What Can I Feed My Baby For Breakfast?

 

Let me answer this question by first addressing any misconceptions that might exist around what “breakfast” is and isn’t.  Breakfast is just a meal for your baby. 

Any food that you can feed them at any other time of the day, you can also feed them for breakfast.  Now I know that for some people, that seems a little unusual - because they have grown up thinking that you only eat certain foods for breakfast.  So let’s talk about this...

Traditionally, breakfast is the first meal of the day to “break the fast” of the previous night. Food manufacturers would have us believe that breakfast needs to be “breakfast foods” like cereal or toast, but this just isn’t true. 

In fact, most “breakfast foods” lack the nutrients your child needs to thrive and they also often contain additives and added sugars that can have a negative impact on your child’s health. 

Take for example rice cereal - No doubt you’ve also been a huge range of baby cereals in the supermarket that say “suitable from 4 months” or “Rich in iron for growth and development”. 

Let me give you some background on how they became a popular first food for babies. 

Baby cereals were developed in the 1930’s to address iron-deficient anemia in babies after studies found that iron stores dropped off at around 6 months of age and was usually prescribed to sick babies.  

Today, we are led to believe that baby cereals are still a perfect breakfast food for all babies, but this is based more on tradition, and the promotion of this idea by baby food companies, than on any scientific evidence.

Given the current advice and clever marketing from food manufacturers, you might be tempted to pop some rice cereal in your shopping trolley, believing you’re making a natural, healthy choice for your baby, but let’s take a closer look at these “cereals” as they don’t just contain rice.

One of the most popular rice cereal brands contains the following ingredients;

Rice flour (contains soy), maize maltodextrin, vitamin C, mineral (iron), culture (Bifidus). May contain Milk.

I don’t recommend giving your baby iron fortified cereals for a number of reasons because they don’t address two of my key principles for feeding babies - the first one being;

Always provide for the changing nutritional requirements of your growing baby 

  • They lack nutrition - rice cereal is a highly processed, refined carbohydrate food product. Essential nutrients, such as B vitamins, are destroyed in the processing of this product. 
  • The rice cereal is broken down very quickly by your baby’s body into glucose, having a massive impact on their blood sugar and insulin levels and lighting up the hard-wired preference for sweet foods. 
  • By eating the whole food, essentially all of the nutrients come packaged already in balance with the other nutrients. With fortified cereals, the nutrients are added without the benefits of the other complementary nutrients and are therefore not utilised by the body in the same way. 

And the second principle is help to build a positive relationship between your baby and nutritious whole foods;

  • The bland, processed taste of rice cereal could predispose your child to the flavours of processed foods, making them much less likely to eat a wide range of whole foods including fruit & vegetables. 
  • Rice cereal is one dimensional - one taste, one texture, one colour - Introducing a wide range of foods with various shapes, colours and textures to your baby will have a more positive influence over nutritious food choices as they grow. 

So what foods do I recommend for breakfast…

I recommend choosing  “whole” foods over rice cereals as a breakfast for your baby. 

Not only will this provide the essential nutrients they need for growth and development,  but it will also help your baby to develop a positive relationship with nutritious whole foods. 

And in fact, in my program for introducing solids, I recommend any new foods offered are given in the morning.  

Which whole foods, when and how you can feed them to your baby depend on their physical and developmental readiness - which I talk about more in video 2 of this series (check out the link below this video for that one). 

Here is the link to Video 2 in the series, How Do I Know When My baby is Ready for Solids?

If you want to learn more about this, then I go into more detail on this topic and much more in my “Get it Right From Their First Bite” Program for introducing solids… so scroll down below this video and click on the link to find out more about the program.  

Click on the button below to learn more about the "Get it Right From Their First Bite" Program.        

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