The first feeding is a very important and crucial moment in the life of every child and parents. Proper feeding has a positive effect on the health and development of the baby, provides him with comfortable digestion and strengthens the immune system. The use of poor-quality food for complementary foods can lead to a number of problems: allergic reactions, disruption of the digestive tract, restless sleep and, as a result, the baby’s moody mood. According to modern recommendations of doctors, the time to start the introduction of complementary foods is from 4 to 6 months. However, WHO strongly recommends that breastfeeding be continued for as long as possible, preferably up to 24 months.
The first complementary food is selected individually for each child, according to his physiological data and state of health, it can be cereals or baby purees, on the recommendation of a pediatrician. But almost every company that produces baby formula also produces cereals for complementary foods. What cereals should you pay attention to and which manufacturers should you trust?
Varieties of cereals
When choosing porridge, you need to carefully study the key components in the composition:
- the number of components in the porridge — monocomponent or polycomponent
- the presence of gluten;
- base (dairy / dairy-free / milk mixture);
- with additives (fruits/vegetables, etc.)
- enrichment with vitamins, enzymes, minerals, probiotics;
- preservatives, flavor enhancers.
It is recommended to start cereal complementary foods with gluten-free (rice or buckwheat), monocomponent (one cereal in the composition, no fruit and other additives), dairy-free or milk-based cereals. The timing of the introduction of one or another type of complementary foods and products is defined in the National Program for Optimizing the Feeding of Children in the First Year of Life.
Be sure to consult with your pediatrician about the choice of nutrition.
- Gluten free cereals
More gentle, reduce the risk of allergies, so they are better suited for the first complementary foods. Gluten-free cereals include: rice, buckwheat and corn (allowed from 5 months) cereals. Cereals containing gluten: oatmeal, wheat, semolina, barley, etc. These cereals will not harm children who have good gluten tolerance, but nevertheless, they should be introduced a little later.
- Dairy-free porridge.
To minimize the risk of developing allergies, it is recommended to start complementary foods with dairy-free cereals or, even better, with cereals prepared on the basis of milk mixtures. The milk protein of animal milk (cow, goat) is a strong provocateur of allergies and it is better to introduce it if possible a little later, not earlier than from 5 months. If the baby has a history of a milk protein allergy in the parents, then the introduction of dairy products should be discussed with your doctor.
An added bonus of good porridge is enrichment with probiotics and other functional ingredients. But preservatives, enhancers and sweeteners should not be there, it is better to give preference to a “clean” and natural composition.
Top best manufacturers in 2022
You can safely take the Kabrita brand to the leading position. The company manufactures products based on goat’s milk — mixtures, cereals and mashed potatoes.
Porridges based on an adapted milk mixture contribute to the smooth and gentle introduction of the first cereal complementary foods. It is appropriate to mention that goat’s milk in terms of protein and fat composition is quite close to mother’s milk — it is digested faster and better absorbed. All this contributes to a more comfortable digestion of the baby.
The benefits of goat’s milk, the energy of cereals and useful additives in the composition of cereals are the key to harmony in the growth and development of the child.
The line includes gluten-free rice and buckwheat cereals, which are suitable for early feeding of children from 4 months.
For babies 5 months and older, there are oatmeal and multigrain (containing gluten) cereals. In addition, they are presented both in pure form and with the addition of fruits.
And yet, if we talk about early complementary foods, it is worth giving preference to gluten-free cereals. So, the composition of cereals for the first complementary foods of the Kabrita brand:
- base — adapted milk mixture on goat’s milk;
- cereal base — partially hydrolyzed flour, which facilitates digestion and gives cereals a pleasant sweetish taste;
- DigestX complex (vegetable oils);
- prepared without crystalline sugar, with the addition of natural milk sugar (lactose);
- enriched with prebiotics;
- contain vitamins and minerals;
- perfectly bred (no lumps);
- have a very delicate texture and soft creamy taste.
- does not contain GMOs;
- lack of preservatives;
- vitamins, minerals, prebiotics.
- Not available in all online stores.
Gluten-free cereals from this manufacturer receive a lot of attention from mothers, as they have a good composition and are liked by children. The brand offers both dairy and dairy-free cereals for the first feeding.
If a child is diagnosed with milk intolerance, you can choose dairy-free porridge to start complementary foods. Grain dairy-free porridge is made from flour, which is produced using a special technology for splitting cereals. Useful trace elements are added to the main component, which makes porridge a complete food for a child.
- cereal flour (rice, buckwheat, corn).
Trace elements provide the baby with normal growth and development, bifidobacteria improve digestion. Porridge is a hypoallergenic product, without the addition of cow’s milk.
- no GMO;
- without sugar and flavorings;
- the presence of bifidobacteria and nutrients.
- Not all kids like the taste.
3. FLEUR ALPINE
This company produces whole grain cereals, for the production of which all parts of the grain are used, so they are endowed with natural vitamins and fiber. Usually, for the first feeding, it is recommended to choose rice or buckwheat gluten-free porridge, it is allowed for children from four months.
The composition is as simple as possible:
- whole grain flour;
- vitamin B1.
Due to the light consistency, complementary foods are well absorbed by the child’s gastrointestinal tract, do not cause indigestion, the product is organic. The presence of fiber stimulates the work of the intestines, which prevents the occurrence of problems with the stool.
- gluten free;
- without palm oil;
- without preservatives and fragrances.
- lack of a vitamin complex;
- does not contain bifidobacteria and prebiotics;
- not available in all stores.
This company also has both dairy-free complementary foods and cereals with the addition of milk. If we talk about the first complementary foods, you can safely choose dairy-free porridge from buckwheat or rice. Porridges for the first complementary foods of this brand contain a complete complex of proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals, the combination of these components ensures the normal functioning of the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. In addition, this porridge is suitable for the prevention of constipation.
The product is low-allergenic, a complex of vitamins (in the amount of 12 pieces), iodine and iron has been added to the main composition.
- cereals (rice, buckwheat);
- inulin (in rice);
Inulin in the composition is an organic polysaccharide, which is a polymer of fructose, which makes the porridge taste sweet. Inulin improves carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, maintains normal blood sugar levels, and strengthens the immune system. But inulin also has a side effect — increased gas formation, so its presence is a moot point. However, it has much more positive effects, and the percentage in rice porridge is insignificant — 7.3%.
- rich complex of vitamins;
- without palm oil;
- affordable price.
- lack of bifidobacteria and probiotics.
For the first feeding, there are both low-allergenic (I do not add milk, sugar and salt), and simple dairy-free cereals.
Cereals can be found in almost any chain store at an affordable price. A line of low-allergenic cereals is suitable for complementary foods from the age of four months.
- grain flour;
- chicory fibers are prebiotic (in other words, inulin);
- vitamin substances;
Porridge has a harmonious composition, is well absorbed and does not adversely affect the child’s body.
- gluten free;
- without palm oil;
- without sugar and flavor enhancers.
- there is no exact data on the percentage of inulin.
It is this porridge that many parents choose because of its availability in stores and prices.
When the time comes for the introduction of the first complementary foods, you need to decide which porridge will be the best option for your baby.