If you’ve ever walked down the baby aisle at the grocery store, you’ve probably noticed those containers of cereal—they tend to stick out from the seemingly endless rows of baby food jars. New parents can sometimes feel a bit intimidated by the thought of adding yet another texture and taste to their baby’s palate. And it’s easy to wonder: Can I mix baby food with cereal? We answer this common question once and for all.
Can I mix baby food with cereal?
It can be a little intimidating, but yes. It’s totally safe, healthy and appropriate for parents to mix baby food with cereal. At around 4 to 6 months old, babies are typically ready to try solid foods. Cereal is a popular first choice, and a great first step for introducing babies to solid food.
Since cereal is already rich in iron, combining it with baby food—like fruit and vegetable medleys—provide infants with plenty of nutrients. And, mixing baby food with cereal gives babies a chance to try different textures and tastes.
Can I mix baby food with oatmeal cereal?
Yes, parents can—and should—mix baby food with oatmeal cereal. This sweet combination can help mask the taste of a baby food flavor that your little one would normally oppose, while also providing valuable nutrients. Prepare the mixture by combining 1 teaspoon of cereal with 4 or 5 teaspoons of breast milk, formula or water. Then, stir in 1 teaspoon of a pureed fruit or vegetable, or jarred baby food. Mix well, making sure to remove any strings or seeds to reduce the risk of choking.
Can I mix baby food with rice cereal?
Even though baby food can be successfully mixed with rice cereal, experts agree that exclusively feeding an infant rice cereal is not beneficial for his health or dietary needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infant rice cereal poses a risk for arsenic exposure—so it’s best to offer a variety of infant cereals instead, like oat, barley and multi-grain.
When do I stop mixing baby food with cereal?
It’s OK to stop mixing baby food with cereal once an infant begins refusing (or showing a severe lack of interest in eating) strained foods, pureed foods or jarred baby foods. This typically comes anywhere from 9 to 15 months, when a baby starts eating chopped, diced or mashed table foods—thanks to her further developed digestive symptom and newly sprouted teeth.
So, as your child approaches her first birthday, it’s usually common to stop mixing baby food with cereal (since Baby probably won’t eat it anyway!).