Cream of Wheat is a popular breakfast cereal that is easy to prepare. Many diet-conscious individuals opt for this convenient dish because it is very low in calories. On top of that, it has no added fat or sugar. It also contains a wide array of minerals and nutrients such as calcium, selenium, and iron. It is also a good source of vitamins like folate, riboflavin, and thiamine. Although it lacks the soluble fiber found in oatmeal, Cream of Wheat still serves as a healthy breakfast dish. Having all these health benefits, is it ideal to give babies Cream of Wheat?
Babies are introduced to solid foods starting at six months. This means that they have higher nutritional demands by the time they reach their sixth month. Foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients should be fed to them to supplement their breastmilk or formula milk. Rice cereal is usually the first food given to baby because it is very easy to digest. Cream of Wheat or Cream of Rice is considered a rice cereal that is suggested to be given to infants starting on solids, mixed with breastmilk or formula and water.
Cream of Wheat is a nutritious porridge that contains many things that are beneficial to a baby’s growth and development. Calcium helps strengthen bones and teeth. Iron prevents anemia. Riboflavin gives energy. On top of these, Cream of Wheat is also rich in other vitamins and minerals. This cereal is given to infants as one of their first solid foods since they are very easy to digest and nutritious as well. Although safe and nutritious for infants from 6 months onwards, there are still other foods that are considered better and healthier than this porridge-type of dish.
Can I Give My Baby Cream of Wheat? Answer: Yes, But Also Consider Other Options
Cream of Wheat is normally given to babies who have just been introduced to solid foods. Some start giving it at six months, while some believe it’s safer to give it at around eight months. Consult with your baby’s pediatrician when the best time is to give this cereal and if there are other options.
Cream of Wheat is whole-grain, and although oatmeal is considered healthier because of its soluble fiber, Cream of Wheat still provides a number of health benefits that infants, adults, and even the elderly can benefit from. Just make sure that along with this cereal, you are also giving your little one a variety of other nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Other Health Benefits of Cream of Wheat
One cup of this cereal only has about 130 calories and is cholesterol-free. It is a wonderful choice for those planning to lose or maintain their weight but still want a healthy and balanced diet. It contains a variety of nutrients important to overall health. According to Livestrong.com, one cup of it, mixed with water, meets over 1/3 of the Recommended Daily Value for vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Being rich in iron, Cream of Wheat meets over 2/3 of the Recommended Daily Value for this nutrient. It is also rich in calcium that is important in building and strengthening bones and teeth. It also promotes mental energy because of its high carbohydrate content.
Making Cream of Wheat More Flavorful
Cream of Wheat is bland and usually needs toppings to make it more flavorful. Just like oatmeal, you can put different toppings for you to enjoy this nutritious cereal all the more. Sprinkle some brown sugar or some chocolate syrup to sweeten it. Feel free to add some fruits like berries and bananas, too. Nuts can also be good toppings to make this porridge tastier. Some like putting spices as well, and savory ingredients such as green onions and cheese.
Nutritious First Foods For Baby
Pumpkin and squash are packed with vitamin A and other important nutrients ideal for your baby’s developing body. Steaming or pureeing them is an ideal way of preparing it for your baby. Peas are a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Steam or boil them in a little amount of water and add a little chicken or beef stock for baby. Avocado is also an ideal first food for baby because it is creamy and contains a lot of “good fat” for baby’s brain and physical development. It is also very easy to prepare since no cooking is needed.
Sweet potatoes are also recommended as baby’s first food. High in vitamin A, potassium, calcium, they are sweet and babies love the taste. Baking, steaming, or boiling are your options in preparing it for your baby.