Baby cereal is a staple food for a baby’s diet, often one of the first foods for them to eat because of the consistency and nutrition content. Baby’s enjoy eating baby cereal, but when it comes to choosing, there are so many options out there, it can be hard to know what is right to feed them.
The best baby cereal to feed your infant is by consensus, most likely the Gerber brand. Pick your preference from that brand, because it is number one for a reason. Try your hardest to be informed about all popular baby cereals, and you can make the best choice for you.
After we talk a bit more about what baby cereal is, then we will take a look at all of the popular products currently on the market. Hopefully, this will help in your decision when it comes to feeding your precious child his or her first cereal.
What is Baby Cereal?
Providing your child with baby cereal is often the first solid food that a baby will intake, or at least the first solid food they may enjoy. You probably give them tastes now and again if they show intrigue, but this is where they will learn what a bowl and spoon mean.
There is sometimes debate about the proper age to feed children because it used to be that it was recommended to start as early as four months if the baby seemed ready. This is now no longer considered the case.
Infants are not ready to start digesting solid foods properly until at least six months, and they should be able to hold their head up and sit up unassisted. They also should no longer have the tongue-thrust reflex that they have out of the womb. Each baby follows a different process, but six months minimum is the recommendation these days.
Baby cereal started as the first food for infants because back in the day formula was not as good quality as it is these days. The cereal helped the baby handle the formula, though that’s not as big an issue anymore.
Trying to give babies cereal at too young an age can put them at a higher risk for developing obesity, so that’s why even putting rice cereal in a bottle is not a good idea.
There are plenty of options when it comes to baby cereals, including single-grain infant cereals like rice, oat, or barley, or a multi-grain choice. Usually, baby cereal comes as a finely ground mixture where you add water, breast milk, or formula to help turn it into a soft paste.
The paste can be watery or more putty-like depending on how much liquid you add to it, which can help your baby develop a palate for various textures and get used to switching it up.
Remember, baby cereal is a great first start, but you can add fruit or baby foods to it regularly to help improve flavor or treat your baby to new foods without overwhelming it.
Why Does my Infant Need Baby Cereal?
When it comes to making sure your baby has the nutrients they need for proper brain and physical development, baby cereal is a great option.
This is because switching to regular foods can be hazardous to a baby if they aren’t receiving enough iron in their diet. They need higher levels of iron as they grow older and become more active.
The infant cereal is fortified with plenty of different vitamins that babies need. It can be hard to get babies to eat at first. Every baby is different when it comes to preference and foods.
Even as they grow more used to various foods and experiencing flavors and textures, baby cereal is a great choice to have as a breakfast staple because it will consistently provide a specific serving of components necessary for them.
So even if your baby is entering toddlerhood, they can still eat baby cereal and gain benefits from it. This is an easy go-to the option that is quick to prepare, tasty, and easy to mix with fruits or yogurt to help feed your baby further.
Best Baby Cereals
Now let’s get into our baby cereal buying guide so you can learn what options fit best for you.
1. Gerber Single-Grain Oatmeal Baby Cereal
There is a reason that Gerber is the number one known baby food brand in the United States. For decades it has proven to be the trusted choice for many first and second-time moms. Part of that has to do with effective branding, and another part is just due to the overall quality of their foods.
Babies like Gerber! That’s honestly what makes it so accessible. Babies rarely turn down a Gerber food, and moms remember that. Gerber is always working hard on changing up their recipes and formulas to always provide top tier products for the babies who deserve them.
When your child starts eating food for the first time, that means he’s consuming less breast milk or formula. Instead, he’s learning how to replace his nutrients with solid foods. Gerber Single-Grain Oatmeal is iron-fortified to make sure your baby is getting all the iron he needs and not missing out from drinking less milk or formula.
Gerber also makes their baby cereals from Non-GMO ingredients, meaning they aren’t genetically engineers. Tiny tots only deserve untainted ingredients; they can’t handle all those chemicals that our adult bodies are used to, and this cereal keeps it as simple as they come.
