One of the most often questions fellow parents ask us is related to infant feeding. We are often asked about when they can start feeding their babies solid food. Some parents would also ask us about the telltale signs that babies can already be successfully weaned off milk. There are also those who would often ask us about the best type of food to give to babies below 12 months of age. Unfortunately, we are not pediatricians, child development psychologists, or even infant nutritionists. We are ordinary parents like any other who simply want to give the best to our own children.
Nevertheless, we know how important it is to provide our very young children with the correct nutrition especially if they are no longer being breastfed. It should be understood that human breast milk provides the best and most complete nutrition for children below 6 months of age. But how about kids who are already beyond this age? This is where baby solid foods come in.
One of the best and most often recommended infant nutrition other than milk is cereals. And there are many. So, we are going to share with you what we have found out in our research to help you identify which of these top 5 organic baby cereals you will be giving to your child.
Our Picks Of The Top Baby Cereals
Criteria Used to Evaluate The Best Organic Baby Cereals
Different aged babies suit different styles of food. There are some foods that might not be appropriate for a certain aged baby. As parents, it’s up to us to make some of the most important decisions regarding the food our child eats. Food habits, tastes, and preferences happen early on in a child’s life. So, many choose to start them off with the freshest and healthiest options that are available.
Our list features all organic products. But, a lot of you might wonder is organic really better for you? Organically grown produce is better for your health, our children’s’ health and the environment. Organic farmers cannot use chemical herbicides or pesticides that are toxic.
There is a list of produce that has been known to contain the highest levels of pesticides. Thus, it’s important to purchase these crops in their organic forms. These crops are:
- Hot peppers
- Sweet bell peppers
Throughout this list, you might have seen us mention about the different baby food stages. While shopping for food for you baby, you will encounter these a lot. So, it’s important to know what they mean and what each stage stands for.
Stage 1: This stage is suited best for babies that are aged four to six months. The foods in this stage are mostly limited to purees that are made with a single ingredient. They do not contain any complicated or lumpy textures, nor do they contain dairy, eggs, or meat.
Stage 2: This stage is for babies aged six to eight months. The foods in this stage are surrounding grain, vegetable, and fruit blends. There might be two to four ingredients. The texture is more likely to be varied at this stage.
Stage 3: This stage is for babies aged eight to ten months and older. The foods in this stage start to get more complicated with various foods and textures now incorporated. They may contain eggs, meat, and dairy. It is possible that the food might also contain soft chunks.
What Determined The Top 5 Organic Cereal-Based Foods for Babies
In choosing the top 5 baby cereals, we had to make sure that the product is sourced from organic ingredients. We know that organic food products are way safer than those that have been grown or cultivated in the traditional way. These should thus, be free from any trace of harmful chemicals or substances that may have been used in its production. So, we had to carefully check the reputation and trustworthiness of the company. This is crucial because it is very easy to put a label of “organic” on any product even though, in reality, it is not really 100 percent chemical-free. The only way we can ascertain the validity of these claims is by comparing them to the overall manufacturing practices of the company as well as their level of trustworthiness.
We tried looking at the feedback and reviews of consumers but found them to be of little help. This is perhaps because of our really limited knowledge on appropriate infant nutrition. Nevertheless, we did try to understand what other parents are saying about the different baby cereals especially their observations on their children’s development. This is very important for us because we would really like to know if the food that we give to our babies are really helpful in ensuring their optimum development and growth.
As such, when factored together, we were able to shortlist the top 5 organic baby cereals. Hopefully, you were able to find something that your baby will like.
Solid Foods for Very Young Kids
Nutrition for infants is a very tricky issue especially for us who don’t have a degree in nutrition and dietetics or even in child developmental nutrition. The first 6 months of life is relatively easy when it comes to nutrition because Mom’s breast milk is all children will ever need. There’s no need for measuring and mixing as well as adding supplements and all that stuff simply because breast milk already provides babies complete nutrition. Once he or she grows, however, your baby will need more nutrients which milk alone may be insufficient to supply. As such you will need solid foods for infants and one of the best foods for such age group are cereals.
Before we go into detail about baby cereals, let us first tackle one of the most common questions by parents – when can babies start eating solid foods? Well, there are no clear-cut lines as the exact age but it all depends on your baby’s developmental maturity.
Typically, a baby is ready for solid food if he or she:
· Can control his or her head in a steady and upright position;
· Can sit very well without the need for support;
· Has doubled his or her birth weight;
· Exhibits chewing motions;
· Shows an increasing appetite; and
· Displays curiosity about what Mom and Dad and the siblings are eating.
But why cereals when you can already give your baby the same food that you cooked for the entire family?
While some cultures don’t necessarily believe in a separate baby food by giving infants food that are prepared and cooked for the entire family. Remember that this is the first time that your baby will be eating solid foods. That is why it is essential to introduce food items one at a time. This can help build the palate of your child by helping him or her discern the different tastes, aromas, and textures.
For example, if you give your baby your adult mashed potatoes complete with salt, butter, black pepper, and even milk, you are technically introducing so many flavors at the same time. Young kids won’t be able to differentiate salty from sour, sweet from bitter. What they will learn is the flavor of “mashed potatoes”.
It is for this reason that baby cereals are deemed the best for introducing solid foods to babies. By the time your baby has mastered the taste and texture if his or her food, then he or she can be given another flavor and texture until such time that he or she can already discern the difference.
The Bottom Line
Taking care of your baby’s nutrition is essential to seeing them grow healthy, strong, smart, and emotionally balanced. With our top 5 baby cereals, we hope we are able to help you decide on which infant food to introduce your baby to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why Do These Prizes Vary So Much?
A: These prices are either set by the manufacturers or Amazon (in the case of the links we provide). So, we have no control over how much an item costs. You might be able to fight lower prices on other sites online or even in stores.
Q: What Is So Great About Organic Foods?
A: organic food needs to meet USDA’s strict regulations in order to place the organically certified sticker. This ensures that the product that you are getting has already been through thorough examinations. They will not be sprayed with chemical pesticides, nor will they contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
Q: What If My Baby Doesn’t Like Some of These Flavors?
A: We have tried our hardest to include a wide range of products that will suit most, if not all, babies. Even the pickiest of eaters will find something to their liking on our list.
Q: How Do I Know If the Product Is Good For My Child?
A: all the products on our list are organic. As mentioned before, they will already have met a set of strict rules that are placed by USDA. This means that the products on this product will be good for your child. None of them are any preservatives nor do they have any artificial colorings. Some of the products are even gluten free and kosher.
Q: How Come Some of The Products Aren’t ‘Traditional’ Baby Cereals?
A: As the world moves more and more towards organic food, the style of food is also constantly changing. We decided to include a range of products that are not traditionally considered as cereals. This way, we can cater our list to a range of customers, who might all find something to their liking.
Q: How Come All The Products Say That Some Babies Might Not Like It?
A: We can’t claim to know all babies and their likings. But, we can let you know that some of these products might not be suitable for picky eaters. Each child has different taste buds on what they like. Most times, you will have to do a bit of trial and error to find their favorites.