When do you start to feed baby cereal

When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods | Nutrition

For more information about how to know if your baby is ready to starting eating foods, what first foods to offer, and what to expect, watch these videos from 1,000 Days.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children be introduced to foods other than breast milk or infant formula when they are about 6 months old.  Introducing foods before 4 months old is not recommended. Every child is different. How do you know if your child is ready for foods other than breast milk or infant formula? You can look for these signs that your child is developmentally ready.

Your child:

  • Sits up alone or with support.
  • Is able to control head and neck.
  • Opens the mouth when food is offered.
  • Swallows food rather than pushes it back out onto the chin.
  • Brings objects to the mouth.
  • Tries to grasp small objects, such as toys or food.
  • Transfers food from the front to the back of the tongue to swallow.

What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that for most children, you do not need to give foods in a certain order. Your child can begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.

If your child is eating infant cereals, it is important to offer a variety of fortifiedalert icon infant cereals such as oat, barley, and multi-grain instead of only rice cereal. Only providing infant rice cereal is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration because there is a risk for children to be exposed to arsenic. Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administrationexternal icon to learn more.

How Should I Introduce My Child to Foods?

Your child needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.

Now that your child is starting to eat food, be sure to choose foods that give your child all the vitamins and minerals they need.

Click here to learn more about some of these vitamins & minerals.

Let your child try one single-ingredient food at a time at first. This helps you see if your child has any problems with that food, such as food allergies. Wait 3 to 5 days between each new food. Before you know it, your child will be on his or her way to eating and enjoying lots of new foods.

Introduce potentially allergenic foods when other foods are introduced.

Potentially allergenic foods include cow’s milk products, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, and sesame. Drinking cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages is not recommended until your child is older than 12 months, but other cow’s milk products, such as yogurt, can be introduced before 12 months. If your child has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse about when and how to safely introduce foods with peanuts.

How Should I Prepare Food for My Child to Eat?

At first, it’s easier for your child to eat foods that are mashed, pureed, or strained and very smooth in texture. It can take time for your child to adjust to new food textures. Your child might cough, gag, or spit up. As your baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.

Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your child foods that are the right texture for his or her development. To help prevent choking, prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Always watch your child while he or she is eating.

Here are some tips for preparing foods:

  • Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.
  • Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.
  • Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.
  • Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
  • Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.
  • Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit, and then cut the fruit into small pieces.
  • Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices.
  • Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.
  • Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.

Learn more about potential choking hazards and how to prevent your child from choking.

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When Can You Start Feeding a Baby Rice Cereal? Safety and More

If you ask for advice on the best time to start feeding your baby rice cereal, the responses may be all over the place. Some people might suggest feeding a baby rice cereal starting at 6 months, whereas others might suggest as young as only 2 or 3 months old.

But just because someone else gives their baby rice cereal early doesn’t mean that you should do the same. For advice, the best place to go is to your own pediatrician — they’re the authority on your baby’s health. In the meantime, here’s what other experts recommend.

Updated recommendations

New guidelines caution that rice cereal shouldn’t be the only solid given. So the old practice of starting only iron-fortified rice cereal at about 6 months is no longer recommended.

For the first few months of life, you’ll feed your baby exclusively with breast milk or formula. Anything other than breast milk or formula is considered a solid food. So when deciding the right time to start your baby on rice cereal, you should follow the same guidelines for starting a baby on solid foods.

Some people argue that rice cereal is an exception to the guidelines — perhaps because of the ability of rice cereal to dissolve in (and “thicken”) breast milk or formula when added in small quantities.

Yet, rice cereal is a solid food. Babies aren’t ready for solid foods until they’re about 6 months old.

Since every baby is different, it’s important to look for signs that your baby is actually ready to start eating rice cereal before serving it.

You should hold off feeding a baby solid food until they have control of their neck and head. Your little one will need to be upright while eating, so they should be able to sit in a highchair.

Most importantly, don’t give a baby rice cereal until they have the oral skills to move solid food from the front of their mouth to the back. This skill doesn’t typically develop until at least 4 months old. Until then, your baby’s tongue will push out any food that enters their mouth.

Another telltale sign that your baby may be ready for solid food is when they express an interest in your food. If you’re eating in their presence, they might try to grab your food — or lean in toward food with their open mouth (have your camera ready!).

For the most part, you shouldn’t give a baby rice cereal before the recommended guidelines. Even though the extrusion reflex — that automatic reflex that causes a baby’s tongue to push food forward — can provide some protection before they’re ready, offering solid food too early can still pose a choking or aspiration risk.

Giving a baby rice cereal — or other solid foods — too early may also increase a baby’s risk of having obesity.

But when they’re ready, rice cereal can be a great starter food, among others.

After several months of only consuming breast milk or formula, some babies have difficulty adjusting to solid foods.

To start the introduction process, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of iron-fortified rice cereal with 4 to 6 tablespoons of formula, breast milk, or water. Some people mix rice cereal with fruit juice, too. But this isn’t recommended because fruit juice doesn’t offer health benefits and is very high in sugar.

Spoon feed an iron-fortified rice cereal to your baby. (It’s important that babies get enough iron once they start solid foods.) But don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of feedings for your baby to get the hang of eating this way. You can nurse or bottle feed first, and then end feedings with rice cereal.

Doctors used to recommend rice cereal as a “first food.” But now we know that age-appropriate foods can be introduced in any order, and rice cereal shouldn’t be the only solid given for very long due to arsenic exposure, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

You can introduce other jar or puréed foods like fruits and vegetables before or after you introduce rice cereal. And do include other iron-fortified, single-grain cereals besides rice. Variety is the spice of life — even for baby!

When introducing new solid foods to your baby, do so one at a time. This way, you can detect any potential food allergies or sensitivities early. For example, after you feed your baby peas for the first time, wait 3 to 5 days before introducing carrots.

You might have heard of adding rice cereal to a bottle to thicken breast milk or formula. This, however, isn’t recommended unless your pediatrician says it’s OK.