You don’t want to hinder their development either as babies are susceptible potentially, and you are helping keep them safe by choosing this option.
This moves us to the next cereal on the list, also a Gerber favorite.
2. Gerber Organic Rice Cereal
Rice Cereal is the best option when it comes to introducing solid foods to your infant. Just remember that no matter what your friend in that mom group says, feeding solids to your baby before six months of age is not recommended because their digestive system can’t process it! Don’t add rice cereal to the bottle; let your baby chow on milk or formula fully until they are an appropriate age.
Once your baby is six months, then you may choose to try Gerber’s Organic Rice Cereal. Just like Gerber’s Oatmeal, this cereal is iron-fortified. Some parents choose rice cereal because rice cereal is gluten-free and more comfortable to digest. If your baby is sensitive to gluten or has an intolerance to certain things, then rice cereal is the safest choice to try first.
This 100% Certified Organic baby rice cereal is the optimal choice for the concerned parent who desires to give their child the freshest ingredients with the most nutrients. Small portions are packed with all the nutrients your baby needs, including up to 90% of their required daily intake for iron.
An excellent option for your baby; you can feel comfortable knowing that Gerber has been around for many years for a reason.
3. Happy Baby Organic Probiotic Baby Cereal with Choline Oatmeal
Happy Baby is a brand known for its Organic foods for infants and is ready to make babies smile around the world. For environmentally-conscious parents, this is a great choice.
Probiotic-rich cereals are a great choice when introducing solids to babies for the first time because they stimulate healthy gut and bowel movements. So if your baby suffers from constipation, this is a great way to help them go easier. Constipation is uncomfortable and painful, especially for tiny bodies, still learning the process of bodily functions.
A product like this that is high in choline is also a great choice because that is an essential nutrient for growing babies. Now that they are moving away from breastmilk, it’s necessary to ensure they are getting the proper amounts of choline to support an appropriate cell membrane development.
Happy Babygrows all their ingredients mindfully, and you can trust to know where they came from and that they were organically grown and hand-selected to feed your child properly. All foods are developed for age-appropriate stages, so you never have to doubt if it is right for your baby at each step in development.
Another benefit of Happy Baby is that they use sustainable family-farms to grow their ingredients and use recycled material as much as they feasibly can. You know what you’re getting with this brand from start to finish.
4. Earth’s Best Organic Infant Cereal
Whole grain cereals are one of the best options to give your baby for their development. This is because whole grains have all the nutrients to grow if you just put them in the ground. Those nutrients are going straight into your babies development to help them become big and secure, and that’s why this option is so popular.
Earth’s Best offers a whole grain organic infant cereal that is made from complex carbohydrate. They are meant to help regulate your baby’s hormones and can help with their pH and sugar levels as well. This promotes overall healthy growth production as they get bigger.
There are no artificial colors or preservatives in Earth’s Best Organic Infant Cereal, and no artificial flavors either. This means you’re giving your infant a clean and wholesome meal that you can understand.
Babies are still growing and developing, so you don’t want to flood them with the same overly processed chemicals and fats that we eat as adults.
USDA-Certified Organic and made with non-GMO ingredients, Earth’s Best can make feeding your child to a whole new level. Rice cereal is an excellent choice for babies with sensitive tummies, and they have many different options so you can find what works best for you. Just be sure to always talk to your doctor if you think anything could cause an adverse reaction in your infant.
5. Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten-Free Rice & Shine
A lot of farmers out there grow their grains with chemical pesticides and herbicides. It’s important to remember that these chemicals are intended to harm bugs or animals they may want to feast on the food, but also that these chemicals stay on these foods even as they are processed and consumed by humans.
