Feeding baby oatmeal cereal in bottle

Can you put oatmeal cereal in a baby bottle? – Simply Oatmeal

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So, you have already decided to offer your baby oatmeal recipes since oatmeal offers a myriad of nutritional benefits. Is a baby bottle the best way to serve babies oatmeal cereal preparations?

Yes and no, you can put oatmeal cereal into clean baby bottles and feed it to your infants, but it comes with certain risks that you should be aware of. Your babies must already be habituated with this feeding method, so it will be no harm if you start serving oatmeal cereal recipes through a baby bottle.

Although many parents have reported success with putting oatmeal cereal in a baby bottle, this contradicts the CDC who have stated, “Don’t put cereal in a bottle.” So if you choose to pursue this path, then understand how serving cereal in a bottle compromises a breastfeeding relationship, causes a formula-feeding baby to overeat and risks a potential choking hazard.

Let’s dive into more details about oatmeal for babies and how to serve oatmeal cereal in baby bottles.

When can you start putting oatmeal in baby bottle?

As already mentioned, serving oatmeal in baby bottles has minimal issues when served properly. However, there is an age restriction that you must be aware of. 

When can you add cereal to a baby’s bottle? It’s recommended to offer your babies oatmeal in baby bottles once they have reached at least six months of age. By that time, their appetite and stomach will be ready for digesting oatmeal preparations.

All you will have to prepare a simple oatmeal recipe by cooking the oats in water. Cool the oatmeal to room temperature, place the mixture in a baby bottle and serve it to your infants for them to enjoy the benefits of a healthy and nutritious meal.

How much cereal do I put in my baby’s bottle?

While serving oatmeal cereals in your baby’s bottle, please beware of the quantity. If you fill-up the entire bottle with oatmeal preparations and serve it to the baby, it won’t be a good choice option. 

Instead, the recommendation is to fill just one-third of the baby bottle with the oatmeal. Carefully offer it to your child so that they can swallow it without any problems.

What is the best nipple size for oatmeal cereal in baby bottle?

The nipple size of the feeding bottle is a crucial parameter that you must assess carefully. 

If the nipple size is too small, then it will create a hindrance in the flow and your baby won’t be able to swallow the food properly. Likewise, if the nipple size is too large, then your baby will get a large quantity of food at once which is not desired. 

Hence, the recommendation is — the bottle nipple size will allow a smooth and seamless flow of the oatmeal cereal. In this way, your baby will enjoy a comfortable meal without struggling, choking or resulting in a large mess.

A faster flow nipple or those feeding bottles that come either with commercially precut or cross-cut nipple options are the recommended ones. These bottles are ideal for infants with six months and above age because they offer a smooth flow of the oatmeal preparation.

Does oatmeal in baby bottle cause a chocking hazard?

A common follow up question is whether or not serving oatmeal in feeding bottles can cause a chocking hazard? You will never want such a situation for your infant. 

Please do not worry anymore! If you follow these basic tips, then a chocking hazard will never arise:

  • Please make sure to serve the baby in such a feeding bottle that is well-designed and it should have the recommenced nipple size. 
  • After preparing the oatmeal cereal preparation, place it in the baby bottle, and test how it flows through the nipple hole. If the cereal can perfectly flow through it without any hindrance, then you are all set.
  • While serving the preparation, please make sure to check that your baby is sitting in an appropriate position. This factor plays a vital role and it is directly related to the ease and enjoyment your baby will experience while ingesting the meal.

Rest assured that your baby will not face a chocking hazard with a perfect nipple size and appropriate sitting position. Check to make sure the consistency of the oatmeal allows for easy flow through the nipple and you should be all set to go without any worries.

How To Prepare Oatmeal For Babies

Oatmeal is a dry good staple that must be properly prepared before serving it to your baby. In general, oats are either soaked or cooked in plain water before mixing in any other ingredients you baby is prepared to eat.

Quaker Oats are one of the brands commonly served to babies. However, it’s not the only option available.

Realize, there is a distinct difference between baby oatmeal and regular oatmeal. Baby oatmeal is finely flaked, which reduces the need to chew and further aids in swallowing and digestion.

