A new born baby is the purest form of human life. However, the present day environment is not that conducive for a newborn child due to various environmental reason. The surroundings gave too much pollution, and the child will find it too much challenging for existence. Apartment from the filthy conditions, finding a suitable hygienic, non-contaminated food is a tough task. One needs to provide a baby with food rich in all types of nutrients, which comes from a reputable and reliable manufacturer.
A child's requirements are entirely different from that of an adult. Its stomach is almost one-tenth in size whereas nutritional needs are much more than that of an adult. Hence, it is important to make every spoonful count for its growth. The baby needs small amounts of food over the day rather than a three-time regular meal. Therefore, a balanced diet containing proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals in proper amounts are necessary for the unhindered growth of the baby. You can find all these essential nutrients in Cheerios, the perfect toddler food.
What is Cheerios?
Cheerios is a cereal food containing everything that your baby needs. Major ingredients in Cheerios are toasted whole grain oats, oat fiber, sugar, and salt. A one-cup serving of Cheerios contains 2g fats, 3g fiber, 20g carbohydrates and 3g proteins. Milk increases the protein content of the meal. Vitamins like A, B6, B12, C and D, calcium and minerals in Cheerios help build the immune system of baby’s body.
Types of Cheerios
Cheerios is not like many other kinds of cereal on the market that come with the same boring taste which makes your child hate the food. The real toasted oats come in different varieties and flavors. Adding ingredients like honey, cocoa, cinnamon, etc., make it a delicious meal for the baby.
Cheerios are available in the following flavors:
- Original Cheerios
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch
- Multi Grain Cheerios
- Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
- Banana Nut Cheerios
- Cinnamon Burst Cheerios
- Chocolate Cheerios
- Dulce de Leche Cheerios
- Multi Grain Peanut Butter Cheerios
- Multi Grain Dark Chocolate Crunch Cheerios
- Frosted Cheerios
- Fruity Cheerios
- Yoghurt Burst Cheerios
Benefits of Cheerios for babies
Cheerios contains the most amount of soluble indigestible plant matter called fibers than any other grain. Fibers are an essential ingredient in any meal to ensure smooth working of the digestive system of the body. Soluble fibers lower the amount of LDL- bad cholesterol. It hence reduces the chance of heart diseases.
Vitamins are necessary nutrients for a healthy survival of the baby. They work for prevention of major diseases and disabilities of functional organs. Cheerios can provide anywhere from 10 to 13 percent of the total daily recommendation of vitamins in a one-cup serving. Multi Grain Cheerios have been proved to provide around 25 to 33 percent in same. Vitamins like niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and folic acids obtained from Cheerios can build up a strong base for a healthy body.
Sugar is the simplest form of energy. A proper amount of calories and carbohydrates is essential for fulfilling the baby's energy needs throughout the day. Original Cheerios contains mostly fewer amounts of sugar as little as 1g per cup, whereas multi-grain contains 6g per cup and flavored Cheerios can provide as much as 16g per cup. It becomes, therefore, critical to decide on the type of Cheerios to choose to depend upon the energy requirements of your baby. Generally, younger children do not spend as much energy as their older counterparts. Therefore, original and multigrain Cheerios become excellent options over flavored ones.
Iron is an essential mineral in a baby's diet. Iron found its way into cereals firstly in the United States as a way to combat anemia. The decrease of iron in children aging 6 months to 2 years had become a concern for parents. A sufficient supply of Iron in the cereal ensures prevention of anemia in babies.
Babies are delicate and hence require smooth and creamy intake. Adding warm water or milk makes Cheerios compatible to baby's digestive system. For children sensitive to textures, Cheerios is the best way to their solid food intake. In times of hurry, unlike other foods, Cheerios has no formula or recipe for the preparation to follow. Just add some water or milk, and the baby food is ready.
When to start with Cheerios?
