A friend asked me about cereal today, so I’m answering here, in case anyone else might benefit from my response. Cereal is very practical and some parents begin with cereal. I didn’t, because my kids are predisposed to diabetes and I wanted to help them develop a taste for fruits and veggies first. Neither pathway is considered absolutely better than the other. That being said, there is one thing about cereal that’s pretty set, for now. It is not recommended that babies eat only rice cereal, but instead a variety of other cereals, like oat. Rice cereal has levels of arsenic in it that are not appropriate for a baby’s development. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a baby should not have any rice at all, but that only having rice cereal increases the chances of adverse consequences due to arsenic exposure. The FDA has developed a plan to address toxic exposure in rice and other baby foods, but it’s still early in this plan and data is still being collected. The final results and intended measures regarding arsenic and other heavy metals found in baby foods won’t be available for at least two more years. If you’re using rice cereal right now, it doesn’t automatically mean you have to throw the entire box away. But, it is a good idea not to buy another box. Plus, once you see how easy it is to make your own oat cereal, you may never want to buy a box of baby cereal again.
-container of old fashioned rolled oats, any size
-bananas or unsweetened applesauce, if you need any
-about 1/4 cup of oatmeal at one meal
-about 1/4 cup of any other baby food (bananas, avocado, unsweetened applesauce, green beans, butternut squash, any combination of those and other foods Baby already knows, etc. ) at the other two meals
-chest milk/formula as usual
Though grabbing a package of baby cereal from the store shelf is absolutely more convenient, you’re basically paying the company for the packaging and its name. A 16 oz container of oat cereal from Gerber starts at just over $4. A 42 oz container of oats starts at about $2.50. You’ll need to exert your finger by pressing the pulse button on your blender, but you’ll save yourself some money and have a food item on your shelf that isn’t meant just for Baby, but for the whole family.