Here are tips for how to make oatmeal for babies:

Water: If using water, it’s recommended to use boiled water instead of plain water. Boiled water removes all pathogens and bacteria, ultimately making it safer for your baby’s stomach. Water is a perfect mix-in liquid for making oatmeal cereal preparations.

Breastmilk: Breastmilk is indeed the best option when it comes to an ideal way to prepare oatmeal for babies. Breastmilk is a rich source of minerals and nutrients that are absolutely important for the proper growth and development of a baby. Just like water, breastmilk will also keep your baby hydrated. Cook the oatmeal with water, and then stir in breastmilk to maintain the bioactive benefits.

Formula: Baby oatmeal prepared with formula is extremely simple. Please take a 1-2 tablespoons of oatmeal cereal and mix it with half a cup of boiled formula. The consistency of the mixture should neither be too thick nor too thin. Instead, the consistency should be somewhat liquid so that it can flow through the nipple without any issue.

Milk: Similar to the preparation of baby oatmeal using formula, you’re going to prepare a batch of oats using boiling hot milk. The mixture should be thick enough to flow smoothly through the baby bottle nipple.

How To Cook Oatmeal For Babies

Baby oatmeal is precooked and regular rolled oats have not yet been cooked. Oats can be prepared by cooking or soaking whole grain oats. 

There are four common ways to cook oatmeal for babies.

  • Overnight oats: You can create an oatmeal mixture and leave it to soak overnight. By this time, the soft consistency of the oats will be appropriate for your baby to digest.
  • Baked: Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit, put the oatmeal cereal mixture in an oven proof cookware and bake it for 35-40 minutes. By that time, the oatmeal will be fully cooked and have a soft texture. Leave it to rest until it comes to the room temperature, and then the baked oatmeal will be safe to serve in a baby bottle.
  • Microwave: This is one of the quickest ways when it comes to preparing oatmeal cereal. Mix the oatmeal with a liquid and place in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke it for 30 seconds – 2.5 minutes so that the oatmeal becomes fully cooked and becomes tender.
  • Stovetop: Heat a pot with water on the stovetop, then add the oats to the boiling water. Stir continuously and scrape the bottom so that it doesn’t stick, allow the oats to cook and simmer the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes. Allow the cooked oatmeal to rest and cool down, put it in the baby bottle, and serve.

Occasionally the cooked oatmeal becomes too thick to serve in a baby bottle. Simply stir in your preferred liquid to thin out the mixture until it gets to the optimal consistency to flow through the nipple of the baby bottle. 

Babies can be introduced to eating oatmeal at anytime after six months of age. Baby oatmeal is often prepared with water, breastmilk, formula or milk. 

Start with plain oats cooked in water. Juice, fruits, vegetables and other toppings can start to be added after the baby gets comfortable digesting the oatmeal cereal.  

Use the recommended nipple size, check the flow of the oatmeal cereal through the nipple and feed baby in an upright position. Follow adequate precautions and you will be able to feel comfortable serving oatmeal cereal in a baby bottle knowing that they are getting a wholesome and nutritious meal.

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Oatmeal: The Safer Alternative for Infants & Children Who Need Thicker Food

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Health Issues

Health Issues

​​Certain diet textures are often prescribed to help infants and children with special needs eat more safely and easily. Children with dysphagia or gastroesophageal reflux, for example, may need their food to be thicker in order to swallow safely or reduce reflux.

In response to concerns over arsenic in rice, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends parents of children with these conditions use oatmeal instead of rice cereal.  

Why Oatmeal?

Children with these conditions were exposed to more rice cereal (and, therefore, more arsenic) for a longer period of time. For infants, this increased exposure also comes at a time when they are developing most rapidly and may be at the greatest risk for side effects of arsenic. Therefore, a safer alternative was needed.

Oatmeal is not a member of the wheat family (i.e. oatmeal is gluten-free), so it's also safe for kids with celiac disease.

