Congratulations! Your baby has just attained another major milestone in life- she can now explore the vast world of solid foods.
While you are at liberty to start her off with fruit and vegetable purees among other solid food options according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), baby cereal continues to be a logical first food for toddlers for a few reasons.
First, the best baby cereals in the market are fortified with iron which is very important since most babies tend to have depleted their iron stores at around 6 months of age.
Second, since the baby is used to the taste of breastmilk and/or formula, it’s only thoughtful if the intended first food won’t bring a drastic change in taste- at least for now. So, it’s a good thing that infant cereals are bland in flavor so the major taste that the baby picks is that of the breastmilk or formula with which the cereal is mixed with, and which they are already familiar with.
But from all the options available in the market today, what baby cereal is best to start with?
Top 10 Baby Cereals Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Gerber Single-Grain Oatmeal Baby Cereal
Best Cereal For Babies With Sensitive Stomach
We would never think of the best baby cereals of 2019 without the Gerber Single-Grain Oatmeal coming up. This is currently one of the most popular cereals in the market and you can get it in an array of flavors including apple and peach.
What we like about oatmeal cereals is that they tend to be a little bit heartier than rice cereals. The Gerber also tends to have a nice texture with just the right consistency that you’d want for a baby’s first food.
If you have a baby who is struggling with constipation, this oatmeal baby cereal might be what you need. It also has offers 45% of your kiddo’s daily iron requirement which again is very impressive.
- Good consistency
- Reduces constipation
- Easily digestible
- Not gluten-free
2. Nestle Cerelac Wheat with Milk Cereal
Best Baby Cereal For 1-Year-Old
When the baby has graduated from light rice cereals and is now ready for heftier meals, the Nestle Cerelac Wheat with Milk Cereal might be your very first option.
Most adults are not fans of baby cereals given their bland taste, but most parents admit that they can’t stay off this Nestle Cerelac thanks to its great taste.
Sold in a 14.0 oz container, this cereal is made of wheat flour, fat-free milk, sugar, and corn, canola, and palm oil among other ingredients.
A daily serving of the Nestle Cerelac offers a good amount of most of the nutrients that babies need at 1 year of age including 45mg of proteins, 2g of proteins, and 10g of total carbohydrates. It also has a good amount of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C, and D, folic acid, phosphorus, and zinc.
- Great flavor
- Superb consistency
- Very nutritious
- Most babies may not like the sweet taste
- Can lead to constipation
3. Nestle Nestum 3 Cereals
Best Multi-grain Baby Cereal
While single-grain foods are the best baby cereal types to use as first foods for infants, there comes a time when the child is ready for multi-grain cereals, usually between 6 and 8 months- and the Nestle Nestum 3 is one of the best recommendations here.
Needless to mention, multi-grain cereals pack a whole lot of important nutrients in that they combine 2 or more ingredients. In our case, the Nestum is a 3-in-1 cereal that combines rice, wheat, and corn to create a highly nutritious meal with up to 10 vitamins and minerals.
Just to mention but a few, the Nestle Nestum 3 packs lots of vitamin C- an antioxidant that boosts the baby’s natural defenses and vitamin A that is vital in the development of the immune system.
This cereal also offers babies 40% of their daily iron requirements and it’s also rich in sodium, and folic acid among other nutrients.
- Boosts baby’s immunity
- Has refined sugars
4. Happy Baby Organic Probiotic Baby Cereal with Choline Oatmeal
Best Baby Cereal For 4 Months Babies
Happy Baby is one of the best baby cereal brands in the market, and its organic probiotic baby cereal has been trusted to make little bellies happy for quite some time now.
Similar to the Gerber above, this cereal from Best Baby is made of oatmeal and will, therefore, leave your baby feeling fuller and with prolonged energy for longer.
If you are worried about subjecting your little one to insecticides and pesticides at this tender age, you’ll really appreciate that the Best Baby is USDA organic and this is a big deal especially for kids with a sensitive stomach.
Meant to give the baby everything that is required at this development stage, the Happy Baby has not only been fortified with iron, but it is also loaded with Choline– an important component for brain and eye development.
Our review team also liked that this baby cereal mixes really well and into a texture that is easy to swallow and that which won’t cause constipation.
- USDA organic
- Mixes easily
- Loaded with iron, choline, and probiotics
- Expiry dates are mixed up
5. Gerber Organic Single-Grain Oatmeal Baby Cereal
Best Baby Cereal For Infants
The Gerber is yet another one of the best single grain baby cereals from Gerber– an American-based company headquartered in New Jersey.
The 8-ounce green package that it comes in is a constant reminder that this cereal is made of organic substances, and has more beneficial nutrients than other conventional cereals.
While this particular baby cereal is made from oatmeal, you can also get it in Brown Rice as well as Oatmeal with Peach and Apple flavors.
Going by the manufacturer’s and experts’ recommendations, it’s important to start with the Oatmeal and Brown Rice versions for 6+ months babies before switching to Oatmeal with peach and apple.