If your baby has episodes of acid reflux, your doctor might advise this method to thicken the milk and try to prevent regurgitation. But this is rare.

Starting a baby on solid food is a major milestone, but you shouldn’t introduce rice cereal too early. Doing so poses a few different risks. So wait until your baby is about 6 months, and look specifically for signs that they’re ready for solids.

When in doubt, talk it out — with your pediatrician. They’re a goldmine of information, and best of all, they know your baby’s health better than anyone else, including Dr. Google.

when you can enter, which porridge to start with, which is better for entering at the beginning

Published: 06/21/2020

Reading time: 5 min.

Number of reads: 49812

Author of the article: Ponomareva Yulia Vladimirovna

Pediatrician, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Allergist-Immunologist

Your baby is growing and developing intensively, and others say that he is changing right before our eyes. By the 4-5th month of a baby's life, every mother begins to wonder if breast milk alone is enough for him, and whether it is time to start introducing other foods.

Content: Hide

  1. When to start the introduction of complementary foods
  2. Advantages of cereal complementary foods
  3. Useful properties of milk porridge
  4. Cereal diversity
  5. Greek cereal
  6. Curop
  7. How to introduce milk porridge into the diet

When to start complementary foods

WHO and the Federal Research Center for Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety recommend that complementary foods be started at 6 months of age unless there are other grounds for earlier introduction. Indeed, breast milk is a unique product that perfectly meets the needs of the baby during the first four months of life. However, despite the high biological value, it cannot satisfy all the needs of a growing organism. Slowing down the start of complementary foods can negatively affect the growth and development of the child. Up to 6 months, the baby can remain only breastfed with normal growth and weight gain and neuropsychic development that meets the standard. Another important condition is a full-fledged balanced diet for a nursing mother, since the qualitative composition of human milk determines the supply of the most important nutrients and biologically active substances to the baby. Often there is a need for an earlier introduction of complementary foods - from 4-5 months. It is at this age that most children experience functional maturation of the gastrointestinal tract, and the ability to digest and assimilate food other than breast milk appears.

The benefits of cereals

"Where to start with the first complementary foods, and what foods will be the best for the baby?" - one of the most common questions parents of infants. The choice of foods to start expanding the diet should be individual and depends on the characteristics of each child. The pediatrician, together with the parents, decides from how many months to start introducing complementary foods, determines the sequence and schedule for its introduction. Very often milk porridge is preferred as the first product. The most important place in the nutrition of young children is given to grain-based products - as a source of almost all essential nutrients. Indeed, it is impossible to imagine the diet of a young child without tasty and healthy porridge. This product is rich in vegetable proteins, which are necessary for the normal growth of the baby. Complex carbohydrates and fats provide long-lasting satiety and provide energy for an active day. And dietary fiber and the vitamins and minerals included in the composition are important for the normal functioning of all organs and systems. In addition to the unconditional benefits of the components of milk porridge, it is also the taste familiar to the baby, which is as similar as possible to mother's milk. The semi-liquid consistency of this complementary food smoothly prepares the gradual transition from liquid to pureed, and then to solid food.

Useful properties of milk porridge

The nutritional value of milk porridge is much higher than that of dairy-free ones. In addition to useful substances of plant origin, the addition of milk ensures the supply of protein, fully digestible in terms of amino acid composition, easily digestible fat, calcium and a number of vitamins. Thanks to this, complementary foods with milk porridge become a complete meal that can completely replace one of the feedings in children older than 5 months. Modern industrial products of some manufacturers (for example, the Bebi Premium cereal line) are made on the basis of special baby milk, which is adapted for safe use in the first year of life, unlike cereals made from whole milk. This is very important, since unadapted protein in cow's and goat's milk can cause allergies, damage to intestinal cells and baby's kidneys.

Variety of cereals

Cereals are very diverse, therefore, on the one hand, this allows the wide use of various types of cereal complementary foods for organizing a healthy diet, and on the other hand, it determines age restrictions and an individual scheme for introducing various types of cereals. All cereals are rich in slowly digestible carbohydrates, but they differ significantly in the content of protein, plant fibers, which are part of vitamins and minerals. Milk porridge as a product of the first feeding should be from one type of cereal, do not contain sucrose and gluten.

The danger of gluten

Gluten is a plant protein found in many cereals and determines the quality of the dough in the bakery. In children under 6 months of age, gluten-containing foods are not introduced into the diet, since infants do not have special enzymes that digest this protein. The introduction of gluten in the first half of life can cause damage to the villi of the small intestine mucosa and cause serious illness. Therefore, your baby's first cereal should be based on buckwheat, rice or corn grits - these cereals do not contain gluten. Another advantage of each of these three types of cereals is low allergenicity, so they can be given as first complementary foods to children at risk of developing food allergies.


Buckwheat is rightfully recognized as one of the most useful foods for young children. For the manufacture of children's cereals, the unground is used - a whole grain product, a storehouse of useful substances. Vegetable protein, which is rich in buckwheat, contains a balanced complex of valuable amino acids, many of which are essential. Buckwheat contains the largest amount, in comparison with other cereals, of vitamins B2, PP, as well as potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc. And these substances are very important for the full functioning of organs and systems, the development of immunity, strengthening the heart and blood vessels. Buckwheat porridge is rich in fiber, which has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the child's digestive system. This will be useful for children with a tendency to delay stool.

Rice groats

Rice groats are rich in complex carbohydrates, especially starch, and this is the necessary energy for the intensive development of the child. At the same time, the starch granules in rice are small, and porridge from this type of grain is well digested and absorbed. Therefore, rice porridge is a dietary product and is especially useful for babies with a weight deficit. The protein content in rice groats is the lowest compared to all other cereals, but this is offset by the usefulness of its amino acid composition - the main "bricks" for building your own tissues. Rice includes a small amount of fats, but they are mainly represented by very valuable unsaturated fatty acids. Otherwise, it is poor in vitamins and minerals. The low content of vegetable fibers contributes to the fixing effect, which will be useful for children with unstable stools.

