• Spice Up Baby's Cereal

    Now that your baby is older and more interested in variety, you can add more flavor to her meals.
    by Irene Nicolas-Recio .
  • Tips to remember as you experiment:

    • You may mix yellow/green vegetables and fruits (pureed, mashed, or finely chopped) into the cereal to “fortify” it. Small amounts of protein such as cottage cheese and tofu may also be added.

    • Introduce each food separately. Start with just one ingredient. This will help your baby adjust to the new taste and texture. This will also help you isolate any sources of allergies your baby may have.

    • After the introduction of each new food, watch out for any signs of allergies.

    • Patience is key. There is likelihood that she will not take the cereal on the first try. Offer a few hours later or in the following days, until she slowly takes a liking to it.

    • Mix cereal with breast milk or formula so taste may seem familiar to your baby.
     
    • Mix enough liquid into your baby’s cereal. The mixture might be too thick for your baby to swallow properly. It should have a runny consistency—especially when you’re introducing your baby to cereals.
     
    • Use natural soup stock instead of just water for a more flavorful bowl of cereal for your baby.
     
    • It may be tempting to use a bottle when giving your baby cereals especially if she does not take an initial liking to it. However, it is important not to do this. It may become a choking hazard.
     
    • Commercial baby cereals need not be cooked. Oftentimes, according to the instructions on the packaging, these cereals just require water (or milk) to be added until you reach your desired consistency. These cereals, fortified and usually contain other additives, have already been processed (precooked then dehydrated). On the other hand, your homemade grain powder still needs to be cooked before feeding. Otherwise, your baby will not be able to digest this raw cereal properly.

    • You should not depend on cereal as your baby’s only source of nutrition. Breast milk or infant formula is still the most important part of your baby’s diet.

    • Never force solid food on your baby lest they become traumatized and stressed about the whole idea of eating. Meal times should be joyous and enjoyable for you and your baby.

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