As parents we want healthy eating habits instilled at an early age, such as feeding rice or oatmeal for babies as early as 4 to 6 months, and we want to encourage all the best foods to help them start their life off right. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition encourages starting your baby on solid foods around 6 months of age, as long as there is enough breast milk available if breastfeeding. Starting your infants on baby cereal before introduction to fruits and vegetables is recommended. Also it is important to understand that if an infant is younger than 6 months when introduced to solid foods they are more likely to develop food allergies in their lifetime.
Why Choose Oatmeal for Babies?
Rice cereal has been promoted as the cereal that should be introduced to infants first for many years. It is generally well tolerated and easy to blend with other foods. But new research indicates that oatmeal may be even a better choice. Oatmeal has more nutritional value, is less binding and less likely to cause allergies than rice cereals. Oatmeal is easy for the infants system to digest. It is filled with terrific vitamins including A, C, B1, B2 and B3. It contains calcium, fiber, folic acids, phosphorus, carotenes, iron and zinc; all of which are needed to help develop strong bones and healthy organs.
Eating Oatmeal Later in Life
Eating oatmeal is not only a good start for babies but also a food that should be enjoyed for your life time. Even for adults oatmeal is a very healthy food and will help lower the risk of developing certain health conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Oatmeal also helps prevent cancer, reduces the risk of asthma, and will help boost the immune system.
Introducing your Baby to Oatmeal
While all forms of oatmeal are considered healthy some hold more nutritional value than others. Steel cut are the best choice simply because they are processed less and retain more of the nutrients than rolled or instant oatmeal. The packets of instant oatmeal however are easy to prepare and easiest to carry if you are traveling or they are going to daycare.
Introducing oatmeal for babies the first time should be fun and exciting for both the parents and baby. It is an introduction into a new world and flavor for your sweet little one and making it as nutritious as possible helps add to the value of this wonderful experience.
Natural and Healthy Oatmeal for Babies Recipe
This is a quick, convenient, healthy and natural homemade recipe that is very tasteful and easy to digest for your baby. It is all natural and tastes so much better than the boxed brands that are sold for our little ones.
Prep and Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
½ a cup of oatmeal, such as old fashioned Quaker
Place the oatmeal into a food processor until finely ground, about 20-30 seconds. Use about 2-3 tablespoons for one serving. The rest can be stored in an air tight container in the freezer or refrigerator for about 3 months.
Bring about half a cup of water to a boil and mix in 2-3 tablespoons of finely ground oats. Blend together well for about 30 seconds and remove from heat. Let stand for 3-5 minutes and occasionally stir. Once cool serve. Formula or breast milk can be added to thin the texture and flavor it. It will take time for your baby to get used to different textures and learn how to swallow them, so at first make as close to breast milk consistency as possible. As they develop you can make it a little thicker and even add small amounts of blended fruits for added taste.
***Do not add sweeteners or honey to the oatmeal. Honey should not be introduced into a child’s diet until they are at least 1 year old.
Starting your baby on solid foods is an important and cherished milestone in their life. Using healthy and natural foods such as starting them off on oatmeal for babies first can help improve the quality of their health and life. It is less expensive than prepackaged baby cereals, tastes great and is easy to prepare. Discuss with your pediatrician when it would be a good choice to add such a wonderful and nutritious meal into their diet. When it is time ensure their future with natural and healthy choices.