Corn groats

Corn groats, like rice, are high in starch. And the content of protein, vitamins and microelements surpasses it. Porridge based on this product is rich in vital trace elements - iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Of all cereals, such cereals contain the largest amount of vitamin A. Another distinctive feature of this cereal is its high fiber content, which has a beneficial effect on the baby's digestion, inhibits fermentation processes in the intestines, and the baby is less worried about colic.

How to prepare porridge

Every mother asks herself a question: to use ready-to-eat industrial porridge or cook it yourself from ordinary cereals. For many people, instant foods are not associated with healthy eating, so it may seem that it is better to cook porridge yourself, because it will only contain familiar, proven ingredients. This approach is wrong - industrially produced baby cereals have a number of advantages compared to home-cooked ones. They are made using special technologies, taking into account the peculiarities of the metabolism and digestion of young children. All products undergo a very strict three-stage quality and safety control, the absence of harmful additives and microbial contamination is guaranteed. Whereas, using ordinary cereals, one cannot be sure that the grains were grown in an ecologically clean region and did not undergo aggressive processing before use. In addition, in industrial cereals, the optimal degree of grinding, which corresponds to the age characteristics of the chewing apparatus and the child's digestive tract. Another advantage of such products is the enrichment with important biologically active substances - vitamins and minerals, absolutely necessary for the normal growth and development of the baby. Their number is balanced and covers a significant part of the daily requirement.

How to introduce milk porridge into the diet

Any new food should be introduced gradually, the digestive organs need to adapt to this product, and the mother needs to assess its tolerance. Start the first feeding with milk porridge when the baby is healthy and in a good mood. The baby will be more eager to eat when he is hungry, so the new product is given before breastfeeding or adapted formula. Always introduce complementary foods in the morning so that you have time to objectively track the possible reaction to it during the day. Start with ½-1 teaspoon once a day for three days. If you have not noticed significant changes in the health of the baby, gradually increase the volume of the product administered and bring it up to the amount recommended at this age in about a week.

Read also: How to introduce complementary foods with dairy-free porridge, which one is better to start with

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Porridges for the first feeding at what age and how to give them to a child

Porridge occupies a special place in the diet of young children, so any mother should know at what age it is worth starting to feed the crumbs with cereals, what cereals to choose for them and how to cook this cereal dish for kids.


  • Cereals provide carbohydrates, vegetable proteins, vitamins, fats, dietary fiber and minerals. All these substances are important for a growing child's body.
  • With the help of cereals, mom can easily diversify the children's menu.
  • For babies with allergies, intestinal diseases, lack of enzymes and other problems, there are dairy-free cereals.

Some ready-to-eat cereals have added probiotics for the infant's intestinal microflora, as well as prebiotics to improve the digestion of the product.


In oatmeal, as well as cereals based on wheat and barley, there is a protein called gluten, which many young children have difficulty digesting. In addition, such cereals are contraindicated in celiac disease.

Peculiarities of different cereals

  • Rice porridge is the first item in the menu of toddlers prone to allergies and stool disorders. Such porridge will give the baby useful carbohydrates.
  • Buckwheat porridge is said to be the best option for children who have anemia or problems with weight gain, as it contains a lot of iron and protein.
  • Corn porridge is characterized by a high content of starch and iron. Since such cereals are digested worse than rice and buckwheat, and also contain little phosphorus and calcium, corn porridge is recommended for children older than 9-10 months. It has a high nutritional value, a high content of proteins, vegetable fats, magnesium and other minerals. Its use improves peristalsis, so it is indicated for babies with constipation.
  • Semolina porridge has very little mineral and fiber content, so it is inferior to other types of porridge in terms of nutritional value. In addition, due to the presence of rachitogenic effects, such porridge is generally not advised for babies in the first year of life.
  • Millet, pearl barley and barley groats contain a lot of fiber, B vitamins and proteins.

At what age is it better to give?

Give your baby gluten-free cereals first. They are advised to be introduced into the diet of healthy children one month after the introduction of vegetable complementary foods, usually at the age of 7 months. You can start feeding your baby with porridge earlier if the baby is underweight.

Porridges containing gluten are given to children older than 8 months, and if the baby has a tendency to food allergies, then acquaintance with such types of cereals is postponed until the age of one. Porridge from barley groats is given to children at the age of 1.5-2 years, and barley porridge - after 3 years.

E. Komarovsky's opinion

A well-known doctor considers the optimal age for introducing porridge into the children's menu at 7 months. He advises to introduce the baby to porridge after the introduction of fermented milk complementary foods into the diet. Komarovsky recommends giving porridge at the last daily feeding, which is carried out before bedtime.

Introduction to the diet

Like all other foods that feed babies, porridge is given from a small portion - one spoon. Gradually, the volume of porridge in the menu of the little one is brought to the prescribed age - 100-200 g. Gluten-free cereals are prepared for the first child, which include buckwheat, rice and corn.

First, the baby should get used to the monocomponent porridge, and then you can offer the child dishes from several cereals. By mixing several cereals, you will enrich the finished product with useful substances. You can also add different types of vegetables and fruits to cereals. Oil is added to porridge in an amount of 3 to 5 grams.

In what form can I give?

Cereals offered to the baby can be dairy-free and with milk content. In addition, they can be represented by a product of industrial production (cereals from boxes) or cooked by the mother herself from cereals.

Infant formula or breast milk is used to dilute ready-made porridge for the first trials. If the purchased porridge is dairy, you just need to add water to it according to the instructions.

Recipes for cooking at home

Up to a year, cereals for porridge are crushed into flour, and for children older than a year, they begin to cook liquid porridge from whole cereals. The first milk porridges are recommended to be boiled in halved milk, and if it is well tolerated, after a few weeks you can start cooking porridge in whole milk.