We don’t know the effects of those chemicals on us, and we don’t want to see what harm could come to our teeny tiny humans. That’s why Arrowhead Mills is an obvious choice for those who are conscious about how their foods are grown. Constantly spraying chemicals meant to harm insects thoroughly coat the plants and are still coating them when cleaned and ground up.
None of their foods are nurtured with the use of these potentially dangerous chemicals, so you can rest easy knowing you did your best to provide clean and healthy cereal to your infant.
All of their foods are grown on sustainable farms, and they work to make sure that their carbon footprint is small. Paying attention to the impact we have on the environment overall is something that everyone should focus on.
Some people have more emotions about it than others, which is why it is excellent there is a chance to serve your baby and your planet as you go.
We should be able to nurture our children and our planet simultaneously, and that’s one of the best benefits Arrowhead Mills has to offer. They keep all the ingredients simple and easy to understand for the conscientious parent so that they don’t have to add another concern to their list of worries.
6. NurturMe Organic Infant Cereals
When you’re looking for an infant cereal that is full of nutrients and packs a punch, then NuturMe Organic Infant Cereals is a fabulous option. This is because this cereal is made with quinoa, which is full of whole grains.
It easily has one of the highest amounts of proteins along with being gluten-free, which is excellent for babies with a history of sensitive stomachs or even a family history of celiac disease, which is when you’re allergic to gluten, and it causes severe discomfort.
Quinoa is also full of fiber, and vitamin B has a unique and earthy flavor and is a tasty first introduction for your baby. This option is probably the healthiest out of the many options for baby cereals. Quinoa provides full servings of complex materials that can help your baby’s stomach develop properly.
NuturMe Organic makes sure that their infant cereal is rich in the probiotics necessary to help baby digestive systems function and give them all the brainpower they need to start their day. Every ingredient in this cereal is natural and plant-based, so no worries about hidden chemicals or anything like that.
Iron-fortified means that your baby is still getting all the iron he needs for proper development without having to sacrifice other vitamins for their health. Gluten-free also means no dairy, no soy, and no eggs. Your baby is keeping it simple when he’s consuming NurturMe Organic, and that’s what he needs in these early days.
7. Happy Baby Organic Crafted Cereal Whole Grains Oats & Quinoa
Back again on our list, Happy Baby is a beautiful choice for a reason. This cereal is another example of how they strive to work with the purest organic ingredients and want to provide all sorts of healthy options for your baby. This company was even originally independently owned and operated by moms until 2013. That’s when Groupe Danone bought out 92% along with other companies.
Made will all organic ingredients, this is a mixture of both oats and quinoa for a delicious and unique natural flavor. This helps with you baby learning about new textures as they figure out tasting and swallowing new foods for the first time.
Vitamin C and iron-enriched, this Happy Baby Organic baby cereal are designed to boost brain development to the max, while also being a tasty and unique choice to offer your child. Following a sustainable method of growth and feeding, this cereal is all organic without GMOs, so it is meant to be trusted.
This mixture is appealing when your baby wants to try something new but isn’t necessarily ready for moving beyond cereal just yet. Clearly crafted for you, this cereal is designed and created with healthy babies in mind. Happy Baby Organics has a lengthy line of products and baby cereals for you to choose from if you aren’t sure about this one specifically.
8. Wutsup Baby Organic Original Quinoa Infant & Baby Cereal Travel Packs
Don’t get bored with our list yet, this is another quinoa option, yes, but it’s different than the rest. This cereal is the closest nutrient wise to that liquid gold: breastmilk. With all the amino acids to support a healthy stomach, Wutsup Baby Organic cereal is full of everything the young developing infant needs for his first solid food.
Omegas 3, 6, and 9 are abundant within this mixture that helps with both eye and brain development. Babies are constantly developing for the first few years of their life so it is important to make sure they are constantly receiving the proper nutrients and vitamins to boost this intense growth.
Don’t worry about digestion either, because quinoa is perfect for adding in the prebiotics and fiber necessary. Listed in the benefits are also protein, iron, magnesium, vitamin E, and B2. There are no preservatives or artificial flavors in this cereal, and there is nothing within it that could provoke an allergic reaction. Pure as it can be.
