Have you ever wondered when you baby can eat cheerios? When can babies eat cheerios, among many other seemingly simple finger foods, is a question that comes up a lot. Here’s what you need to know before giving your baby cheerios.
Cheerios for babies
Cheerios are one of those foods that seem to be ubiquitous baby foods. We've all seen those pictures of babies eating cheerios as they proudly grin at the camera. But just when should you give them to babies?
First, before giving your baby any foods, make sure that they are showing the signs of developmental readiness.
Once they are ready for foods, there are many others that I would recommend giving first before cheerios. It’s key that you are giving your baby iron-rich foods, and at each meal that they are getting an iron-rich food, a high-calorie food, and a fruit or vegetable. (For specifics on these categories, head here.)
These first foods are generally going to be easier for them to pick up, and often will be finger-sized. You also want them to be smooshable between two fingers so they are as safe as possible.
Wait until they have their pincer grasp
Once your child hits around 9 months, they will likely have, or be close to developing, their pincer grasp. This is when they are picking up things between their thumb and forefinger. This is often a great sign that they are ready for foods the size of cheerios.
If you have been giving them other finger foods before this point, then giving them cheerios once they have, or are close to having, their pincer grasp is perfectly fine and safe. They have already started to figure out what to do with foods and how to manipulate them in their mouth, and the small size of the cheerios won’t be frustrating for them.
If you haven’t given any finger foods before, I would recommend starting with some softer textures. While cheerios are technically a meltable texture and safe, depending on the brand and ingredients some can take a little longer than others to dissolve in saliva.
If a baby has previous experience with finger foods they will have at least started to develop the up and down movement needed to break the cheerios up some before swallowing. If they haven’t ever had finger foods before, they could immediately try to swallow them before they’ve had a chance to start melting.
When can babies eat finger foods in general?
Babies are developmentally ready to eat finger foods right around that 6 month mark, which is why baby led weaning works so well. There are so many places out there that recommend waiting until a certain age for foods that it can get confusing.
So if you are wondering things like when can babies eat avocado, or hummus, fruits like kiwis or raspberries, pasta, or any other number of things, the answer is right from the beginning of foods around that 6 month mark. As long as you are serving them safely! For most foods that means smooshable between two fingers, and/or in a shape that they are easily able to grasp them.
There is really no specific timeline for when babies can have certain foods outside of something like milk to drink or honey and added sweeteners. The majority of foods in our diets are all pretty much fair game! For specifics on which ones you can serve, how to do it safely, and so many more things to boost your confidence with starting your baby on solid foods, make sure you grab the starting solids course! It’s designed to give you all the answers you need to confidently feed your baby in that first year of life.
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