Everything you need to know about baby cereal

Are you ready to introduce baby cereal into your child's diet? Here is everything you need to know about cereals to help you discover this baby food!

When to start baby cereal?

Pediatricians recommend that cereals not be introduced before 6 months of age for a breastfed baby and that a baby fed commercially be between 4 and 6 months old when starting cereals. There is no specific time to start, we should rather rely on the signs that baby sends us.

A baby who is ready to start cereals:

  • Increases the frequency of drinking, even at night.
  • Will have doubled their birth weight.
  • Seems to be very hungry despite drinking.

If you have increased the number of drinks for more than 3 consecutive days and it still does not seem to fill them up, you can decide to switch to cereals. Obviously, milk must remain the staple food, and it is important to offer it first, before cereals. It is only after 9 months that the quantity of milk that baby needs decreases, to allow a gradual increase in their consumption of solid foods.

What cereals to give to baby

It is recommended to start with baby cereals since they are fortified with iron and baby needs a lot of iron to develop properly until the age of 2 years.

Start with single grain cereals, like rice or barley. Once your baby is used to it, you can then switch to oats, soy and mixed cereals. Wait until baby is at least 6 months old before introducing mixed cereal and soy to avoid the risk of intolerance. Introduce only one new cereal at a time, waiting at least 3 days before introducing a new one to give the baby time to get used to it and to make sure that they do not have an allergy or intolerance.

Choosing the right baby cereal

Since there are more than 75 varieties of baby cereals on the market, it can be difficult to find your way around! Here are the criteria you must meet when choosing baby cereals:

Introductory cereals (for babies 4-7 months)

  • Less than 8 g of sugar per serving
  • Must contain 100% of daily value (DV) of iron

Transition cereals (for babies 8 months and older)

  • Less than 8 g of sugar per serving
  • Must contain 100% of daily value (DV) of iron
  • Must contain 2 g or more of fiber

How about the quantities?

Start by offering a small amount (5 ml / 1 teaspoon) of cereal for breakfast and dinner after drinking. When baby accepts this portion for a few days, gradually increase from 5 to 15 ml (1 tsp to 1 tbsp) until they show they are full. By the age of one, your child should eat between 125 and 175 ml (½ to ¾ cup) of cereal daily.

Image de Mariem Melainine

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