The introduction of solids should not be a difficult question to answer. However, there are a few things that you must learn about baby cereals.
Infant cereal is often the traditional choice of the first food introduced into the baby’s diet – when we start diversifying. However, experts admit that for healthy babies, there is no medical evidence to show that giving the baby as the primary food for the cereals gives them more health benefits than other foods.
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The experts say that parents must start with food diversification process from 6 months of age and not earlier. Until the first six months, their main source of nutrition should be breast milk or formula.
Why Are Baby Cereals So Popular And Why Should it Be Given??
Around the age of 6 months, babies tend to deplete all their iron resources and need a surplus in their diet. Because most cereals are fortified with iron, this is a way to address the baby’s nutritional needs.
The starter cereals, especially rice cereals, have a lower risk of allergic reaction than other solid foods and mixed cereals.
Moreover, it is very important to understand that carbohydrates are the main nutrient that a child needs for energy and nourishment of every cell of his human body, including the cerebral cell. And, these cereals are the best source of carbohydrates.
In addition to the carbohydrates, the human body needs a few more macronutrients like proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. One must make sure that these are present in the diet. Cereals are the best source of these macro-nutrients.
What Are The Types of Cereals?
Cereals are divided into two main subgroups: whole grains and refined grains. In the group of whole grains enter wheat, whole wheat flour, buckwheat, oats, and brown rice.
Whereas, refined grains are subjected to a grinding process by which the outer membrane and germ are removed, leaving only the inner membrane. This process provides a smoother grain texture but also removes dietary fiber, iron, and vitamins from complex B.
Refined cereal products are white flour, white bread, husked rice, and pastry products.
How To Make Baby Cereals?
Preparing baby cereals is quite simple. Just mix them with the formula or breast milk until it reaches the desired consistency. Most pediatricians suggest starting with a thin, watery texture. As your baby becomes accustomed to solids, you can make the mixture thicker.
How To Choose A Cereal
First of all, ignore the long-term description and benefits that are nicely on the front of the pack. Usually, this is the area where manufacturers try to lure you. Truth is on the back of the box (or on the side), where nutritional information is given. Be careful about the amount of fiber, sugar, and salt per serving. And another important thing.
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Box cereals are produced by a process called extrusion. The beans are treated at a very high temperature and pressure. During processing, they lose most of their nutritional content.
It is true that they are later fortified, but not with the lost fibers. That’s why many products of this kind contain too little fiber to give your baby a good start in the morning.
And, be careful, even if the box says “whole grains,” that does not mean that there are 100% whole grains.
In conclusion, we suggest that you should carefully read the labels. Instead of getting attracted to the shiny packaging, it is better to concentrate on the nutritional volumes.