Tips for Parents:

  • Talk with your child's pediatrician or feeding specialist about the different types of oatmeal cereals on the market and how to arrive at a just-right consistency. The amount of oatmeal to add to the liquid (formula, breast milk, etc. ) is dependent on your child's condition. It is important to follow the recommendations of your pediatrician or feeding therapist.
    • If you are mixing oatmeal cereal in pumped breast milk: It is best to do it right before your infant will feed. If you mix it too early, the enzymes in the breast milk will break down the oatmeal—making it ineffective.
    • If you are mixing oatmeal cereal in formula: It is most effective if done no more than 20 to 30 minutes before your infant will feed.
  • If your child is drinking it from a bottle, you may need to go up to a larger nipple size in order for the oatmeal to flow. Most feeding specialists now recommend either a faster flow nipple or commercially precut, cross-cut nipples provided by the hospital.
  • Be certain that your child is sitting in an appropriate position, as it can affect his or her ease and enjoyment with the meal.
  • Make sure you are not over feeding your child. If he or she is gaining weight rapidly, but spitting up a lot, try decreasing the amount at each feeding. Infants with reflux, for example, tend to do better with smaller, more frequent meals.
  • The commercial thickening agent, Simply Thick, should not be used in any infant. It increases the risk of developing a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis.

Additional Information on HealthyChildren.org:

  • GERD/Reflux
  • Tips to Reduce Arsenic in Your Baby's Diet 
  • Working Together: Breastfeeding and Solid Foods
  • Starting Solid Foods

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Nutrition - Motherhood in Khabarovsk

Nutrition, from 6 months before 10 months

From bottle to cup: step by step

Every mother sooner or later begins to teach her baby to use the drinker on his own. Now is the time to say "bye bye" to your bottle and try to master the cup:

- 6 months: If you are bottle feeding, occasionally offer a bottle of juice or water. However, these drinks are quite different in taste from the usual milk, and therefore do not be surprised if at first the baby meets them with hostility. Just be patient and offer him those drinks again in a few days. nine0003

- 7 months: Let your baby play with an empty cup to get used to the look and taste. Soon you will be able to pour some water or juice into it and treat your baby. Most likely at first he will agree to no more than one or two sips, but little by little he will get used to this new way of getting a drink.

- 8 months: already confident enough to drink from a drinker, offer the baby kefir, juice or water. You can try replacing one breastfeed with drinking expressed milk from a drinker. nine0003

- 9 months: As before, try to balance the child's upbringing with whether he is ready to give up his usual way of feeding. Remember: no one has set a deadline for you to definitely wean the baby from the breast or teach him to drink from a cup. But, most likely, at this age the baby will already be able to bring the drinker to his mouth.

Nutrition, from 6 months before 12 months

Baby drinks

The transition to solid foods entails an increase in the number of drinks that the child can drink both from a bottle and from his own cup. The main drink should be boiled water without sugar. And also you can give your baby fruit juices, compotes from fresh and dried fruits, herbal tea.

nine0002 Food, from 6 months before 12 months

Safety while feeding

Accidents can occur during feeding, so take all necessary precautions:

- Never leave a baby alone to eat.

- Check food temperature before serving to baby.

- The milk bottle and utensils should be sterilized after each use, but items for thick food should not be sterilized, it is sufficient to wash them thoroughly with hot water, rinse and dry on the kitchen counter. nine0003

- If the child drinks from a training cup with a neck that is difficult to clean, it can be placed in the sterilizer along with the bottles.

Complementary foods, from 6 months before 1 year

General principles of healthy eating

During the introduction of complementary foods, and until at least two years of age, a child's diet should not be too low in fat (as this may reduce energy intake) or too high in fat (as this may reduce micronutrient density). A reasonable amount of fat intake is considered to provide about 30–40% of total energy intake. nine0003

Sugar added to food should be limited to about 10% of the total energy intake, as high intake may impair micronutrient status.

Complementary foods, from 6 months before 1 year

How to Increase Iron Absorption While Weaning

When you switch to meat in your complementary foods, you should be aware of the absorption of iron. There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in meat products and is highly bioavailable. Non-heme iron is found in plant foods. And if you add a little meat to the dish with vegetables, then the bioavailability of the iron contained in the dish with vegetables can be significantly improved. This is due to the fact that meat and fish contain heme iron. nine0003

One study of 7-month-old infants found a 50% increase in the absorption of non-heme iron from vegetables after adding meat to a meal.

