How do you choose your baby cereal when there are too many to choose from?
Just look at the ingredients!
You’d be surprised at the things that hide in baby cereal (as in everything else!).
When Daniel first started solids I decided to look for a “healthy” baby cereal online. By “healthy”, I mean as clean as possible.
I was able to find all kinds of baby cereals, but the trouble is, that most brands don’t have the ingredients listed online. After a trip to Walmart to check boxes and ingredients out in person, I was a bit discouraged to see what major baby companies put in their cereals.
Here’s a sample pack I received in the mail:
I’m not a fan of any of the following ingredients: skim milk, palm oil, maltodextrin (Dr Axe explains why we shouldn’t consume maltodextrin), canola oil, etc. I wouldn’t consume any of these ingredients, so why would I ever feed them to my baby?
Clearly, Walmart was not the best place to shop for super clean baby cereal. I ended up going to one of my favourite health food stores, Rainbow Foods, to see what selection of baby cereal they carry.
Luckily, I was able to find two kinds of baby cereal with clean ingredients. One brand is called Healthy Times and the other is called Love Child.
I tried the Love Child brand first.
The Love Child brand was an oats and chia cereal blend. It mixed smoothly, and it tasted good, but it didn’t sit well with my baby, because it got him constipated.
After reading reviews to see what other parents had to say about it, I found that many parents had the exact same complaint with this cereal.
I then tried the other brand, Healthy Times, and it was perfect!
The Healthy Times cereals were a winner for us! They mix well, and taste great. My baby loves all of the different kinds and flavours!
As per our paediatrician’s suggestion, I began with rice, then introduced barley, after which we tried oats.
This was a question that no one was really able to answer for me: how much should I start with? The reason being that every baby is different, and ultimately as the parent, you should go with your gut feeling.
I began with one teaspoon of cereal for Daniel’s first ever solid food feeding.
I increased his portions over time by following his hunger cues. We went all the way to half a cup of cereal.
Luckily for me, my baby is a great eater, and loves eating!
I know that this is not the case for everyone, so I thank my lucky stars. I shudder to imagine what my parents went through with me, because I hated eating as a child, up until about age 12. A small part of me wishes that this was still the case…
When we first introduced Daniel to solids, I mixed his cereal with breastmilk. As his demand grew, I found it more and more stressful to pump enough and in time for his dinner, so I had to find an alternative.
I had two options. Either use formula or use goat’s milk. I personally never found a clean, high-quality brand of formula, and I refused to use any of the ones I did find. One, if not more, of the brands of formula even contained corn syrup! NO THANKS.
And then, there was the goat’s milk. We began buying goat milk almost five years ago when even the lactose-free cow’s milk wasn’t working for me anymore. (To say that I have food sensitivities is an understatement.)
There is a lot of research on the health benefits of goat milk which definitely surpass those of cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is also the closest thing to human breastmilk!
With clearance from our paediatrician, we started introducing high-fat goat’s milk into Daniel’s diet. He loved it. I don’t see why he wouldn’t, it’s delicious! That’s what we use to mix with his cereal. Otherwise, I’m still nursing.
Where do we buy Healthy Times cereals?
We found these awesome cereals at many local stores (here in Ottawa, Ontario):
- Rainbow Foods
I also get them online from well.ca, when they have a sale, or when I want a different flavour. They carry the whole range.
Healthy Times also make a variety of crackers for toddlers, but we’re not there yet…
Are you wondering what you need to start on your solid food journey with your baby?
Did you find another clean brand of cereal for your baby? Share your findings with us in the comments section!