Buying cereals….it is overwhelming to know what to look for and if it is even appropriate to serve babies and toddlers cereals!
Cereals can be a great option for little ones as they are convenient (we understand the rush to get out of the door during the week for childcare, work or school drop off) and can also offer a lot on the nutrition front. They can also be a fun food for practicing pincer grip and getting use to firmer texture from the 9-10+ month mark, as your bub is really getting into solids.
What to look for when it comes to buying cereal:
- Low sodium (less than 120mg per 100g)
- Low sugar (less than 5g per 100g)
- Added sugar is hard to avoid but if you can, no added sugar
- Iron rich- we want to get that iron in when possible
So, we have previously reviewed Little Kids Weetbix and you know we are a fan, but what else is out there that is worthwhile keeping in the pantry for your little ones.
Enter Uncle Toby’s Cheerios Vanilla.
What's in them?
Whole Grain Cereals (67%) [ Wheat (33%), Corn (25%), Oats (4.5%), Rice (4.5%)], Wheat Starch, Chicory Root Fibre, Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Cocoa, Flavours (Wheat), Acidity Regulator (Trisodium Phosphate). Vitamins and Minerals Minerals (Calcium, Iron, Zinc), Vitamins (C, E, B6, Niacin, B1, B2, Folic Acid).
What we love:
- BIG tick for the added calcium. We have said it before, calcium is hard to get into little people with a dairy allergy (especially if soy is also off the menu). Cereals fortified with calcium are a great choice and at 120mg per serve this is impressive.
- There is iron! We have spoken at length about the importance of iron from 6 months of age and getting iron in through solids where you can. There is 3mg per serve here, which is the same as Weetbix but also about 30% of a 7–12-month-old’s iron needs.
- Zinc! Often overlooked by the importance of iron, but zinc is also crucial to include in your bub’s diet when starting solids. These have 60% of the recommended daily intake of zinc for a 7–12-month-old in just one serve.
- Low sodium at 86mg per serve too (one serve is 30g). The sodium is moderate per 100g, but you’re very unlikely to serve that much!
- Good amount of fibre which is so important for little bowels
- Low sugar at less than 5g per 100g (they have 4.1g) and only 1.2g per serve. There is some added sugar but still very low.
What we love less:
- The price is really the only downfall of this product at $13.70 per kg but you can occasionally get 2 packets for $12 at Coles ($9.60 per kg).
- There is added sugar, but this is very hard to avoid in cereals. It is low in sugar, so as far as cereal options go, it is pretty good. Completely avoiding added sugar is impractical for most households, especially if you have older children is the house already too! So, aiming for no sugar and then low sugar as much as possible is ideal.
The take home:
Cereals can be a great and nutritious part of your little one’s diet. When starting solids, you are usually looking for a soft option when it comes to cereal, so picking something cheaper like oats is a good idea. We wouldn’t bother buying these just to make them into a mush for your bub. Instead keep an eye out for these once your little one is up to firmer textures. Great to include as part of a snack or brekky options.