To prepare your baby's first porridge, take 5 grams of flour (one teaspoon) and 100 ml of water (you can also use vegetable broth). Rice or buckwheat flour should be immersed in cold water, and oatmeal in hot water. Stirring constantly, the porridge should be cooked for about 30 minutes. In the finished porridge, you can add breast milk or a mixture familiar to the baby in an amount of 15 to 30 ml.

In the next video, Dr. Komarovsky talks about whether to buy ready-made baby food.

Milk porridges are a common dish on the children's menu. They are introduced into the menu of the little ones, who have already tried dairy-free cereals - first gluten-free (rice, corn, buckwheat), and then others. They are quite high-calorie and nutritious, most children like them and provide kids with energy.

Benefits and composition

From porridge, the child receives vegetable proteins and carbohydrates, as well as dietary fiber, vitamin compounds, various microelements and minerals. All these substances are important for the normal growth of babies.

  • Rice porridge is rich in calcium, potassium, various vitamins, amino acids, lecithin and zinc. It is considered easily digestible and hypoallergenic, characterized by a pleasant taste and texture.
  • Buckwheat contains a lot of iron and vegetable proteins, so this cereal is recommended for nutrition with low hemoglobin and insufficient body weight. Most children like buckwheat porridge, it rarely provokes allergies, it is rich in magnesium, copper, calcium, vitamins B1, PP and others.
  • Corn porridge contains a lot of vitamin A, calcium, selenium, amino acids, iron, dietary fiber. Its use reduces bloating and interferes with fermentation processes. Polyunsaturated fats present in corn grits have a positive effect on the development of the nervous system.
  • Millet porridge is rich in magnesium, B vitamins, manganese, iron, silicon, fluorine and copper. This dish is good for the cardiovascular system and liver.
  • Oatmeal a lot of vegetable proteins, unsaturated fats, mineral salts, B vitamins. Such porridge is a useful source of fiber.
  • From barley and pearl barley the child will receive potassium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamins, essential amino acids, choline, calcium and other substances. Such cereals are nutritious, eliminate constipation, stimulate digestion and increase the body's defenses. But because of the heavy digestion, they are not recommended to be given earlier than 1.5-2 years.
  • In semolina has a lot of starch and protein, but less dietary fiber and vitamin compounds than other cereals, so it is usually offered from 1 year. However, semolina is perfectly digested and provides energy, therefore it is recommended for small children. A wonderful alternative to semolina is couscous porridge. It is quickly digested, useful for the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system.

When to introduce complementary foods?

When breastfeeding

Breastfed babies can try milk porridge from 9months. Until this age, pediatricians recommend refraining from using milk, and giving the child only dairy-free cereals, which are introduced into the menu of infants at 6-7 months.

The first portion of porridge with milk should be very small - only 5 grams. Even hypoallergenic foods can provoke a negative reaction if the baby has an intolerance, and cow's milk is known for its allergenic properties. It is for this reason that it is necessary to start complementary foods with milk porridge very carefully, even if the child has been eating dairy-free cereals for a long time and with pleasure.

Milk porridge should be given for the first time in the morning, in order to assess the tolerance of the new product by the end of the day. If the baby does not have rashes, itching, stool disorders, redness and other undesirable phenomena, the next day a larger portion is offered. Further, the amount of porridge consumed by the baby in milk increases daily until it becomes 180-200 grams per day.

With artificial feeding

The introduction of milk porridge into the diet of artificial children takes place in the same way.

The difference is only at an earlier age - doctors believe that it is possible to introduce a formula-fed baby to such a new dish from 7 months. Earlier inclusion of porridge with milk in the diet of a toddler is also possible if the mother does not have enough breast milk or if the baby has poor weight gain.

Give your child multi-ingredient meals from several grains only after the baby has tasted each of the ingredients and there has been no negative reaction.

The inclusion in the diet of milk porridge, the composition of which contains fruit, vegetable and other additives, is recommended for children who have already met them separately.

Buy or cook?

Rating of manufacturers of ready-made porridges

All milk porridges that are used for complementary foods in the first year of life can be divided into two large groups - factory-made and home-made. Manufacturers of baby food offer cereals with milk both in the form of powders and ready-made. The main advantages of such products:

  • they are based on raw materials that pass safety control;
  • cereals for such cereals are crushed taking into account the age category for which a particular product is intended;
  • meals are easy to prepare - in most cases, just open the package, collect the right amount of grain mixture and mix it with water;
  • it is easier to start complementary foods with ready-made porridge - you can dissolve a small portion of the powder to get just a few spoons of a new product;
  • in addition to single-component, many manufacturers produce multi-cereal cereals, as well as products with tasty additives - vegetables, dried fruits, berries, fruits;
  • useful vitamins, prebiotic substances, valuable minerals are added to the composition of factory cereals;
  • such products can be stored for a long time.

Powdered instant porridges are sold in boxes, bags or jars, and ready-made milk porridges are available in portioned boxes or jars. The packaging contains detailed information about the composition and the method of preparation.

The manufacturer indicates how to properly dilute or brew porridge, what proportions of liquid to use.

The milk component in factory-made cereals is also different. Various companies add to their products:

  • whole cow's milk powder;
  • skimmed cow's milk powder;
  • goat milk powder;
  • partially adapted milk formula.

Porridges based on cow's milk contain many mineral elements and proteins, including allergenic ones, so it is not recommended to use them at first.

It is better to start complementary foods with milk porridge with formula-based products. They are closer to breast milk, do not overload the baby's kidneys. Such products are also preferable for babies with a tendency to allergies.

Goat's milk is more similar to mother's milk in its composition, but it is also absorbed by the child's body with difficulty. Therefore, if the baby does not have intolerance, goat's milk has no special advantages over cow's milk.

Factory-made milk porridges are now available in supermarkets and small shops, pharmacies and on the Internet. The range of these products is quite wide.

These brands are in the greatest demand.