Cheerios is the first solid food that a baby would have the moment the baby can start his feeding other than breast milk. It is therefore very much important to make sure that the child is ready to have it. Pediatricians recommend that babies older than six months can give Cheerios. The baby must be able to sit up on its own before it is ready to eat Cheerios. A solid food means the capability to chew the food. Baby should be able to do chewing motions and grasping of small objects. Most kids are ready to have Cheerios at the age of seven or eight months.
Chewing of solid food does not necessarily involve chewing by teeth. Baby’s gums are strong enough to mash soft food. Cheerios soaked in water or milk is as gentle and easy to chew as cream.
Cheerios is an extremely healthy solid food for babies. However, some children are allergic to certain substances. These might include ingredients of Cheerios. Pediatrician’s consultation regarding an allergy to any ingredient of Cheerios is a must. In addition, it is important to monitor the child's eating procedure. Babies should not walk around or be placed in a moving vehicle while eating. Children tend to eat handfuls at a time which might result in choking and eventually fatal to baby’s life. Good care and supervision are essential for proper feeding.
Balanced diet of Cheerios
The growth of a baby to toddler is a process of intense development of its mental as well as physical health. A balanced diet is essential for the healthy evolution of the child, which has parents should make sure at every stage of child's growth.
A balanced diet for a toddler must consist following:
Bread, rice, cereals, pasta, potatoes are starch-rich foods which should include in every meal. Try out different varieties to find the best fit combination. Be careful with wholegrain foods as they are more filling and might leave no space for critical nutrients.
- Fruits and Vegies
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals. Encourage your toddler to eat as many vegetables as fruits by making them interesting and different than regular. Try different fruits offered as desserts. It would let them know that dessert doesn't mean only sweets.
- Iron and Protein
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Hence, it is essential to have food including protein two to three times a day. Best sources are meat, fish, eggs, nuts, pulses like lentils and beans. Adding moderate quantity of grinded nuts in meals is a good way to include nuts in the diet. Iron from minced meat and fish is necessary.
- Dairy Food
Dairy products have one unique nutrient to offer which is calcium and must be provided at least thrice a day. These include milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. Plain yogurt mixed with fruits to sweeten is an excellent option, which can meet the fat requirements. WHO recommends providing breast milk to the baby until the age of 2 years but, cow milk is also a good alternative. Full fat cow milk in limited amounts gives vitamin A, calories and calcium for development.
Warm it up
The journey of a baby to a toddler decides his/her health for the rest of his/her life. It is a process that involves maximum amount of growth and development. The transformation automatically becomes a stage and a phase where utmost care is essential, and parents must adhere to conscious effort to meet the needs of the child.
After a six-month course of mostly breast milk and water, solid food is the transitional step towards becoming a toddler. Cheerios is like a friend to babies who helps them climb this difficult step. Along with proper care, appropriate balanced diet and healthy food habits, children can succeed in passing this challenging and important phase in their life.
General content of meals
Following is a list of food items that should go in with specific meals. Consulting your health care professional for specific amounts as per the needs is required.
Breakfast: Blackberry applesauce, Cheerios, Yoghurt.
Lunch: Minced chicken, black beans with minced tomatoes, olive oil, milk, banana.
Snack: Wholegrain wheat crackers, plain whole kefir milk or breast milk, mango chunks, sprouted bread.
Dinner: Minced chicken thigh, mashed sweet potato mixed with sour cream or yogurt, mashed avocado, chopped green beans, and milk.
- Babies and toddlers have the capability to judge their appetite. So you want to let them decide on the amount of food to eat.
- Liquids like milk or juice just before meals is not a good idea, as it can affect their appetite and cause non-fulfilment of nutrient requirement. Milk up to 24 ounces per day till the age of 1 year increases food intake capacity. Excess milk can cause iron deficiency.
- You need to try a new food many times before the baby starts accepting it.
- Healthy eating habits help prevent intake of germs or any harmful substances.
- Rinse salted olives which work as good appetizers. Do not choose olives in the case of a high diet of packaged food.