One of the many questions parents ask themselves about feeding their babies is when they can start feeding other foods in addition to milk also looking for solutions oatmeal vs rice cereal for babies which is best?
Remember that according to the WHO exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until 6 months of age.
This recommendation is applicable to both babies who are breastfeeding and those who are mixed or artificially breastfed.
But is it always like this?
When to introduce cereals in complementary feeding?
The power complementary babies should start after 6 months.
Are you sure at six months?
But … if there are pediatricians who recommend the introduction of cereals at four months, if there are products on the market with indications for consumption after four months.
Unfortunately, these products are only on the market because it is legal to sell them. It is not ethical or healthy but unfortunately it is legal.
Babies eating cereal porridges
Although it is currently on the rise to follow the recommendations of the WHO in this regard, there are still many pediatricians (and other health professionals) out of date who continue to recommend the early introduction of food before 6 months.
As we can see in the previous table, another of the WHO recommendations are not to add sugar or salt to the complementary foods that are given to babies
If we look at some of the industrial cereal containers for babies that are for sale, many or the vast majority have added sugars in their ingredients.
We can find some that, although they do not use sugar, use techniques such as dextrinate or hydrolyzed cereals to add sweet flavor but without the visual impact of the word “sugar” in the list of ingredients.
Are there any healthy options within the products on the market?
There is, of course there is. Aware of the search for the natural by a large part of parents and those responsible for caring for children, there are companies with healthier options.
They are promoted as organic and natural since in their list of ingredients there is hardly any sugar, and the content in cereals is even up to 99%.
So what do these industrial cereals carry?
What are they made of?
Basically what all other similar products should be made of: only cereals, with the exception that industrial ones are presented in flour format.
What kind of cereals can you buy for babies?
- Baby cereal porridge
- Powdered gluten-free cereals made from rice flour,
- Powdered cereal porridge made from oatmeal flour,
- Multigrain porridge made from quinoa flour, wheat, corn, millet …
These options are healthy, much more than other sugary industrial cereals, but if they are basically just cereal it means that we are buying cereal flour at a “golden price”.
Another option widely used by our parents and grandparents was Maizena porridge, which is simply fine corn flour.
They used to prepare it with milk and even water.
Is it necessary to prepare cereal porridges with milk?
Absolutely. Although the most common preparation of cereal porridges is with milk, there are other options:
- Vegetables soup,
- Chicken broth (without salt)
As an anecdotal note, industrial powdered cereals (whether they are more or less sugary) do not usually thicken with breast milk, so there is a double risk:
- The mother may think that her milk is not “good”, and may ruin breastfeeding
- Add a larger amount of cereal than recommended to the preparation, which may cause kidney damage
Is there a way to give cereals to babies if it is not in porridge?
Of course. Not only are there more options but they are much healthier. Let’s think for a moment what to give the baby: cereal.
- A piece of bread
- Corn pancakes (without salt)
- Cooked rice
- Noodle Soup…
We have many options, we have them within our reach and their preparation is very simple.
Alternative recipes to cereal porridges
Next we are going to see two healthy recipes to be able to give cereals to babies without having to resort to the commercial preparations that we find for sale in supermarkets and pharmacies.
- Oat flakes (not bran, as bran contains a lot of fiber and can be counterproductive for the baby)
- We put on the fire a saucepan with water at medium temperature, and when it starts to boil we add the rolled oats, approximately 2-3 tablespoons are enough for 150ml of water
- We stir with a spoon frequently
- When it starts to boil again, lower the temperature and continue stirring until the porridge reaches the desired consistency.
- Cool slightly
- In addition to preparing them with water, you can also use a vegetable drink, a good option would be the oatmeal drink
- If we want to give it a sweet touch, we can add grated pear or apple (if they have already tried it) next to the water
- We can add a little touch of cinnamon powder
Banana oatmeal cookies
- A ripe banana
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
- Smash the banana with a fork
- Add rolled oats and mix to form a thick dough. About 6 tablespoons will be enough although it will depend on the size of the banana
- Shape and bake at 250 degrees until golden brown
They are not crunchy cookies but they are soft so the baby can take them without problem even without teeth.
This type of recipes and way of introducing cereals are a “classic” in a current called Baby Led Weaning, which has been self-regulated by the baby.
What do you think of the recipes? Have you ever thought of something like this for the introduction of cereals in the feeding of babies?
Can you think of any other recipe?