Baby cereal is normally the baby’s first solid food. It is easily digested and does not cause any allergy. Baby cereals are started at the age of 4 months.
Baby food can be of different types. But, parents choose the most nutrition us diet for their baby. They wish to give their baby everything best. The pediatrician do not suggest too much rich food for baby as their digestive system is not so developed that they can digest well. It is better to give cereals along with some easily digestible vegetables such as potatoes, beans, ladies finger etc. Also the vegetable that is having nutritional value is preferred. Rice can also be added among the cereals that you make for your baby.
Importance of baby cereals
- Cereals are an essential food for energy and growth of babies. They are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and proteins as they include wheat, oats, barley and rye.
- Cereals for babies are specially made to meet the nutritional needs of the babies. They refined with prebiotics to suit the delicate digestive system of the baby
- Baby Cereals are rich in essential iron and other nutrients. Most babies have iron deficiency till they are six months old. Hence cereal will help in overcoming this deficiency.
- There are certain gluten free cereals for babies who are allergic to gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, oats, barley and rye.
When to introduce baby cereal
Most babies are developmentally ready to take cereals by the age of 4-6 months. It is necessary to start cereals when the baby is ready to take it. A mother will know that the baby is ready to take solids by noticing the following signs–
- Baby can sit up and hold her head and neck properly.
- The weight of the baby is double of the birth weight.
- The baby shows interest in what others are eating and will try to grab food from a plate.
- Baby can hold the food in her mouth.
- She shows signs of being hungry even after being fed well.
How to introduce cereal?
Normally rice cereal is considered as the best cereal by most mothers. Once the baby gets used to rice other cereals can be introduced. These will include suji, raagi, saabudana jowar and bajra. It is advisable to start wheat and oats after the baby is 8 months old. It is better to check the taste and temperature of the cereal before feeding it to the baby. Always give a gap of one week before introducing a new cereal
Some easy to cook and healthy first cereal recipe
Mashed riceis a good source of protein, calcium and vitamins.Mash well cooked rice to a smooth consistency. Add some dal and vegetable stock to make it tasty.
Khichdi is rich in vitamins, proteins, starch and calcium. Cook one tablespoon of moong dal and two tablespoon of rice in two cups of water with some salt and turmeric
Suji upmais a good source of proteins. Dry roast suji till it is golden brown . Add water and cook for some time. Add a small spoon of ghee and serve. If vegetables are added in it becomes a good breakfast cereal rich in proteins and vitamins
Vegetable sabudaana khichdiis a nutritious meal with good source of proteins and vitamins. Wash and soak sabudaana till it becomes soft and boil some vegetables.. Heat oil adds cumin seeds and then the boiled vegetables . Add salt and saabudaana and stir well.
Malted cereals are the traditional mixture of ragi, rice and moong rich in iron, protein, folic acid and calcium. Soak equal amount of the three cereals overnight and leave them for two days to sprout. Dry roast them and grind them into powder. Store the powder in airtight container. Add a spoon of this malted powder to milk, soup or fruit puree. This powder can be used for about two weeks.
Types of cereals
Cereals can be made from corn, wheat, and rice. Wheat cereals are found tube a filling breakfast. All cereals can be taken hot or cold. Hot cereals, also known as porridge and are cooked or at least warmed with milk or water. Breakfast cereals that are eaten plain or with milk are often cold cereals. These cereals are ready to eat and are made of corn or rice..
Rice cereal can be easily made with brown rice and water or rice powder and water. This cereal can be served with breast milk or formula milk. This is available in the market in the form of flakes.
Oatmeal flakes come in readymade jars. They are rich in calcium, protein and fiber. The oats can be mixed with fruit or vegetable pastes.
Barley cereal is also sold as readymade baby cereal. It is full of Vitamin A, protein and folate.
Baby muesli is a cereal that is little difficult to digest, hence must be introduced when the baby is 9 months old. Muesli is a combination of barley flour, wheat and rye along with dry ground fruits like bananas and apples.
How to prepare cereals for babies
Brown rice cereal recipe
Polished rice which adults take might not be very healthy for kids. You must give them healthier variety. The brown rice recipe will be a wonderful one. It is healthy and can be easily digestible by babies. To prepare this you require half cup of powdered brown rice and half cup of powdered lentil. Take both the food items in pressure cooker with half cup of water. Pressure cooks for 5 minutes and serve your baby when it comes to normal temperature.
Oats recipe for babies
Oats is one of the healthiest variety of food which is now available in the kitchen of every home. If you have baby at home, you can make her consume healthy right from the beginning. You need to grind the oats and make powder out of it. Now boil some cereals and mix it with oat powder and make a paste with little water. This will be filled with fibers and proteins which really great for your baby’s consumption.
Dalia for baby food
Dalia is another type of food that is usually asked to be consumed by babies. You have to take 2 spoons of Dalia and a single spoon of cereals. Now add it to pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric. Let it get 2 pressures and then switch it off. Pour the food in a container, let it cool and make your baby consume it. The delicious recipe will be wonderful to eat and healthy as well for babies.