Why breakfast is so important for your baby
During the night, your little one is busy processing everything they learnt the day before, so no wonder they wake up hungry. That little rumble in their tummy means it’s the perfect time to try something new – a different fruit, a lumpier texture or a cereal they’ve never tried before. While they’re happy and hungry they’ll be more willing to give new things a go. Just make sure you choose healthy food that’s suitable for your baby’s stage. That means not letting them grab a handful of your cereal, even if they want to eat like mummy!
Family cereals are designed for older children and grown-ups and they often contain added sugar and salt, which is fine for our fully-grown systems but not for your baby’s. Too much salt can harm their developing kidneys and sugary foods tend to encourage a sweeter tooth later in life.
Choosing a baby breakfast
It’s best to go for a special baby cereal. That way you know they’ll be getting the nutrients they need to support their healthy growth and development. It’s always a good idea to have a look at the labels on the packet first, keeping an eye out for products that have:
• no added sugar – natural sugar from fruit, grains or milk is fine. Watch out for refined sugar.
• no added salt – naturally occurring sodium is ok. Avoid added salt.
• important nutrients like iron and vitamin D – essential for their growth and development.
How to keep ‘em keen
It’s great once you find something that your little one loves, and it may be tempting to stick with it, but at this stage different textures and tastes are important for their development. Variety will also help your baby get the wide range of nutrients they need.
When your baby is ready to move on from simple cereals and baby rice, you can start mixing up their early morning menu to keep things exciting. A bowl of cereal and milk is a great way to include energy, protein and calcium and just by adding a helping of fresh fruit, you’ll be giving them extra vitamins too. For more breakfast ideas why not try:
• porridge with milk and mashed or chopped fruit.
• baby muesli or wheat cereal with milk and sliced strawberries or blueberries on the side.
• natural yogurt or fromage frais with fresh fruit, followed by toast.
• mashed avocado or banana on toast fingers, plus a bowl of natural yogurt or fromage frais.
• well-cooked scrambled or hard-boiled eggs and toast fingers plus fresh fruit.
• cheese on toast and a portion of fresh fruit.