17 answers

How Much Cereal Do You Give Your Infant a Day?

Hi all! I have a 10 month old and was just curious about the amount of cereal other infants eat in a day. My pediatrician said she'd like to see my daughter eating 1/2 cup a day, which by my calculations is 8 tbsp. There's simply no way she would eat that much in a day unless that's all she ate. At breakfast we're lucky if we get in 2 tbsp. At lunch or dinner, we can maybe get in another 2, but that's on a good day. My sister in law's pediatrician told her to stop giving cereal at lunch at 9 months and just do it at breakfast. Her son (12 months), who is a big eater, eats about 5 tbsp at breakfast. With the advice all over the board, I was curious what others have been told/are doing?

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My son is 8 months and in addition to breast feeding I give him three meals a day.
breakfast - 2 or 3 tblspoons of oatmeal and a stage 1 fruit. lunch - stage 1 fruit and stage 1 veggie.
dinner - 4 tblspoons oatmeal and a stage 1 veggie.

1 mom found this helpful

First thing I'd find out would be if it's 1/2 per day prepared - 8 tablespoons sound like a lot to me - my girls are 4 & 10 but I know that infants I have watched would only have a small amount - maybe 2 tbsp - sorry I couldn't be much of a help, but good luck!

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My son is 8 months and in addition to breast feeding I give him three meals a day.
breakfast - 2 or 3 tblspoons of oatmeal and a stage 1 fruit. lunch - stage 1 fruit and stage 1 veggie.
dinner - 4 tblspoons oatmeal and a stage 1 veggie.

1 mom found this helpful

My 8 1/2 month old won't eat any baby cereal anymore. He only wants finger foods. (Though he'll take apple sauce and yogurt.) I think you should just listen to your daughter! She'll tell you what she needs. :)

Seems to me the doc might be worried about the baby getting enough vitamins. If she can't eat enough of them shemay needto take a supplement. Nobiggie,somekids eat more than others. At her age, she should be able to eat a bit more if you had gradually increased her intake over the months. In any case, I give my son 4 tablespoons for breakfast and sometimes 4 more for dinner. Depends on what else he is eating. Here is a sample menu that my 9 month old has been eating:
Upon Waking - 6 Ounce Bottle
First meal - 4 tbsp. Cereal mixed with 2-4 tbsp fruit and water
Midmorning - 6 ounce bottle
Lunch - yogurt 4 ounce plain or pastina plus veggies
Afternoon - 6 ounce bottle
Dinner - 2-4 tbsp.veggie, mixed with either cereal OR protein like fish, chicken AND starch like rice or potato
Before Bed - 8 ounce bottle

If she's 10 months old, why don't you just give her some jarred foods like fruit, veggies, meats? She probably just doesn't like the cereal. If you for some reason NEED to give her cereal, you can mix it in with the jarred fruits.

I have a 10mth 3wk old and to be honest, I don't even calculate, I just pour in the bowl, add water and feed. I think it's about 1/2 a cup though. Kiddie bowls are small which is great for portion control. I send it to daycare with him to eat for breakfast since he's dropped off at 8am and some mornings he wakes up at 7 (he does get breastfed at home before daycare though). Some evenings I don't feed him "heavy" food (ie, potatoes, chicken, etc) and I give him some more cereal and some Cheerios. Now I'm wondering if I'm giving him too much cereal based on your posting!! I didn't know there was such a thing! I usually mix the Gerber Oatmeal w/Banana one with either the rice or barley one.

Dear K.,

I wouldn't worry about her eating exactly what the doctor prescribes. First all children have different appetites and I think the doctor is giving you a general guideline. Is it that she doesn't care for cereal or that she is full. If she doesn't care for the taste and you want to try to get her to eat more. Try mixing some fruit into it and even with the vegetable I used to mix some in to make it a little thicker. If she is full and content with what she is eating I wouldn't stress about it. My son used to eat more than 8 tbs in a day (6 just a dinner) and my daughter ate less then that in a day. Just a note my kids were beginning table food by ten months. Pancakes, french toast, regular toast with lots of fruit. I really don't think baby cereal is that important at 10 months old. Ask your doc and see if you can start introducing small amounts of table food. She should love it!!

at 10 months your daughter should be eating regular foods! have you tried to puree foods for her or give her jarred baby food? if you wanted to you could mix baby cereal with baby food...but she should be eating proteins, veggies, fruits etc...by 11 months my son was eating everything that we ate!

