things you need to consider
Some scientists claim that grains have a negative impact on babies. The thing is that the enzyme that makes the human body digest complex grains appears only when molars appear. Young children obtain immature digestive systems. Consequently, when they get something more complex than refined grain, the digestive system needs much more energy to break it down. It happens quite often that as soon as babies receive both non-gluten and gluten types of grains, they have stomach pain. This leads to issues in stool patterns. It is also possible that children develop some intolerances as their stomach is not ready for some protein components in some particular food.
Another thing to be considered is that baby rice cereal can contain high levels of arsenic. Although it is not advised for parents to give wheat as the first food, they should not avoid it either. It is better to offer it when your infant can tolerate other kinds of food. The reason is that if parents strictly avoid them, babies can develop allergies as their bodies do not interact with allergens. Thus, when they do, the bodies do not know how to cope with them.
Babies do need grains, but they should not eat complex carbs. Vegetables can be a nice option in this case. If you are worried about arsenic in baby rice cereal, there is no need to avoid rice. If you give it to your baby from time to time, it will not be too harmful. Rice should not be the only type of food your baby eats.
Some people claim that if you add some baby cereal in a bottle, it will help the infant to sleep longer. The thing is that in most cases, there is no need to do something like that. The exception can be a doctor`s recommendation. Despite all the claims, this will not help your child to sleep more. If you add cereal in a bottle, it may be difficult for your baby to start eating from a spoon. The risk of allergies can also grow if you give this kind of food before baby cereal age starts.
So, is baby cereal good for babies? Although there are some things to consider, such as age, quality of the product, and preferences, cereal is a very good option for your child. Besides, choosing the first food does not imply that you are to take a single kind of food during the first several months. Hence, it is better to include various foods, so your baby does not develop allergies in the future. Parents should also consult a pediatrician before they start any food. This way, you and your infant will avoid many issues. Currently, there is a wide range of baby products. Unfortunately, not all of them have good quality. It is your baby`s health, so be sure that you check everything attentively.
Author`s bio: Beatrice Callan is a young mother of two who loves writing articles on different topics connected with children. She does it so well because everything is taken from her own experience. Also, she likes watching her children grow up and play games.