Similar to other baby cereals from this brand, the Gerber Organic Single-Grain Oatmeal Baby Cereal also mixes really well with warm liquids and forms a really nice texture.
- It’s organic
- More beneficial nutrients
- Mixes well
- Packaging’s large and flat spout can be annoying
6. Happy Baby Organic Cereal Whole Grain Oats and Quinoa
Best Baby Cereal Gluten-free
Our next pick in these best baby cereal reviews 2019 combines whole grain oats and Quinoa (read KEEN-wah)- a pseudo-grain that was nicknamed ‘the mother of all grains’ during the Inca Empire. If you are health-conscious, this is a grain that you must have heard of already.
The first reason why we recommend the Happy Baby is that its ingredients are completely USDA organic, so you can be assured that very few preservatives were used and there are no additives added to prolong the life of the cereal.
This cereal is gluten-free too and, therefore, a great choice for kids with gluten sensitivity and who may otherwise develop abdominal pain, constipation, and bloating.
- Re-sealable pack
- Completely USDA organic
- Liquidifies easily if not used in time
- Relatively pricey
7. Healthy Times Organic Whole Grain Mixed Grain Cereal for Baby
Best Baby Cereal With No Added Sugar And Salt
This mixed grain cereal combines white rice, oatmeal, and barley and is recommended for toddlers of between 6 and 8 months of age, but you can also get it in single-grain varieties if you are looking for the best baby cereal for infants.
In addition to using completely organic ingredients, another good thing about the Healthy Times baby cereal is that it does not have added sugars and salt, so it has a bland taste that most babies find perfectly okay.
- Tastes good
- Easy on baby’s stomach
- Relatively pricey compared to others
8. 8x Organic Quinoa Infant & Baby Cereal Travel Packs by WutsupBaby
Best Baby Cereal Travel Packs
Having received all sorts of praise from nutritionists, The 8x Organic Quinoa Infant & Baby Cereal Travel Packs by WutsupBaby claims a spot as one of the best first foods you can introduce your child do. Besides its close profile to breast milk, it comes nourished with amino acids, omega 3, and 9, which is good for both eye and brain developments. It also comes with iron, protein, magnesium and is supplemented with prebiotics and fiber to help foster easy digestion as well as nourishment for your baby’s sensitive tummy.
The WutsupBaby Organic Quinoa is travel-friendly. It comes in travel packs which are convenient to carry around. Its preparation process is easy and fast too, simply mix an eighth of the pre-portioned food with water or breast milk for the first stage or with veggies and mashed fruit for a chunkier texture in stage two. Once your baby advances to more complex foods, you can add it as a supplement to their solid foods.
- Quick preparation process; smooth easy to mix texture
- Very travel-friendly
- Is similar to breast milk for a smoother transition
- Has that strong nutty quinoa flavor which your child might not like
- Is thick; therefore your child might not swallow easy
9. Earth’s Best Organic Infant Cereal
Best Baby Cereal For Affordability
At around half a dollar per ounce, the Earth’s Best might be your go-to option if you are looking for something affordable without compromising the much-needed nutrients that your baby wants from cereals.
The Earth’s Best is quite similar to the Gerber Organic Oatmeal Cereal that we saw earlier. The major difference, however, and something that we really like about the Earth’s Best is that it has no added sugars, and this makes a lot of sense since it is meant to take the taste of the breastmilk or formula with which you’ll mix it with.
Without doubts, this cereal has a really simple ingredients’ list, but that’s what makes it so easy to digest and easy on your baby’s belly. It is also iron-fortified and, therefore, very important for your baby’s growth and development.
- No artificial flavors and sweeteners
- Easily digestible
- Issues with the expiration date
10. Nabisco Cream of Rice
Best Baby Cereal With Iron
While there are other viable varieties to go with, rice remains to be the most recommended cereal for infants because besides being easy to mix with other foods, it is very easy on tiny bellies and also has 2 of the most important nutrients for infants; zinc and iron.
Well, most of the products that we’ve listed in these best baby cereal reviews have iron, but the fact that the Nabisco offers up to 70% of the recommended daily iron intake means that it’s the clear winner in this respect.
The Nabisco is cholesterol-free, fat-free, and gluten-free, and does not have any artificial colors or added preservatives.
- No preservatives, sugar, and colors
- Lots of iron might not work well with some babies
How to Choose Baby Cereal: The Ultimate Buying Guide
By now, you must have heard that single grain cereals make the best first solid food option for babies with rice being the most recommended.
Food experts claim that single grain cereals such as rice have very low risks of triggering allergic reactions in babies compared to other solid foods.
There is a catch to rice baby cereals, though: most of them have been found to contain arsenic by the FDA. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water, and soil and that is absorbed by plants with time.
While it would take eating a lot of rice for the arsenic to have adverse health effects on the baby, the pediatric community suggests eating rice baby cereal with moderation, for instance, 2-3 times each week.