As for fish, fish also contains heme iron and therefore has a positive effect on iron status. It is believed that fish also contains the “meat factor”, which has a beneficial effect on the absorption of non-heme iron.

Only small amounts of meat are needed to improve iron status, and meat should be introduced into the diet gradually from about 6 months of age. Eating large amounts of meat early can lead to high protein intake, which can have negative consequences. nine0003

Meat and fish can be replaced with a cheaper product: liver. Mashed liver is thus a good complementary food after about 6 months.

Complementary foods, from 3 months before 1 year

Cow's milk during weaning

The World Health Organization does not recommend cow's milk for drinking before 9 months of age. However, it can be used in small quantities in the preparation of complementary foods from 6 months of age.

Infants who are not breastfed or fed commercially available iron-fortified infant formula should receive homemade cow's milk formula along with an iron supplement. nine0003

Complementary foods, from 6 months before 1 year

Complementary foods: what vegetables contain many important vitamins

Dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale contain many important vitamins and minerals, including calcium and iron. By six months, the iron stores in the child's body are depleted, in addition, children who are just starting to walk often suffer from iron deficiency. Vitamin C is present in almost all vegetables, promotes the absorption of iron. nine0003

Red and orange vegetables such as carrots are rich in carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body.

Nutrition, from 7 days before 1 year

How to avoid iron deficiency

In the womb, the baby receives the main iron stores from the mother. After birth, in the process of growing up, the volume of the baby's blood increases and this can lead to a rapid consumption of iron. To prevent this from happening, you should know some rules:

1. Breastfeed your baby for as long as you can. The special iron found in your milk is highly biologically active and is therefore 50-75% absorbed, while other foods, such as iron-fortified cereal or formula, only get 4-10% of iron into your baby's blood. nine0003

2. Do not give cow's milk to infants, limit consumption to children under two years of age. Cow's milk (very poor in iron) should not be given as a drink to children under one year of age. In addition to being a very poor source of iron, excessive consumption of cow's milk can irritate the lining of your baby's intestines, causing little iron loss over a long period of time, further worsening iron deficiency anemia. Also limit your child's milk intake to 700 milliliters a day under two years of age. nine0003

3. Combine products wisely. Some foods promote the absorption of iron, while others inhibit it. Solid foods at the same time as breast milk or immediately after breastfeeding can reduce the absorption of valuable iron from breast milk. For this reason, if your baby is iron deficient, wait at least twenty minutes between breastfeeding and solid foods.

Nutrition, from 7 months before 1 year

Learning to eat from a spoon

For the first acquaintance with a new food, it is better to choose a time when both of you have not had time to get tired during the day and are in a good mood.

1. Wash your hands before preparing vegetable puree or porridge. Check that the cooked meal is at a temperature of about 36°C.

2. Offer a new meal to your baby before feeding, when he is hungry. Do not try to make sure that he swallows everything that was in the spoon; it is enough for him to lick and taste the unfamiliar mixture. If the child is not enthusiastic about this, abandon the attempt and try again the next day. nine0003

3. If the child is happy with the new food, offer him a little, but never force him to eat. At this age, he will receive too few calories from solid food. And your goal is not to “feed” him at all, but to make acquaintance with new food a pleasant discovery.

4. During spoon feeding, the baby may cry and rage between two sips, especially if you are not very nimble. Until now, milk has been delivered to the baby in the mouth in a continuous stream, and now the gaps between individual portions may not seem very pleasant. nine0003

5. After the meal, breastfeed your baby.

6. On the first day, offer your child only 2-3 spoons of the new food. Watch him carefully throughout the day. If the stool has not changed and there are no allergic manifestations, the next day you can increase the portion by about half. Do not introduce new foods more than once every 1-2 weeks. Let the baby's body get used to the new food gradually.