Porridges from this manufacturer are made from organic, environmentally friendly raw materials, the quality of which is strictly controlled. They have a wonderful taste, no sugar, preservatives and flavors, and the basis is infant formula.

However, almost all such products include fruit additives. Without fillers, only buckwheat porridge with prebiotics (galactooligosaccharides) is produced.

A separate line of Hipp ready-made milk porridges in jars is called Good Night. Such products are made from whole grains without added sugar, enriched with vitamins B1, D, A and calcium.


Under this brand are milk porridges made from wheat, semolina, corn, buckwheat and oatmeal, including with the addition of pumpkin, strawberries, pears, dried apricots and bananas. They are produced on the basis of skimmed milk powder, contain vegetable oils and sugar.

These porridges are easy to mix, have a natural taste and good smell, enriched with minerals and vitamins. The addition of bifidobacteria to their composition improves digestion, normalizes stools and stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria. Nestlé products are rated as high quality, the price category of such cereals is average.


Whole milk-based products of this brand are very diverse, including both single-component types and mixtures of different cereals. Such cereals are tasty, like children, without dyes and preservatives, they additionally contain a vitamin-mineral complex and inulin. After adding water, a homogeneous mass is obtained from them.

The Heinz range includes a separate line of "Lubopyshki" for children from 12 months, which stimulates chewing, as well as drinking cereals based on normalized milk with the addition of omega-3 fats.

The range of dairy cereal products of this brand is quite wide. Porridges have a natural taste, contain prebiotics, minerals, valuable vitamin compounds, but are made with added sugar.

In addition to products based on whole cow's milk, the Bebi brand also produces instant cereals with goat's milk. For children older than a year, the manufacturer offers porridge "Learning to chew" from four cereals.


These cereal mixtures are made from whole milk powder with the addition of vitamins, sugar, minerals and inulin. They are well bred with water, have a pleasant taste, are affordable, and many children like them.


Milk porridges of this brand are represented by rice, wheat, multi-cereal, oat and buckwheat groats both without additives and with fillers (apple, banana, pumpkin, prunes, etc. ). They have an affordable price, fast dissolution, pleasant taste.

The composition additionally includes iron, vitamin compounds, zinc, inulin, and iodine. Such cereals contain whole and skimmed milk powder, cream powder. Separately, a line of ready-made cereals “before bedtime” is produced in boxes of 200 ml.


Such milk porridges contain vitamins, are easily diluted, and taste good. For their manufacture, whole milk, fructose, and sometimes prebiotics are used.

Among the shortcomings are the presence of salt in the composition, a small assortment and short shelf life.

Under this brand, liquid porridges are also produced in boxes based on normalized milk. They include prebiotic substances and are recommended at night, therefore they are called "Sleep-ka".


Porridges of this brand are quite diverse, they include a vitamin and mineral complex, whole milk powder, kids like their taste. They are inexpensive, available both without additives and with fruit fillers. However, they contain salt, sugar, vanillin.


The assortment of this manufacturer includes buckwheat, rice, oatmeal, rice-oatmeal, 5-grain, corn and corn-oatmeal porridge made from normalized cow's milk with added sugar. They are easily digestible, well bred, enriched with a vitamin and mineral complex.

Goat milk-based cereals are produced separately. They are enriched with vitamins, prebiotics and minerals, do not contain sugar and salt.


Porridges of this brand are affordable, made on the basis of a milk mixture, enriched with vitamins and various minerals, without salt. However, their range is small, the composition includes maltodextrin and sugar, and when diluting such mixtures, lumps often appear.

When buying one of these products for your child, remember that even the most popular and advertised of them can provoke a negative reaction. If one brand does not suit the child, try cereals from another manufacturer. If the dish offered to the baby does not worsen the well-being and is eaten with pleasure, you should not change the brand.

How to cook with your own hands?

Recipes for milk porridges for babies are slightly different from the usual cooking method by which adults prepare porridges for themselves. Mom can cook regular dairy-free porridge, then add diluted low-fat cow's milk to it, and when the child gets older - whole (best of all - special baby).

For older children, is suitable for boiling directly with milk. Washed cereals are poured with milk, brought to a boil and boiled over low heat, stirring constantly. To make the porridge thin and homogeneous, you can grind the cereal into flour before cooking, or beat the cooked mass with a blender.

Gradually, the baby will get used to a thicker food, teeth will appear, and it will be possible to switch to whole grains without grinding them during cooking, and also offer the baby milk vermicelli.

Many mothers cook cereals in a slow cooker, as this device allows them to do other things, and not stand constantly at the stove while preparing porridge for the whole family.

Fruit puree, pieces of vegetables, butter can be added to the cold dish.

It is permissible to store ready-made milk porridge in a refrigerator for no longer than a day. A water bath is recommended to reheat a previously cooked meal.

According to the recommendations of the Union of Pediatricians of Russia, it is recommended to introduce complementary foods in the range of 4-6 months. At this time, the growing body needs more and more vitamins and minerals every week. But the later introduction of complementary foods can cause a pronounced deficiency of essential micronutrients. In addition, the enzymatic system of the gastrointestinal tract of the baby by this age is already ready to accept new food, and he himself begins to show interest in food.

Expansion of the children's menu helps to provide an actively growing body with many useful substances, the need for which can no longer be covered by mother's milk or an adapted formula. Also, complementary foods contribute to the formation of taste, mastering the skill of chewing and simply satisfies the curiosity of the crumbs, who are already actively interested in what their parents eat. Almost all experts agree that one of the ideal options for the first adult food for a child is cereal. Various cereals can have a beneficial effect on the baby's digestive system and serve as a valuable additional source of vitamins, minerals and energy necessary for the harmonious development of the baby's organs and body systems.

What kind of porridge is better to introduce for the first feeding

IMPORTANT! Porridge in general is an easily digestible product that is a valuable source of carbohydrates, rich in vitamins and minerals, vegetable protein and fiber. From about 5-6 months of age, when the baby stops eating his usual food (breast milk or formula), complementary foods from cereals help to provide his body with an increased need for nutrients and energy.

