Are you looking for answers on when to introduce baby cereal to infants or what is the best baby cereal to start with? Learn how to feed cereal to your baby for the first time, along with Gerber Cereals to try when introducing solid foods to your baby.
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Baby cereal is one of the first solid foods I introduced to the kids when they were a baby and able to sit up without support. It’s important to feed your baby cereals when they have reached the proper age, 6 months and older.
Is Gerber Cereal Good For Babies?
Feeding your child Gerber cereal at the appropriate age can help with their development. I’ve heard of moms who mix cereal in their child’s milk to help fill their tummies before bed.
There’s a misconception that feeding a baby cereal in their bottle helps with getting your child to sleep through the night. However, from a pediatrician’s view, it’s not recommended because feeding your baby cereal at a younger age could lead to obesity.
There are chances that your baby will develop constipation because adding rice cereal to your baby’s bottle can change the consistency of their stool. The best approach to help your child sleep better at night is to create a bedtime routine. One that encourages your child to have enough rest and helps them relax.
Regardless of how you introduce cereal to your little one, there’s the notion that you’re providing the right nutrients for them. That’s why most parents trust Gerber Cereals.
Each Gerber cereal product contains ingredients that exceed government requirements, according to the Gerber website. Although there are options that are made with genetically modified (GM) ingredients, there are other cereals in their product line that don’t.
There are over 150 Gerber foods that are made without GM ingredients and include fruit and vegetable baby food purees. These are healthy options for those who prefer organic baby cereals.
At What Age Can Babies Eat Gerber Cereal
Breastfed babies need an additional source of iron in their diets, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Did you know that infant cereals are the number one source of iron for babies 6-12 months among the foods they eat?
Most babies this age show signs that they are ready for solids. Here are questions to ask yourself to know whether or not your child can have solid foods:
Can my child hold their head without support?
Can my child sit in an upright position with or without assistance?
Does my child put items in their mouth?
Is my child reaching over to grab my food?
If you’ve answered “yes” to most of these questions, then your child is showing signs that he/she is ready to start trying solid foods.
How To Feed Cereal To Baby For The First Time
Although the kids enjoyed trying out all the different flavors when they were younger, I recommend starting with the single grain cereals first and working your way to the multi-grain ones. This can help with any potential food sensitivities.
If your child is breastfed, then I recommend mixing one tablespoon of Gerber baby cereal with your breast milk into a bowl. You can do the same with formula-fed as well.
Be sure to stir the mix before feeding your child. You can stop stirring once there aren’t any more clumps. Don’t use a bottle to feed your child. This may cause choking.
Sit your baby in an upright position on a highchair. Using a small spoon, offer your baby some cereal, and watch their reaction.
The best time to serve your child baby cereal is after a bottle or breast-feeding. If your child is 6+ months, then you can give your child some water after feeding as well.
Once your baby gets the hang of eating solids, you can minimize the amount of liquid you add to the baby cereal. It’s not recommended that you only feed your child cereal.
Be sure to add pureed fruits and vegetables to your child’s feedings. One of my favorite vegetables to start off with is avocado. The oils are great for your child’s development.
Benefits Of Gerber Cereals
For decades, Gerber has been considered to be the number one food source of iron and a leader in infant nutrition. They provide your baby with essential nutrition while exposing them to the tastes of different grains.
Here’s a list of the reasons why Gerber Cereal options are top of mind for most parents:
They have iron to help support learning abilities;
Two servings a day has 90% of a baby’s daily value of iron;
They are made with calcium to help build healthy bones and teeth;
It delivers a nutritional blend of Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and six B Vitamins thanks to Gerber’s VitaBlocks for healthy growth;
It’s not made with genetically engineered ingredients; and
There are no artificial colors or flavors.
Which Gerber Cereal Is Best
Designed to provide your baby with the essential nutrients while exposing them to the tastes of different grains, Gerber Cereal is the number one choice for moms looking to get their child accustomed to eating healthy.
If you’re asking what is the best baby cereal to start with, then you’ll need to understand that not all infant cereals are created equal, so make sure you’re giving your little one cereal fortified with iron.
It’s the best first cereal for infants. Here are some of the flavors available at your local Target store:
Gerber Single Grain Cereal Oatmeal
Gerber Single Grain Cereal Rice
Gerber Single Grain Cereal Whole Wheat
Gerber Multi Grain Cereal
Things To Look Out For When Introducing Baby To Solids
Food sensitivities can happen at any age. Sometimes it’s best to catch them early on. However, when you’re introducing solids to your baby, you want to take your time with highly allergenic foods, such as eggs, strawberries, and nuts.