Complementary foods, from 4 months before 1 year

How much milk to give when introducing complementary foods

Babies still need a lot of milk. The fact that the child has already tasted "real food" does not mean that he no longer needs milk. All experts agree that it is better to continue breast milk for at least a year. Do not forget that your baby is still a baby. nine0003

Nutrition, from 6 months before 1 year

Gluten in baby food

Wheat contains gluten, therefore, due to the risk of allergic reactions, doctors advise not to include it in the children's diet until six months. Nevertheless, there are breakfast cereals (in particular, wheat) on sale, which are marked “from four months”. If the baby is not yet six months old, choose food very carefully. Children's rice and oatmeal do not contain gluten, so they should be preferred. Wheat-free baby food is labeled gluten-free. nine0003

Complementary foods, from 6 months before 1 year

Baby puree recipe step by step

If you want to make your own puree for your baby, then you should adhere to the following rules:

1. Peel vegetables or fruits, removing all bones or hard parts. If you are going to cook meat, carefully remove the fat and veins, and bones from the fish. Then cut the food into pieces. nine0003

2. When the food is butchered, place it in a saucepan or steam bath. Fruits and vegetables should be cooked for at least 20 minutes until they are completely soft.

3. Now the finished ingredients need to be soaked in puree. Use a hand or electric mixer or blender for this. You can rub the products through a sieve by hand, but this requires more effort and time.

4. Divide baby food into small, sterile containers with tight lids. Be sure to clearly label them with the date and time of preparation. It is best not to store baby food for more than 48 hours, so do not prepare meals in large portions. nine0003

Nutrition, from 9 months before 1 year

Benefits of food you can eat with your hands

At first, food that you can eat with your hands will fly in all directions, forcing you to clean up after each meal. Do not be indignant, such a meal contributes to the rapid development of the child. Children who were not allowed to eat with their hands were slower to learn how to use a spoon. In addition, the child has the opportunity to feel and taste more solid food. The food should be soft enough for the baby to "chew" with their gums, and hard enough so that it doesn't crumble or break when the baby picks it up. nine0003

Complementary foods, from 6 months before 1 year

Ready-made baby food: what the label says

When choosing baby food, do not forget to read the label. The list of ingredients will tell you exactly what foods and additives were used in the preparation of the meal. Products are listed in descending order. The name itself may be a clue. For example, if a jar says "Beef with vegetables", it means that it contains more meat than "vegetables with beef". nine0003

Baby food manufacturers must adhere to strict limits on additives. Do not use artificial colors, preservatives or artificial sweeteners. There are laws limiting the amount of salt. Most baby food contains no salt at all. Sugar is often added to improve the taste. Beware of foods containing various forms of sugar - sucrose, glucose, glucose syrup, fruit juice, dextrose, and maltodextrin (excluding fructose). Modified corn flour does not add any nutrients. nine0003

Vitamins are often added to baby food to compensate for what is lost during cooking and sterilization. The iron contained in tasty children's food prevents anemia.

Nutrition, from 6 months before 1 year

How much salt does a baby need

Do not add salt when preparing food for your baby: his kidneys are not yet able to cope with such a load.

- Breast milk contains only 5 mg of salt per 250 ml. The same amount of cow's milk that should not be given whole to babies under eight months of age contains 120 milligrams of table salt. nine0003

- Salt is found in hard cheeses, breads, cereals and biscuits. Choose foods that are low in salt whenever possible.

- Children aged six months to one year require 250 ml to 720 mg of salt per day. Avoid giving foods that contain more than 50 mg of salt before cooking - check the label.

What kind of porridge to choose for the first feeding | How to introduce porridge: how to cook, properly breed porridge for the first feeding

Your baby is growing up, getting stronger, gaining weight, and now there comes a moment when feeding only breast milk or formula is not enough for the full development of the crumbs. It's time to introduce complementary foods into your baby's diet. The question arises - where to start? Your pediatrician should answer it.

Today we’ll talk about how to properly introduce complementary foods with cereals. Let's talk about how to breed porridge, which one is better to choose for the first complementary foods, and how homemade porridge differs from store-bought porridge. nine0003

Cereals for children under one year old

Porridge contains all the necessary set of trace elements, is perfectly absorbed, and has a beneficial effect on the digestive system.