At the same time, each porridge has its own properties.
Buckwheat. It is with her that they advise to start the very first feeding with cereals. It may be easier for a baby’s body, in which digestive enzymes have not yet formed enough, to absorb it. Buckwheat is rich in protein, magnesium, B vitamins. It has a lot of iron, so this dish is sometimes recommended for anemia. Also, the product has the ability to stimulate the digestive tract.
Rice. Good for premature babies and those who are slowly gaining weight. Groats are rich in dietary fiber and have a pleasant taste that most kids like. There are relatively few vegetable proteins in rice, so it is well absorbed. Porridge from such cereals can help children with unstable stools. However, in the presence of frequent constipation, it is better to introduce buckwheat into complementary foods first.
Corn. This cereal has no less value than other cereals. Such a porridge is a real storehouse of vegetable protein, minerals and fiber. Experts believe that it is right to introduce it into complementary foods after the child has become acquainted with buckwheat and rice.

When is it better to introduce cereals and in what order

It is recommended to include cereal dishes in the child's diet 3-4 weeks after he has already become acquainted with the first complementary foods, vegetables, and is completely used to them. But sometimes porridge can precede them. For example, a pediatrician may prescribe this product if the baby is not gaining enough weight, has problems with stools (with a tendency to liquefy). In any case, it is better to adhere to a certain sequence of introducing cereals into the children's menu, which the pediatrician will tell about.

Video: Where to start complementary foods
Author: pediatrician, Ph.D. Komarovsky E.O.

6-7 months. Which porridge should be introduced first? To begin with, you can introduce the baby to gluten-free porridge: buckwheat, rice, corn. Gluten is a vegetable protein gluten that can cause children in the first six months of life (and even a little longer) to have difficulty digesting food. This is due to insufficient production in the gastrointestinal tract of the crumbs of the peptidase enzyme, which is necessary for the normal processing of gluten. The consequences of this can be bloating and pain in the tummy, increased gas formation. In very rare cases, celiac disease occurs. This is a hereditary disease, which is expressed in intolerance to gluten throughout life. The first cereals for children must certainly be dairy-free and monocomponent, consisting of one type of cereal. They should not contain any additional components (salt, sugar, honey, fruit, berry, cream fillers).

7-8 months. Add oatmeal to your baby's diet as a new staple. If the child’s body tolerates familiar cereals well, combine different types of cereals with each other. It is still not recommended to cook the dish with cow's milk. At this age, you can try adding toppings, such as applesauce, to the porridge.

9-10 months. At this age, you can offer the baby wheat, barley porridge. Cereals can also be used as a side dish, mixed with vegetable, meat complementary foods, and also as one of the components of a light children's soup.
From 12 months. From the year, but not earlier, it is recommended to introduce milk porridges cooked in whole cow's milk. Provided that the crumbs are not allergic to this product. Also at this age, you can already offer your baby to try semolina porridge.

Basic rules for introducing cereals into the baby's menu

1. To make it easier for the child to get used to the new product and the consistency of the dish, prepare a fairly liquid porridge at first. For this, 5 g of cereals are required for 100 g of water.
2. If the product is tolerated normally and the baby likes to eat it, after 7-10 days you can make a thicker concentration - add 10 g of cereal per 100 g of water.
3. The baby should be offered porridge from a spoon. In a number of situations, according to the testimony of a doctor, for example, if the baby is sick or weakened, a bottle with a special nipple is used.
4. The best time to get acquainted with cereals is breakfast. Thanks to this, during the day you can observe the state of health of the baby. It will also be easier to identify an allergic reaction and take the necessary measures immediately. In the morning, the gastrointestinal tract works most actively and enzymes are released that promote the digestion of food and the absorption of substances from it.
5. After feeding with porridge, while its amount has not yet reached the standard serving value, supplement the baby with breast or adapted milk formula.
6. Keep a food diary, recording types of complementary foods, portion sizes, and reactions of the child's body to new foods, if any (colic, indigestion, weight gain, etc.).
7. About 3 weeks should pass between the acquaintance with two new porridges. This will allow the baby to properly adapt to the product, and you can control how the child's body reacts to it.
8. The volume of a single serving of porridge should gradually increase as the baby grows older. Indicative figures are: 160-170 ml at 7-8 months, 170-180 ml at 8-9 months. Starting from 9 months, it is already possible to switch to a complete replacement of one feeding with complementary foods in the amount of 200 ml.

You have been breastfeeding your baby for 6 months, but he is growing and he should start introducing complementary foods. What kind of porridge is best for the first feeding, how to cook it and when to give it to the baby? Let's discuss this.

When we introduce complementary foods

When your baby is 6 months old, you can safely start introducing him to adult food.

At this age, for full growth, the baby's body requires a lot of useful substances, such as iron, iodine, vitamins A, C and D, group B, folic acid, copper, zinc, calcium, selenium, potassium and phosphorus.

Breast milk continues to provide the baby with all the vitamins he needs, but the baby is becoming interested in new foods. This is the ideal moment for the first feeding.

There are two types of complementary foods:

  • pedagogical;
  • pediatric.

How do they differ?

Pedagogical - this is the acquaintance of the child with the food that adults eat.

  1. With this type of complementary food, he develops an interest in food and learns to eat on his own;
  2. In this complementary food there is no purpose to feed the baby, you give him food in microdoses and he gets acquainted with different tastes;
  3. The child is given complementary foods when he shows interest in food.

Pediatric complementary food is the gradual introduction of foods into the baby's diet, in accordance with his age and according to the recommendations of pediatricians. It is introduced according to a special calendar and does not imply the development of children's independence and looking back at the wishes of the child.

To determine whether your baby is ready for adult food, you need to observe him.

  • If the baby is 6 months old, has doubled its birth weight and shows interest in food, opens its mouth when you bring a spoon, then you can start the first complementary foods.

