First Foods and Cereal

Updated on January 15, 2010
H.W. asks from Altoona, IA
11 answers

I have a 7 month old who is doing great with first foods and has eaten single and mixed grain cereals. He doesn't seem to like the foods that I mix in with the cereal that much, he ends up spitting some of it back at me. But he seems to enjoy the first foods alone very much....does he really need to eat the cereal at this point? I think he prefers the first foods because they have more flavor than the cereal.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter never cared much for cereal either because it didn't have much flavor to it. However, the rice cereal or oatmeal has TONS of important nutrients and vitamins that he may not be getting elsewhere. I am part of WIC, and they told me It works just fine to even sprinkle some of the dry cereal on top of his food, whether it be jars of food or food that you are cutting up to finger feed. He will be getting the same vitamins and nutrients.


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answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with Erikka 100%. We never fed our boys the rice cereals. Their first food was homemade applesauce, followed by homemade peas. We started solids at around 6mos, and both boys ate nothing but mashed up table foods and homemade baby foods. They never had jarred foods or boxed baby cereals. I exclusively breastfed as well.

I would encourage you to look into homemade baby foods. The benfits to your child are great, its cheaper, healthier, and the wider range of fresh foods will give your baby a wider palate of tastes, and he will likely be a less picky eater with a wider variety of flavors from fresh foods instead of the more bland jarred foods. is a great place to start.

Babies love mashed avocado, my boys LOVED mashed peas (and still love all form of peas), puree chicken with green beans, sweet potato mashed, puree red meat (add breastmilk or water to make it thinner for him at this age). Make him an adventurous eater from the start, and he will continue being one.

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answers from Duluth on

Ok after reading all the other posts i am going to have to disagree with them all. Yes iron is important to your baby but cereal is not the only place for them to get this. Veggies & of course meats (red meats has more) have iron as well (green beans, peas, potatoes, avocado, pumpkin...) Berries & grapes (peeled of course)are also a good source of iron. One he is older raisins are also very good for iron.

Another reason to hold off on cereal is that a child's digestive tract really cannot handle grains that well until after 10-12 months. Most of it passes right through & does not get digested. Plus the longer you hold off on offering grains the less likely they will will have allergies or sensitivites to them later in life. Plus rice ceareal can be constipating for some children. Cereal is genereally offered as a first food because it is tradition. However new studies are challenging this and many pediatrtions as tellign parents to wait longer. Utlimately it is your choice.

If you do decide to offer the cereal try mixing it with the veggies & fruits for more flavor & of course to get the nutirents from them as well. Plus the sooner you get them eating a variety of veggies & fruit the more likely they will enjoy & continue to eat them later.

Some of the best first foods are sweet potatoes, banans (as long as they don't get constipated) apples, squash (includign pumpkin), carrots & avocado.

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answers from Bellingham on

Cereal is more important than first foods especially if you are breast feeding. It has the iron that the baby needs and is not getting from breast milk. My daughter didn't like it at first so I mix half pureed peaches and she loves it now. The website has an amazing meal planner to help you figure out how much of the different food groups your baby needs.



answers from Appleton on

My first baby loved the rice and oatmeal cereals, but my second one did the same as your 7 month old...he would spit them out or just close his mouth and turn his head. He ate all the other stuff great and later enjoyed eating regular oatmeal with the rest of us. You don't need to have the cereal, it's just easier for some babies to start off with something bland. If he's getting formula or breastmilk and eating a wide variety of the other first foods, he's probably fine.



answers from Duluth on

yeah, you dont have to give him cereal if you dont want. most baby foods are also supplimented with the same thing that the cereal is, so you shuoldnt need it. besides, have YOU tasted baby cereal? ICK! i would highly recommend going with fruits and veggies! :) :)

check GREAT information there that i know you will LOVE about feeding solids! :)



answers from Duluth on

I know there are some moms on the more organic end of the spectrum that do not believe in store bought baby cereal. I'm not sure what they feed their children in lieu of that cereal; maybe you'll hear from some of them today. Also, as other moms have said, the iron is an important aspect. If you have a well child check soon, ask your doc.



answers from Mansfield on

I think that cereal is very important at this age. For one thing it is filling and gives them the grains, fiber, etc that others are not going to give him. Try mixing the cereal with sweet foods (pears, apples, plums) or even his favorite juice. As well as just give him plain cereal mixed with your milk or formula. Try different flavors of cereal also. My oldest hated the rice ceral but loved the rest... he still hates rice and rice cereals.
Is he getting teeth that he can start eatting cheerios? Once he gets the hand eye coordination and motor skills down and is getting most in his mouth you can probably cut back on the infant cereals then. Hope this helps. Enjoy your baby! :)



answers from Omaha on

I believe the rice cereal is important because of the iron.At 6 months,the iron stores are depleted that's why they recommend the cereal. If hedoesn't like theother foods with the cereal,just give it to him alone. But, my son did not ever like cereal, or any baby food really for that matter. He was waiting for the "real stuff"!



answers from Minneapolis on

At my baby's 6-month appointment the doctor said he can eat whatever he wants as long as he doesn't choke on it, throw up, or have any other adverse reaction.
My little guy has oatmeal with applesauce for breakfast, and then we'll mix a little bit of cereal in with the runnier foods to thicken them up (he likes the texture better).
You don't HAVE to give him cereal as long as he's getting the fiber, iron, and nutrients elsewhere.



answers from St. Cloud on

Good morning! My son never ate the infant cereal and his hemoglobin levels were excellent. Cereal isn't a requirement and if he doesn't like it, he's not missing out.

A little known fact about cereal of any sort is that the iron that it's "fortified" with is not easily absorbed by the body.

As always, don't force a food. Let your baby be your guide in this!

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