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From what I've heard, it's because baby doesn't need it. It's just kind of "filler".

We give Ellie cereal here and there mixed in with other food.
 

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It's empty calories. Rice cereal is just white rice flour. Also, many babies lack the digestive enzymes to process grains until closer to one year.
 

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Ditto...infant cereal is just flour (rice flour, oat flour, barley flour, etc) and while it's been enriched with vitamins and iron, it's not really a very good source of nutrition. Also, since solids should be seen as a chance to explore tastes and textures during a babe's first year (rather than as a source of nutrition)...well...there isn't a lot of exploring to be done when faced with a bowl of baby cereal!


Although we didn't start DD off with cereal (we started with avocado and apples and have always let her self feed), her first "cereal" was the plain old steel cut oatmeal that DH and I have for breakfast every day. It's cheaper and healthier than the baby stuff.
 

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In no particular order:

it's constipating
it's nutritionally void
babies need to fill up on breastmilk
babies can't regulate intake as well when spoonfed as when self-fed
it's overly processed
it tastes yucky

-Angela
 

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It tastes gross
it's highly processed w/ the nutrients added back in. I'd rather give foods that are naturally high in iron and other nutrients, plus taste good, and provide a variety of yummy textures and colors! I feel that it simply isn't necessary. When faced with a bowl of gluey bland paste or fresh avocados, sweet potatoes, 'real' oatmeal, etc I'd pick the latter, so I would do the same for the baby.

*not to say I never use any processed or jarred stuff, just making a general statement. And I did do the whole rice cereal thing w/ my 1st baby, I didn't know to do anythng different.*
 

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Ditto to all the above. Plus, does it really make sense to feed a baby something that needs to be highly refined in order for it to be digestible by him/her?
 

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Ok, so if it is so nutritionally void...why does WIC give this out in extreme excess???? Not trying to be a brat...just really curious
I understand that teh gov't does some wacky stuff, but they (the WIC nurses) act like cereal is SOOOO important to babys health
 

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We got lots and lots of baby cereal during our 6 months on WIC...since it's just flour it actually makes a decent bread, pancake, waffle, etc. We mixed it into our regular baking flour and away we went. I'm pretty sure dd enjoyed the chunks of waffle and slices of bread warm from the oven more than she would have enjoyed painting the floor with the gummy cereal.


Oh, and WIC...baby cereal is enriched with iron. Infants who aren't getting breastmilk need more iron as they get older and the cereal does take care of that. Also, it is bulky and filling and enriched...if you're not breastfeeding and if you're cutting/watering down forumla in order to make it "go further" (as some women do) then baby cereal can provide a child with a full belly and some vitamins.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wombatclay
We got lots and lots of baby cereal during our 6 months on WIC...since it's just flour it actually makes a decent bread, pancake, waffle, etc. We mixed it into our regular baking flour and away we went. I'm pretty sure dd enjoyed the chunks of waffle and slices of bread warm from the oven more than she would have enjoyed paiting the flour with the gummy cereal.

What a fabulous idea
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by shoefairy3
Ok, so if it is so nutritionally void...why does WIC give this out in extreme excess???? Not trying to be a brat...just really curious
I understand that teh gov't does some wacky stuff, but they (the WIC nurses) act like cereal is SOOOO important to babys health
The same reason WIC gives out massive quantities of free formula, but will often refuse to provide breast pumps.

And like the PP said, they're under the impression that babies need extra iron. If they're being BF'd, they do not, but they're operating under the assumption that most babies are not being BF'd.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by shoefairy3
Ok, so if it is so nutritionally void...why does WIC give this out in extreme excess???? Not trying to be a brat...just really curious
I understand that teh gov't does some wacky stuff, but they (the WIC nurses) act like cereal is SOOOO important to babys health
$$$$$$$$$$$

Yup. Read Food Politics or better yet, What to Eat both by Marion Nestle for an eye-opening account of how our government decides what foods to promote. She's (I think) a fairly mainstream nutritionist/foody who really sheds light on alot of what is behind the FDA etc.

Mostly, the health parts of the gov't MEAN well... but they don't do well enough at not being bought by food industry interests.

Julia
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wombatclay
and if you're cutting/watering down forumla in order to make it "go further" (as some women do) then baby cereal can provide a child with a full belly and some vitamins.
People do that?!
 

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This thread is giving me a funny mental picture. Do you guys think a baby would like it if you mixed a bit of fruit juice into a cereal to color it and then put them in the bathtub with a big bowl?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MsElle07
The same reason WIC gives out massive quantities of free formula, but will often refuse to provide breast pumps.

And like the PP said, they're under the impression that babies need extra iron. If they're being BF'd, they do not, but they're operating under the assumption that most babies are not being BF'd.
Maybe it's just my experience with WIC, but where I go they try their darnest to encourage BF...it's just the mamas who go to WIC are getting plenty of outside influence to FF, thus FFing. Thus, WIC is giving them formula. They love me at WIC b/c I am so pro-bf. I get the picture I'm the only mama that is EBF there. I think "they operate under the assumption that most babies aren't BF" because most WIC babies aren't BF. Our WIC office is absolutely PLASTERED with breast is best stuff and the like.
On an asside, thanks for the idea for what to do with the cereal! I'll have to try using it for bread, etc!!!
 

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I never gave it to dd because it smelled bad and then dh tried it and it tasted horrible. We use the stuff (oatmeal) in a sock in a bath when dd has a diaper rash.
 

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I am not anti-cereal, I think it depends on the cereal. Gerber baby rice cereal is one thing. Organic brown rice cereal, or oatmeal you make yourself is another. I see nothing wrong with feeding a baby some grains when they are in their older infancy, unless they show signs of digestive problems. Nor do I think spoon-feeding will necessarily result in force feeding, as long as you respect the baby's cues. You know, when DD turns her head away and clamps her lips together, I kinda get the message. That said, the way cereal has gone for me the 2-3 times I've tried is: offer some to DD on a spoon. Dd grabs spoon. I go for another spoon. DD grabs that spoon too. Before long we have a happy baby banging on her tray, spoon in each hand, cereal all over her face, having ingested perhaps a quarter of a teaspoon by bringing the spoons to her own mouth. Fun playtime? Yes. Nutrition? Not much!
 
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