See my video lesson about the readiness of the baby for complementary foods:

It is better to start complementary foods with vegetables or cereals. Also read the current article: How to feed a child correctly?>>>

Types of cereals for complementary foods

Porridge is considered a very important and necessary product in baby food.

  1. It is very rich in trace elements and has a good effect on the digestive system of the baby;
  2. It contains B vitamins, carbohydrates and protein.;
  3. Cereals are a source of carbohydrates that provide a small body with energy. They have a high nutritional value and contain many useful nutrients that a growing body needs.

You can introduce porridge into your baby's diet as early as 6 months.

If you are going to introduce complementary foods from purchased cereals, then you should know the following. Store-bought porridges for complementary foods are of several types:

  • dairy-free and dairy;
  • gluten-containing and gluten-free;
  • multi-component and single-component;
  • hypoallergenic and fermented.

Therapeutic and prophylactic cereals are also sold, which contain pro and prebiotics. Such a product restores the balance of intestinal microflora.

  1. Start complementary foods with store-bought food, preferably with cereals without milk. Cow's milk is currently considered the #1 allergen.
  2. Dairy-free cereals for the first feeding, choose one-component. They must be free of gluten, starch, sugar and other additives.

Most often complementary foods are started with buckwheat and rice porridge. After the baby gets used to these dishes, his diet can be expanded with corn and wheat porridge.

How to introduce porridge into the diet

Which porridge is best for the first feeding?

  • It is better to start with buckwheat, it contains B vitamins, iron, protein, magnesium. It is simply necessary for children with low hemoglobin. Buckwheat porridge for the first feeding is considered the most suitable option;
  • Rice porridge is needed for babies who do not gain weight well and often suffer from loose stools. It contains a lot of dietary fiber;

Know! Do not be afraid to feed your baby rice porridge, thinking that it causes constipation in him. It is not true. This problem leads to food from crushed rice, but dishes from rice cereals do not have such an effect.

  • Corn porridge, as a complementary food, is also considered a valuable product. It has a lot of fiber, protein and trace elements. Try introducing it after rice and buckwheat. Next, introduce the child to oatmeal and wheat groats;

When introducing porridge into a baby's diet, you need to consider what type of complementary foods you practice.

  1. In pedagogical complementary foods, we start giving porridge with microdoses, do it slowly and look at the child's reaction;
  2. The condition of the skin, stool, behavior of the baby is assessed;
  3. If the porridge did not cause undesirable effects, then we introduce the following type of porridge. That is, there is no such sequence for the introduction of cereals, as described above. The child adapts to the type of family food and gets acquainted with the cereals that you cook.

In pediatric complementary foods, the rules are slightly different, which often leads to overfeeding and refusal of complementary foods at the age of 8-9 months.

What pediatricians often recommend:

start accustoming a child to this dish with a teaspoon, then gradually increase until you reach the amount of 150 grams

This is too much volume that even a 9-month-old child cannot eat. Due to such volumes of porridge, constipation may occur.

Therefore, before introducing complementary foods or increasing their volumes, look at the online course ABC of complementary foods: a system for the safe introduction of complementary foods to babies>>>

  • Semolina in the crumbs menu can only be introduced from 1 year.

Buy or cook yourself?

What kind of porridge is better for the first feeding, purchased or the one that you cook yourself?

It all depends a lot on your preferences.

Many modern weaning mothers buy ready-made products in boxes. What is convenient such food:

  1. no need to stand by the stove: fill it with water and it's ready;
  2. baby food is checked for quality and fully matched to the needs of the baby;
  3. , you can choose different types of cereals, which significantly reduces the risk of allergies in a child.

The finished product in the package must be prepared correctly.

How to breed the first porridge for feeding?

  • Dilute it with water or milk, depending on whether it contains milk;
  • First, take 5 grams of cereal and fill it with half a glass of water, bring to a liquid consistency;
  • In the future, the amount is increased to 10 grams;
  • To obtain a homogeneous consistency, without lumps, you must strictly follow the manufacturer's recommendations;
  • Water should not be hot, because, in addition to lumps from boiling water, in this case, useful vitamins can also be destroyed.

Today, many different baby cereals are sold for complementary foods. When buying them, carefully study the packaging:

  1. It must be intact and well sealed, and check the expiration date;
  2. Do not buy a product that contains vanillin and milk powder, fructose, flavors and sucrose;
  3. Sometimes cereals contain palm or coconut oil, this ingredient is indicated on the packaging by the phrase "vegetable oils". For a toddler, such an ingredient is dangerous.

No matter how good the prepared porridge is, nevertheless, it is better to cook it yourself for your child.

How to cook porridge for a baby at home

If you decide not to buy a ready-made product, but cook it yourself, you must first choose and prepare the groats correctly. The best porridge for babies is buckwheat.

Do not look for grits that are too saturated dark in color, it would be preferable to boil grits of light varieties. If the baby does not like the dish, most likely there are errors when introducing complementary foods to the baby.

How to cook porridge for the first feeding:

  • sort out the cereal and grind it in a blender;
  • pour water over low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally;
  • you can not salt the porridge and add sugar and spices to it.

If you have already introduced your baby to vegetable and butter, then add 5 grams to the dish.

Children's porridges are boiled only with water. After 8 months, feel free to add fruits or vegetables to the dish, after chopping them.

Vegetables such as pumpkin, zucchini, carrots are suitable for this. From fruits, you can add an apple, dried apricots or fresh apricots, as well as plums and peaches.

One teaspoon is enough for a baby to taste the porridge.

It's up to you to decide which first meal is best for your baby. But do not forget that a new product in the child's diet, even porridge, can cause allergies. You need to observe the child and cancel complementary foods in time if there are severe rashes or constipation.