Quinoa is a superfood, and your baby deserves super nutrients. Wutsup is providing an optimal choice if you want your babies cereals to be chock full of all the good things imaginable. Teach your babies tummy to handle food the best way with something as healthy and delicious as this quinoa baby cereal.
9. Nestle Nestum 3 Cereals
This infant cereal is a bit different than the rest on our list because we wanted to try and bring you as many diverse options as possible. Nestum 3 cereals are made up of wheat, corn, and rice. These products together bring a unique flavor and texture to tantalize your tot.
Nestum boasts that their Nestum 3 Cereals are a great source when it comes to 10 different vitamins and minerals and is rich in vitamin C. We all know vitamin C is great because it is an antioxidant that helps along with the baby’s development.
If you want your child’s immune system to grow quickly and grow strong, then this cereal should be on your list to try. This cereal is also filling and is a great way to help your child wean from breastmilk or formula because it tastes good and is very filling.
Feel free to add this as an option to boost your baby’s immune system and to get them ready trying all the other solid foods out there. You can mix baby foods or fruits into this cereal to give it more texture and flavor and help your baby experiment.
What Baby Cereal Should I Choose?
Our recommendation still stands that the Gerber brand cereals have lasted through the years due to their impeccable formulas and willingness to adjust, but that doesn’t have to be the choice for you.
Gerber infant cereal is a hallmark stage of infant solid food choices. Many people start with it just because it’s available, but we all know it’s a wonderful option because all the ingredients are a healthy and it provides the nutrients and vitamins necessary to keep your baby healthy and ready to learn and grow.
The best thing you can do as a parent is as informed as possible about what you are feeding your baby. You’re clearly on the right track because you are reading about what types there are and what to try.
A guided list like this can give you a ton of great options to look at, but you’ll have to decide for yourself what to try.
Your baby will also have an opinion, so even if you trust our choice 100%, your baby may say yuck. Be willing to provide options and except that your baby will have his tastes. It’s okay for him not to want to follow your timeline or schedule, that’s the significant part about babies.
Trust in yourself and your choices, and you can’t go wrong.
What is the best baby cereal to start with?
A single grain baby cereal is an excellent baby cereal, to begin with, and if they take to it, you can move to something more multi-grain if you desire. Gluten-free options exist for babies with sensitive tummies or any intolerance, so it’s up to you to figure out what best fits you and your infant’s needs.
Is rice cereal or oatmeal better for babies?
Oatmeal cereal is historically better for babies because rice cereal has been known to have tiny amounts of arsenic in them. Rice cereal is also not as nutritious and is more of a filler type of material, and babies deserve to have real ingredients in their guts.
Rice cereal also has more sugars and can be unhealthier for your baby. Of course, every baby has their own needs, and you should pay attention to that more than anything else.
What do you mix with baby cereal?
When a baby is just starting at six months, it is best to mix breastmilk or formula with the cereal. This ensures that your baby is getting every last nutrient they can from the cereal, and makes it more filling overall. Once they are older, you can mix water or even milk with the cereal, though warm water means the cereal will be warm and more appealing to your infant.
How many times a day should I feed my baby rice cereal?
If you are choosing to feed your baby rice cereal, then you should stick to once a day. It is not a substitute for breast milk, formula, or other solid foods.
It is just one type of food that you can start with and includes in their breakfast, but they need more variety and nutrients than what just plain rice cereal can provide. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you want to know a specific feeding schedule as they are the best choice to recommend one to you.
What do I do if my baby doesn’t like the rice cereal I chose?
If your baby isn’t quite fond of the cereal, you spent so much time meticulously picking out, then don’t worry. There are eight other options on this list that you can try, and you can easily see what differences they have. You and your infant will learn their tastes together, and there are many healthy choices to pick from.