You've gotten some great advice about how all children are different and you need to go with what works best for your daughter. However, a few have mentioned just substituting fruits and vegetables instead of cereal. This is not an equal substitution! We live in such a carb-phobic society that even babies/children aren't getting the energy providing grains that they need. If you haven't begun so already, it's a great time to add other foods, but to be honest my sons are almost 15 months old and I still keep a box of baby cereal in the kitchen just in case. Since it's fortified, I use it to thicken their foods or add it to mashed banana or applesauce if they're not up for their usual "big boy foods" breakfast. My boys have always eaten A LOT of food (they were eating 7-9T of cereal 3x a day at 10 months, in addition to a full cup of fruit/veggies and protein at each meal) and are consistently lean, but that's because of their genetic make up and activity level. They have a girl cousin who is 5 weeks older than them who sometimes will only eat in one day what they'll eat in one sitting (much more like your daughter). My pediatrician only advised that babies will let you know when they're done eating and to not force them to eat if they don't want to. If she's gaining weight as she should be and is healthy, you're doing a great job!

Our son is 1-year-old. He has never had cereal. His weight is in the 50th percentile and his height is in the 90th percentile. He is tall and lean like his dad. He definitely has baby fat, but he is not a fat baby, if you know what I mean. He eats a lot of fruits, vegetables, dried beans (black beans, pinto beans, etc.), soy products, and more. When he is eating something he likes, he will consume a lot of it; if he doesn't like it so much, he won't eat as much or any of it. If you want more specifics about what and how much, let me know and I will think more about it. He is still breastfed, as well.

Some people think you should not give grains (cereal, oatmeal, rice, teething biscuits, etc.) to babies because their bodies do not yet have the enzyme to digest them and they don't get it until about 18-24 months. Some people think that it's o.k. to give babies grains to eat, though, when they are breastfed because the milk contains the enzyme amylase, which digests carbohydrates. Some people say that their kids are obviously not digesting the grains because they come out looking the same as when they went in, so they must be empty calories being consumed.

It's hard not to compare our kids and use that as a way to see if we are on track. And we certainly want to listen to our doctors. My point is that everybody is different, and this includes doctors. Some babies will eat more or less. Doctors have different opinions about what to do. People from different cultures eat different foods. Etc. If your daughter does not want to eat that much cereal, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

First thing I'd find out would be if it's 1/2 per day prepared - 8 tablespoons sound like a lot to me - my girls are 4 & 10 but I know that infants I have watched would only have a small amount - maybe 2 tbsp - sorry I couldn't be much of a help, but good luck!

At 10 months, you don't need to be giving your baby instant cereal from a box. There are other options that are healthier and more hearty than plain old boxed baby cereal. One options is that you can make a batch of steel cut oats and add bananas with a hand blender. You can freeze it in containers that, once thawed, will last through a few days of breakfasts. You can do the same with other grains too (brown rice, Quinoa, etc.).

I used cereal as a thickener when necessary but stuck to mostly fruits and veggies at 10 months (and some chicken and turkey, too). Good luck!


Our son (8 1/2 mo.) is a huge eater - so we give him half a cup a day in the morning for breakfast. He seems pretty happy with it - but again, he never came across a food that he hasn't gobbled down.

Good luck!

Hi K.,
There isn't any specific medical recommenation of how much cereal a 10 month old should eat, so your doc is just pulling this number out of a hat so to speak. At 10 months, your baby should be eating 3 meals a day. Cereal is really just a breakfast food, her lunch and dinner would typically be veggies, a protein and fruit, whether she eats babyfood or table food. Maybe the doc meant 8 tablespoons of food overall?

By 10 months my son was eating grown-up cereal in a bowl with milk. Or oatmeal. With fruit, toast, whatever we were having for breakfast or could make him quickly. We stopped giving him infant cereal at 8.5 months when he refused to let anyone feed him. My daughter who is 7 months eats 4 Tb cereal with fruit and some finger foods (like cheerios or toast) and that's it for the day on cereal. If you're breastfeeding or giving formula still, there should be enough iron to not worry about the instant cereals for babies. Plus there are lots of solid foods that provide these vitamins. My doctor also never told us when and what to feed our kids, just asked me about their diets at check ups and that was it.

spread it throughout the day, when your child is done he/she wil let you know. children know when they are full...
don't be so concerned abt. what the dr. says. everyone is an individual, so they have to be treated as such.

Once my kids started eating regular baby food they didn't get cereal other then for breakfast. Once they had been through the whole try it for x amount of days looking for allergy stage I gave regular meals at lunch and dinner. Stage 2 stuff. If it's an issue of enough iron, give veggies at least once a day. But my doc never told me when and what to feed my kids. It was always at my discression. My daughter never eat stage 3's. She hated them. So she ate whatever we ate since 9 mos. Veggies, meat, fruit. She ate what we did. And she's turned into quite the beggar. She eats off everyones plates, even my 4 yr old. She's 13 mos now.

I was told by my pediatrician that it doesn't matter how much cereal as long as they are getting grains in addition to the fruits, veggies & proteins. So I just give my son (10 months) 2 or 3 tblspoons of Oatmeal with his fruits in the morning and then make sure that he eats cereal, breads, whole-wheat waffles, crackers, rice and other grains during the day. He didn't really like the cereal and was getting very constipated from the rice cereal.

Hope that helps. Good luck

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