Make sure you give each food you try enough time to see if your child develops an allergy. The rule is one week per food item. This way you can track your child’s reactions.
Also, you should look into the items your family members are allergic to and be cautious with how and when you introduce the food to your child.
Here’s a list of items you should hold off until after your child is a year old:
Juice (any juice);
A warm plate of Gerber Cereals can do your child’s tummy some good in the morning. I’ve been using warm oatmeal cereals since my kids were sitting up.
If your child is six months or older and would like to try different snacks, then I recommend looking into different Gerber snacks for your little one to try.
In case you weren’t aware, Gerber also has pack of toddler products that contain a variety of nutrients. Here are six recipes you can try with your growing baby based on age:
Apple Banana Cookies: 12 months +
Blueberry Banana Smoothie: 6 months +
Italian Turkey Meatballs: 12 months +
Mini Meatloaves and Veggie Gravy: 12 months +
Mixed Berry Smoothie: 6 months +
Peaches and Cream Pancakes: 12 months +
Overfeeding Baby Symptoms
As you begin to feed your baby solids, you’ll wonder if they are eating enough. It’s important that you never overfeed your child.
There are signs to keep in mind when you feed your child. Always look for those signs that your child is full, such as turning away and/or crying.
Other signs that are key indicators that you’re often overfeeding your child are weight gain and spitting up. Weight gain can be monitored with doctor’s visits.
Spitting up can be associated with other things, such as an infant reaction. Another way to tell if your child is satisfied during their feeding is by pushing the spoon away or rubbing their eyes.
Oftentimes, your child will feel sleepy after a meal and this is why they rub their eyes after a meal. Before putting your child down for a nap, be sure they don’t have anything in their mouth.
You can have your child drink water after a feeding to help wash down any leftover pieces of food from their feeding.
Best First Baby Foods
As mentioned above, avocados are one of the best first baby foods to introduce to your baby. Avocados are easy to mash up for digestion and provide key nutrients for you baby’s development.
Bananas are another option as one of the healthiest first foods for baby and is easy to swallow. Vegetables you can try that require cooking ahead of time are carrots and broccoli.
Steamed or boiled vegetables make it easier to chew for your child, and can be made into puree if your baby doesn’t have that many teeth.
You can add tiny pieces of cooked chicken to your baby’s plate to add flavor. A little seasoning goes a long way, and it helps get your baby accustomed to the way you season your meals.
Be cautious with fruits that contain seeds in them, such as apples, grapes, and oranges. These can cause choking hazards for your baby.
Pasta is another option for those who are looking to create everyday dishes for your child. You can mix in pasta sauce for added flavor.
What Foods Should Babies Avoid The First Year?
The first year of trying new foods for your baby can bean interesting one for you and your family. This is when you notice if your child has any food allergies.
Pediatricians recommend that your child not have any food that may cause choking hazards or processed foods, such as hot dogs. Round candies, popcorn, and nuts are also not the best option for the first year.
Raw fruits and vegetables are recommended to be introduced after their third birthday, including peanut butter. Foods introduced early on may cause allergies because their bodies aren’t ready to digest them.
There are a variety of foods you will want to skip until your baby is one. Below is a list of the food items you should wait until after your child has completed their first birthday.
Large food pieces; and
Soft foods (jellies and marshmallows).
Baby Feeding Guide
There are a handful of guidelines you should follow when feeding your baby solids for the first time. According to the Cleveland Clinic website, you should start with small amounts of new solid foods.
It’s recommended to use a teaspoon at first, and then work your way into a tablespoon feeding. Four ounces to a cup is the best measuring for your baby’s meal portion.
When you start with baby cereal, you can gradually add different things to help your baby try different foods. For instance, you can mix in fruits and vegetables into your baby’s cereal and eventually meats like chicken.
To help your baby properly digest the foods, you can offer your child a bit of water. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend giving your child fruit juices under one.
If you choose to give your 1+ year old juice, you can dilute it in water to minimize their sugar intake.
Do your best to avoid sweet, salty, and sugary foods. As you begin to introduce your child to your cooking, it’s best to minimize the amount of seasoning in your food.
Large food pieces can be cut down into smaller sizes to avoid choking. Meals should be broken down into three times a day, with two to three snacks.