When is the right time to give your child baby cereal?
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6 months is the current recommendation, so I would think its best to wait a bit longer before giving anything. I didn't give my son cereal at all though - there are a lot more nutritious and better tasting options, and by the time he was 6 months he was ready to handle those other foods.
Rebecca - posted on 10/15/2009
I struggled with that question myself with our daughter. It ended up being more effort on our part and not beneficial to her. I just finished reading the book, 'real food for mother and baby The Fertility Diet, Eating For Two, And Baby’s First Foods' by Nina Planck. It was a great read. Here is what I posted on my blog about the baby cereal section in her book:
The last point I’d like to touch on is baby cereal. I fed it to our daughter and she ate it. Most of us probably did, but what I read freed me and made me really think about what to feed this next little one. I can tell you in short, we’ll skip the cereal. I learned that babies do not even produce starch-digesting enzymes until one or two years of age. The Whole Foods baby food guide says, “There is no medical need to feed cereal as a first food.” Sure, Whole Foods is not my pediatrician, but it does make sense not to feed the baby cereal as its’ first food. I was already thinking of feeding the baby more simply, if you can ever feed a baby simply. I guess what I mean is not buying into all the commercialism and hype surrounding baby food. Our current plan is to just feed the baby what we eat in small chunks or tiny little bites. As of this point, I’m not sure I’ll freeze that much. I’m thinking I will freeze little bits of leftovers here and there for quick meals or when we are on the go, but how freeing not to be stuck to some ’standards of feeding.’ I will definitely feed our baby nutritious foods, but they just won’t come from a jar (okay, sometimes they will, that is life).
Anyway, not sure if that helps or not, but the book really enlightened me to a whole new side of food. It would be worth the money to buy it or check it out of your library and just read the sections on food for baby.
Hope all is well!
Christine - posted on 10/15/2009
Babies shouldn't be started on solids earlier than 6 months, and at point only if they show signs of readiness. Your breastmilk has all of the nutrients and antibodies she needs. Even though boxed rice cereal is known for being the 'best' first food for our infants, it isn't the superior choice nutritionally.
If you want to start with cereal, I recommend checking out making your own at home. It sounds like alot more work, but it really isn't AND it is so much more nutritionally sound. For a smooth, really creamy texture, take brown rice (organic if possible) and grind it (food processor, bullet, hand mill) and then cook like you would regularly. You can add milk throughout the process or at the end, if desired. When your baby learns to become accustomed to chunkier foods, cook the rice whole and blend with milk and/or a veggie or fruit at the end. Try butternut squash, it is yummy!
My son started on avocodo at 6 months, but really didn't start into solids until 9 or 10 months. They are smooth, creamy and full of good fats and nutrients. We followed with bananas, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Breastfed babies enjoy orange vegetable because they are sweet like breastmilk. We made his food from the beginning. It is surprisingly cheaper (even buying organic) and was easy! I've attached a couple of links for you to check out.
Healthy Homemade Baby Food: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/
Tracy - posted on 10/15/2009
at least 6 months old is the recommendation, however 4-5 months is ok if baby is ready. she shouldn't have the tongue thrust reflex anymore in order to eat solids, which means when you stick a spoon in her mouth she won't try to push it out. hth
Vicky - posted on 10/15/2009
I breastfeed my son and at his 4 month check up since he was still somewhat sleeping through the night and at a good weight, my doc said to wait till 6 months but at 5 months when he started to hit his growth spirt. i started feeding him rice cereal in the morning really watered down with breast milk. And at times i would make a bottle at night and put alittle in the bottle. I would just ask your doc what they think at her 4 month check up. As long as she is still eatting well from you i wouldnt rush it.
Victoria - posted on 10/15/2009
Everyone is different. I give mine organtic rice cereal what you are doing is getting there tummies ready for big people food if all they get is breast milk they're digestive system ready for the harder foods for them to break down. That is what my baby doctor told me. The baby cereal is no different then the cereal you eat if you read it.
Minnie - posted on 10/15/2009
I have never given my girls baby cereal. The nutrients in it are low in bioavailability- not easy for baby to absorb and utilize. It's glorified wallpaper paste really.
My second was on my milk exclusively until 10 months, which was when she decided to pick food up and feed herself. We don't do spoon fed goo.
Cereal offers no benefit over your own milk whatsoever. And solids before she is developmentally ready can damage her digestive tract and possibly set her up for food allergies.
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