Feeding, although a simple science, has its own tricks and dangerous moments. Therefore, the easiest way is to first watch the free seminar Five mistakes when introducing complementary foods to babies>>>

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that a healthy full-term baby should be introduced to complementary foods no earlier than 6 months, regardless of whether the baby is breastfed or formula-fed.

Modern pediatricians no longer give rigid recommendations on the chronology of complementary foods, as was done in the past. Today it is believed that it is necessary to observe an individual approach to feeding a child. And yet, some sequence of introduction of complementary foods is better to consider. So the first food for a baby who is gaining weight well is usually vegetables, and the second is cereals, which deliver B vitamins, vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, and starch to the child's body. As a rule, cereals begin to be offered to the baby about a month after the introduction of vegetable puree, and thus the “porridge time” falls on the age of 7 months. Pediatricians recommend swapping the introduction of vegetable complementary foods and cereals if the baby is not gaining weight well or he has signs of malnutrition (malnutrition and digestion).

What porridge should be introduced first?

Modern pediatricians do not recommend the use of semolina for complementary foods. Semolina is rich in starch and protein, but it contains few vitamins and minerals. But the main thing is that semolina contains gluten, which can cause allergic reactions, as well as calcium, which contributes to the manifestations of iron deficiency anemia and weight gain. Therefore, semolina is not recommended for children in the first year of life.

It is better to start complementary foods with gluten-free cereals - buckwheat, corn, rice. Buckwheat is hypoallergenic and one of the most valuable grain products, rich in proteins, microelements, vitamins B1, B2, PP, it contains a lot of magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc. Rice cereals are characterized by a high content of starch and much less protein, compared to buckwheat, and fewer trace elements and vitamins. However, rice porridge is more hypoallergenic than buckwheat, so it is recommended to introduce the first complementary foods from it. Corn porridge contains less starch, but more iron and fiber than rice. It also belongs to the category of hypoallergenic cereals.

How to introduce complementary foods with porridge?

Porridge complementary foods should be introduced gradually and alternately: do not offer your child several different cereals per day or per week.

Complementary foods should be introduced fractionally, starting not with a whole plate or bottle of porridge, but with 1-2 spoons, increasing the amount of offered porridge daily. While giving this small portion, you will need to supplement your baby with breast milk or formula. Gradually, you will replace one day of breastfeeding or formula with a serving of porridge: this replacement period will take about 1-2 weeks until the baby gets used to the introduced complementary foods.

As the child gradually adapts to the monocomponent porridge, you can gradually offer him porridges containing two, three or more grains, as well as fruits and vegetables. For children prone to allergic reactions, it is better to give monocomponent, gluten-free and dairy-free cereals.

Milk or dairy-free porridge for the first feeding? Is it possible to start complementary foods with milk porridge?

Milk porridge for the first feeding can be used:

  • If the baby tolerates breast milk and milk formula well and if there are no skin manifestations when taking milk.
  • For complementary foods, you can choose milk porridge without sugar. However, keep in mind that such a product may additionally contain simple carbohydrates - maltodextrin, fructose, sucrose, glucose. Maltodestrin has a lower glycemic index than sucrose, so it is more beneficial. Fructose is absorbed twice as slowly in the intestines and does not cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Also, be aware that the inscription “does not contain crystalline sugar” does not mean at all that there is no sucrose or glucose in the porridge, because instead of crystals, sugar can be added in the form of syrup or powdered sugar.
  • You can start complementary foods with dairy-free porridge, diluted with breast milk or your baby's usual formula.
  • Milk porridge for the first feeding can be prepared not with cow's milk, but with goat's milk - it rarely causes allergies and does not contain glucose.
  • The first feeding with milk porridge can be started from about 7 months of age.

It is better to start with dairy-free cereals:

  • when the child does not tolerate milk and formula;
  • when he has a predisposition to lactase deficiency and allergies;
  • if one of the close relatives of the baby is intolerant to milk;
  • if you have a negative allergic history in your family.

When and how to introduce dairy products into complementary foods

How to start complementary foods with dairy products? Since cereals have already entered the diet of your baby, it's time to introduce him to fermented milk products - yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese, which contain protein, mineral salts and vitamins.

Fermented milk products can be obtained at the children's dairy kitchen, bought in the store: in this case, they must be marked “for children” and the recommended age of the child for complementary foods is indicated.

Cooking fermented milk products is not difficult at all. Moreover, in this case, you can use not only fresh natural cow's milk, but also, if possible, goat's, since pediatricians recommend using it as a substitute for cow's milk, to which food allergies often occur. Goat milk does not contain glucose and does not increase the sugar in cows, so it is also preferable to use it in diabetes.

To make your own fermented milk product at home, you only need to purchase milk and starter cultures containing kefir fungi, which are sold in pharmacies. It will take about 8-12 hours to prepare such a product at home. The bifidobacteria contained in sour milk will support the work of the intestinal microflora, normalize the digestive tract (especially if the baby has constipation), and reduce the possibility of developing infectious diseases.

When to introduce dairy products into baby food

Some pediatricians believe that it is possible to start complementary foods with fermented milk products after the child has tasted not only milk porridge, but also meat, that is, at about 9 months. Other doctors are sure that it is better to give meat to a child after the introduction of vegetables, cereals and sour-milk complementary foods. And offer kefir, yogurt and cottage cheese at 8 months. In fact, a mother may follow one of these recommendations depending on her own taste preferences, as well as the health of the child. But if in doubt, it is better to consult a pediatric nutritionist.

Pediatricians recommend starting sour-milk complementary foods with kefir - with small portions in a spoon, gradually bringing the total volume to 1 cup per day.

If the child's body tolerates kefir complementary foods well, you can diversify them by replacing kefir with baby yogurt - it is just as easy to cook with milk and pharmacy yogurt starter. Until the child is one year old, you should not exceed the dose of the fermented milk product and give the baby more than 200 ml per day or offer both products on the same day.

Having fallen in love with kefir and yogurt, your child will certainly fall in love with cottage cheese, which is very rich in calcium and protein.

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