That being said, it’s important that you include other types of cereals including barley, buckwheat, rye, wheat, millet, and amaranth.
Organic or Non-organic?
You must be thinking that the best baby cereal for infants should be organic and this is very true. The key benefit that your child gets from these cereals is the reduced exposure to pesticides and fungicides which might otherwise accumulate easily in their bodies.
Keep in mind, however, that some non-organic baby cereals keep the use of these chemicals to a minimum and within the federal government’s stipulated guidelines.
Go for Iron
As I told you earlier on in these best baby cereals reviews, babies require a lot of iron at around 6 months and that’s partly why they need solid food. Iron is a very important component for proper development of body and brain. On this note, go for single-grain cereals that have been fortified with iron.
Read the Food Labels
Whether organic or inorganic, be on the lookout for baby cereals that have added sugars, salts, and thickening agents such as starch or flour. Keep an eye on preservatives and additives in the ingredients list too.
It might be just another ordinary thing for experienced moms, but weaning a baby with solids for the very first time feels so great for first-time moms and dads- and honestly, it’s understandable if you feel so excited about it.
This is a huge milestone for the 2 of you (baby and parent). First, and the most important thing is that the growth and development of the child are bound to get a really good boost since the best baby cereals are packed with important minerals especially iron and vitamins that babies really need.
Second, having a fuller belly means that the child will now be sleeping for a little longer between meal times thereby allowing you some time to nap as well, or carry out some pressing chores.
Remember, however, that timing is everything and your baby might not welcome any other cereal that you deem right.
So, it might be important to try out several single-grain kinds of cereal first especially those with a bland taste and note those that the child can tolerate.
Healthy choices for babies include cereals made from oatmeal, barley, wheat, quinoa, and other non-rice grains. Multi-grain cereals (even those that contain rice) are also good, low-arsenic options.What baby cereal doesn t have arsenic? ›
Healthy choices for babies include cereals made from oatmeal, barley, wheat, quinoa, and other non-rice grains. Multi-grain cereals (even those that contain rice) are also good, low-arsenic options.Do pediatricians recommend baby cereal? ›
Many pediatricians agree that baby cereal is an ideal first food. Here's what you should know about the mushy, soft, iron-fortified product. When your pediatrician gives you the go-ahead to introduce solids to your baby, usually around 4-6 months, one of the most popular first foods is baby cereal.What cereal is good for a 1 year old? ›
Typically yes, babies can have cereal, especially cereals that are made specifically for infants. These include iron-fortified rice, oat, or other multigrain-based cereals that are widely available at most grocery stores. Older babies may be able to eat some whole grain cold breakfast cereals, like Cheerios.What is the top 5 best cereal? ›
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
- Frosted Flakes.
- Cap'n Crunch.
- Raisin Bran.
- Honey Nut Cheerios.
Largest Cereal Brands Research Summary
The largest cereal brand in the U.S. is Cheerios, with a sales of $435.9 million and 139.1 million boxes sold. As of 2022, the U.S. cereal industry has a market size of $20.59 billion.
The greatest brain development occurs in the first year of life and a baby's diet has an impact on that development. When you feed your baby rice cereal, follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' advice: Don't feed rice cereal every day and don't make it the only food in the meal.Is baby oatmeal better than rice cereal? ›
Because of the possible arsenic exposure with rice cereal, experts believe oatmeal is the safer choice. It's also wheat-free, so won't irritate your baby's stomach if she is sensitive or allergic to gluten.How many Cheerios can a 1 year old have? ›
A good way to gauge the appropriate serving size of any food is to take a look at your fist, Dr. Corkins says: a baby's fist equates to about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of Cheerios, so feel free to begin there. The serving size listed on the Cheerios box suggests 3/4 cup is appropriate for kids ages 1 to 3.Can I give Cheerios to my 1 year old? ›
Original Cheerios may be introduced as soon as baby can pick them up and bring them to their mouth. For many babies, this will occur closer to 9 months of age, but some babies develop the skill earlier. If baby can pick up Cheerios and bring them to their mouth independently, it's okay to serve them.
Because of the possible arsenic exposure with rice cereal, experts believe oatmeal is the safer choice.Should a baby have rice or oatmeal first? ›
Remember that your child's safety should always come first. That's why we recommend choosing oatmeal cereal over rice cereal unless your child is allergic to oats.Can I give my 4 month old cereal? ›
Doctors recommend waiting until a baby is about 6 months old to start solid foods. Starting before 4 months is not recommended. At about 6 months, babies need the added nutrition — such as iron and zinc — that solid foods provide. It's also the right time to introduce your infant to new tastes and textures.What cereal should I start my 4 month old on? ›
Infants can start eating baby oatmeal cereal as early as 4 months old. Although it's recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to start introducing solid foods at 6 months, there are a few indicators that prove infants might be ready for baby oatmeal cereal a few months earlier.