Usually, cereals begin to be introduced into the diet of a baby at the age of six months. If the child is bottle-fed, it is permissible to start earlier, at 4-5 months. These are only approximate dates, in fact, everything is individual. It is necessary to take into account the pace of development of the child, his readiness for adult food and the tendency to allergic reactions. nine0003

Complementary foods with cereals are recommended for children who are not gaining weight well. Most likely, the baby simply does not have enough calories. In any case, before starting complementary foods, a pediatrician should be consulted. He will help you choose porridge, tell you in what quantities and how often to feed her child.

It is important that the first porridge be:

  • Industrial production . Not only because the raw materials are sterilized and undergo rigorous quality control. But also because at home it is difficult to achieve such a degree of grinding cereals, as cereal manufacturers do. For example, Materna porridges consist of delicate cereal flakes, which form an absolutely homogeneous mass when brewed. If desired, they can be diluted to a thick mixture and offered to the baby to drink from a bottle. nine0179
  • Single component . To track down the cause of an allergic reaction if it occurs.

Dairy or non-dairy: with which cereals does the first complementary food start

Pediatricians recommend starting complementary foods with dairy-free gluten-free cereals. Gluten is a fairly heavy vegetable protein for digestion by a child's body. Its use can lead to allergies. Dairy-free cereals can be diluted with breast milk or your own milk formula to make them more nutritious and taste more familiar to the baby. nine0003

The first gluten-free cereals include: corn, rice and buckwheat.

How to switch from dairy-free to milk porridge

If no allergic reactions occur within 4-7 weeks from the start of complementary foods and dairy-free cereals are well absorbed, you can start offering milk cereals for children up to a year old to the baby, their energy value is much higher.

How to properly organize complementary foods with cereals

For the first acquaintance, you need to cook a five percent porridge, which means that for five grams of dry porridge there should be 100 mg of water. The resulting consistency will be ideal for a child who is not yet able to chew and swallow thick food. nine0003

The best time to feed is the morning meal. So you will have time to track the baby's reaction to a new product: if there are any allergies or stool disorders.

For feeding, a baby spoon made of safe material for the baby's delicate gums or a regular teaspoon is used.

As a first test, it is enough to give the child about half a tablespoon of liquid porridge. The kid should try out a new product, get used to the change in texture and taste. nine0003

Make sure the porridge is not too cold or hot, and does not contain lumps.

After porridge feeding, feed your baby his usual food - breast milk or formula.

Increase the volume of a serving of porridge only when you are sure that the baby eats it with pleasure, and he does not experience unwanted reactions.

Every day, increase the amount of porridge per spoon until the serving is 150 g for a six-month-old baby, 160-170 g for a child aged 7-8 months and 170-180 g for an age of 8-9months. Closer to the year, the serving volume will be about 200 g. And the five percent porridge is replaced by a thicker, ten percent one.

We remind you that these are only general recommendations, and the development of each child is individual and the dosage may differ from that described above. It is important not to change cereals at the beginning of complementary foods, your baby should get used to one cereal, and only after a successful debut, you can offer the next one - not earlier than in two weeks.

If you start experimenting ahead of time and give your child a different porridge every day, in case of an allergy, it will be very difficult for you to understand what exactly the child's body reacted to. nine0003

The child does not eat porridge

Toddlers refuse porridge for various reasons.

  • Don't like the taste or texture.
    It happens that children who started complementary foods with fruits and vegetables do not eat porridge, because their taste is very different and not so bright. Try adding an already familiar apple or broccoli to a new porridge. In addition, a child may not like the taste of some cereal today, but in a couple of weeks he will eat it with pleasure. Set this mess aside for a while and try again later. nine0179
  • The porridge is too hot or too cold.
    Check food temperature on the inside of your wrist. If you do not feel cold or hot, then the temperature is optimal.
  • The child is not yet hungry. Set the plate aside for half an hour and then try again.

The main advice to parents is not to despair, and offer the same porridge many times in different combinations.

What kind of porridge to introduce into complementary foods first

Be sure to ask your pediatrician for advice on which cereal to give your baby first. After all, all kids are different.

The main types of cereals recommended for consistent introduction into the child's diet: