J.D. asks from Oakton, VA on September 12, 2010
Have you fed barley cereal to your baby? My pediatrician recommends it, but I can't find it in any stores near us. Is it critical or just optional for a baby's diet?
So What Happened?™
Thanks, everyone. Actually, none of the stores in our area sell barley cereal--not Whole Foods or any other grocery store. That's the problem! I do know that Gerber makes a barley cereal, but I can only find it online. I guess I will have to buy it online, but I was hoping to find some store that carried it.
In terms of nutrition, I don't think barley is critical, but grains are the best first food. Someone mentioned that fruits and veggies are easiest to digest. That is not true--at least not based on everything I've read and pediatrician recommendations. Rice cereal is the easiest thing for babies to digest--that's why 4-month-olds are allow to have rice cereal, even though they can't have fruits and veggies. I'm definitely going to follow my pediatrician's recommendation--pediatricians do know about nutrition. It's their job to know.
M.P. answers from Provo on September 12, 2010
G.T. answers from Modesto on September 12, 2010
I used to use the Gerber Barley cereal, should be right there on the shelf next to the rice cereal. It probabl has more fiber in it, maybe that's what the doc wants. You can always pulverise your own flax seed and put it into any cereals you make to add the extra fiber.
L.M. answers from Washington DC on September 13, 2010
How many nutrition classes has your pediatrician taken? Most are not required to take any! Now, depending on how old your baby is, cereal is NOT the best first food. Veggies and fruits are. Grains take longer to digest. They are harder on the body than veggies and fruits.
Barley is fine to introduce as part of rotating grains when that time arrives. You can buy Barley cereal @ Whole Foods or MOM's in VA.
B.B. answers from Missoula on September 12, 2010
Yep, I fed it to my son when he was starting solids. I was never wild about the rice cereal for babies, it tastes terrible and has nothing to offer nutritionally, so I usually went with oatmeal or barley cereal. It is not critical at all. You can feed your son fruits and veggies instead of cereal or in addition to it.
M.F. answers from Phoenix on September 12, 2010
We started our daughter on rice cereal at 4 months and then incorporated Barley and Oatmeal single grain cereals into her diet around 2 weeks later. Gerber makes a Barley single grain cereal that I found at most local grocery stores. Beachnut also makes one, but we used Gerber because the sodium level was lower and the nutrition better than Beachnut or the organic brands. Good luck!
L.M. answers from Dover on September 12, 2010
My son would never eat it. Rice and oatmeal he would eat but mixed and barley was never an option.
K.G. answers from Minneapolis on September 12, 2010
Barley cereal is an alternative to rice cereal or oatmeal. I would try to find some mixed grain cereal, or just try oatmeal. It is not critical what kind of cereal you start with, except that most children have the least allergies to rice cereal. My kids hated rice cereal, so we went with oatmeal and mixed grains most often.