Can my baby eat oatmeal?
When a baby is learning to eat, there are many questions about what is good and not to give to them. Food is such a scary aspect to parenting because there are so many things that can happen badly. From choking to allergies, the possibility of having a bad experience is there
And very rarely will you make it to adulthood without having a bad experience with food. There are many questions about what to feed your child. Oatmeal is super normal to give a baby. Here are the facts about whether or not it is safe to feed your child oatmeal:
Oatmeal is great for your baby!
If your child is at least six months old, oatmeal is a great place to start with food. Most pediatricians recommend starting with oatmeal or rice. The reason is because of the many nutrients and benefits to both options.
Oatmeal helps your baby’s stomach.
The transition from milk to food can be harsh as the stomach learns how to produce the needed enzymes and bacteria to process food. Many children start to run into problems with constipation when it comes to starting new food. Constipation is less likely with oatmeal versus rice. Along with this, oatmeal can be mixed with other things such as applesauce and prunes to help the tummy process better.
Allergies can be very scary, especially in your baby. Oatmeal and rice are both are very unlikely to cause an allergy flair in your child. So if you are thinking that you may have problems with your child having allergies, then consider starting with rice or oatmeal and working your way up into new foods. There are great informational sets on this and how to introduce new foods at Momtastic.com.
Types of Oatmeal for Babies
Although most people just know of the classic oatmeal, there are many different types of oatmeal that you can start your baby on.
There are two types:
Much less processed and made by simply cutting the oat groats. When mixed with water, they become soft and more comfortable to eat and handle in the tummy.
More processed, they are steamed and then rolled. The processing does remove some of the nutrients but does make them a little easier for your baby’s tummy to process.
Which is best?
When it comes to starting your baby on oatmeal, it is typically recommended to start with rolled. They are more comfortable for the tummy to process and usually taste better. The thick cut of the steel oats can be unappealing for many babies.
Should I buy regular oatmeal or baby oatmeal?
Baby oatmeal is a waste of money. It is the same thing that you can get in the oatmeal section but more expensive. Although, baby oatmeal does have better instructions on the back for feeding to your infant. So it may be worth getting once container to learn how to mix the water and oatmeal.
There are many different types of flavored oatmeal. These flavored oatmeals can be more appealing to a picky baby. Also, the flavoring can help with the texture.
However, be aware of any sugar that is involved. Often, flavored oatmeals will also be higher in sugar, which is hard on the baby’s teeth. There are great options to flavor oatmeal without having to add a lot of processed sugar. One way is to flavor with fresh fruit.
You can add fresh fruit into the oatmeal to help add to the flavor. Along with that, the fresh fruit can help with constipation concern as well. To read more on the types of oats and flavors, check out this article.
Can I add milk to my baby’s oatmeal?
Often, adults add milk to their oatmeal. This is very common to help with the taste.
However, for infants, it is not recommended to use anything other than breast milk or formula until the baby is over a year old.
So if you would like to add milk to the oatmeal, then be sure that you use either formula or breastmilk for that first six months.
The Thought Behind It
Rice and oatmeal are both considered single grain wheat. This means that it is easier for the tummy to process than wheat, bread, or other similar grains. The other aspect is that a child is less likely to be allergic to single grains rather than other grains.
So the idea of starting with oatmeal is that it gives you a safe place to start from. Also, oatmeal, when cooked, is basically like a puree. So there is less likelihood that your child will have trouble eating it and choking. Oatmeal is also very nutritious. Some many vitamins and minerals are right for development and growth in oatmeal.
So if you have a child who is on a smaller scale, then oatmeal may be an excellent addition to their diet. Also, oatmeal is cheap and easy to attain. Baby food costs can add up. Oatmeal in the regular section of the grocery store is easy on the pocketbook for young families to be able to afford.
The thing with grains is that if your child has celiac disease, this is the point where you are going to figure that out. Oatmeal does have gluten, which can make a child with a celiac disease very sick.
As with all other foods, you are keeping a close eye on your child, and the reactions they are having to foods is essential. If you have a child with celiac disease, check online for many gluten-free recipes.
Some children will get sick if they even come in contact with gluten. It is imperative to be conscious of what your child is putting into there system.
For many families with children, oatmeal is the point at which they begin their child’s career of eating food. Doing this with patience is very important for the health and well being of your child.
Being aware of the sugar content of the oatmeal you use is also very important. There are many aspects of the introduction of new foods, make the first food for your child easy, and start with oatmeal.