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Can My Child Have Cheerios?

Beloved by each youngsters and adults, Cheerios could make an excellent morning meal or noon snack. However since cereal looks as if a choking hazard—in spite of everything, it’s stable, small, and spherical—it’s no marvel many dad and mom marvel when it’s applicable to introduce Cheerios to their child. 

Because it occurs, Cheerios are completely protected for infants who attain sure developmental milestones, based on Mark R. Corkins, MD, division chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Le Bonheur Kids’s Hospital in Tennessee. And since they’re freed from widespread meals allergens, they’re an excellent early meals.

Right here’s what it is best to learn about introducing your child to Cheerios, apart from the truth that nearly all of them will seemingly find yourself on the ground.

Are Cheerios Protected for My Child?

Of all of the meals you may feed your child, Cheerios are one of many most secure when served to infants who’re developmentally prepared—extra on that later. Learn on to seek out out why. 

They’re Not a Choking Hazard

Like many sorts of cereal that get soggy once they spend an excessive amount of time in milk, Cheerios soften once they get moist, corresponding to once they contact your child’s tongue, Dr. Corkins says. For that purpose, he doesn’t think about them to be a choking hazard. 

You don’t have to fret about rogue Cheerios your child would possibly discover weeks after they roll beneath the sofa, both. “Stale Cheerios aren’t a choking hazard, they simply don’t style nearly as good,” Dr. Corkins says. 

They Most likely Received’t Make Your Child Sick

Consuming any finger meals with soiled palms can carry bacterial and viral publicity to the mouth. So how a lot do you need to fear about germs as soon as your child begins consuming meals like Cheerios with their palms? “Not an excessive amount of,” Dr. Corkins says—particularly in the event you wash your child’s palms with common cleaning soap and water for 20 seconds earlier than serving their cereal (or any meals, for that matter).

They’re Freed from Frequent Allergens

If allergy symptoms scare you greater than a germ right here and there, relaxation assured that you simply don’t have to fret concerning the cereal triggering a response. Per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish are the highest allergens in youngsters.

The principle ingredient in Cheerios is complete grain oats, which aren’t on the record. “Unique Cheerios don’t comprise any widespread meals allergens,” confirms Angela Tsuang, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics within the division of allergy and immunology at Mount Sinai’s Icahn Faculty of Medication. Stick with common Cheerios, although. Honey Nut Cheerios comprise almond, which is a tree nut, and honey, which shouldn’t be given to infants earlier than 12 months of age.

Each child is completely different. You’ll want to seek the advice of with a pediatrician when you’ve got any questions on giving your toddler Cheerios.

Advantages of Giving Your Child Cheerios

Whereas Cheerios are removed from the one breakfast meals or snack you may feed a child, there are many causes dad and mom of younger youngsters think about the cereal a pantry staple.

They’re Nutritious

supply of complete grains, Cheerios are a wholesome selection, Dr. Corkins says. He additionally likes that they’ve minimal added sugars since lowering sugar consumption early on will help set up your baby’s style preferences in order that they make more healthy meals selections down the street.

They Assist Infants Develop the Pincer Grasp 

Cheerios might be useful instruments for infants to grasp self-feeding. Infants are born with out the flexibility to select issues up and wish all of the apply they’ll get, based on Dr. Corkins. Each try and get a Cheerios from the excessive chair tray into the mouth will help a child develop their first purposeful grasp: the pincer grip, which is carried out by squeezing with the thumb and forefinger. 

“The objective with early consuming is to show infants to eat independently,” Dr. Corkins says. And Cheerios are only one meals that infants can eat on their very own, that’s, so long as you don’t thoughts spending your baby’s childhood selecting up fallen O’s. 

They’re Iron Fortified

Like most breakfast cereals, Cheerios are fortified with iron—an excellent factor contemplating younger youngsters can change into poor, which may result in anemia, a situation that limits the flexibility of the blood to hold oxygen. “Infants double their weight by 4 or 5 months of age and triple it in a 12 months,” Dr. Corkins explains. “They want iron to make new purple blood cells as their blood quantity quickly will increase.” 

When and The right way to Introduce Cheerios

Per the CDC, you can begin introducing stable meals to your baby at round 6 months previous, or as soon as they present developmental indicators of readiness for solids. Some such indicators embody: transferring objects towards their mouth, displaying head and neck management, sitting up all by themselves or with minimal assist, and opening their mouth when they’re provided meals.

The age when an toddler is able to strive Cheerios depends on their particular person growth, based on Dr. Tsuang. The AAP suggests a child is prepared for finger meals when the newborn can sit up unsupported and convey their palms to their mouth.

This normally occurs round 8 to 10 months previous, based on Dr. Corkins, who warns to not introduce the cereal too early since youthful infants might not have the chewing abilities they should sort out stable meals. Do not forget that your child will get to style all meals in due time, so there’s no must rush it. 

A great way to gauge the suitable serving dimension of any meals is to try your fist, Dr. Corkins says: a child’s fist equates to about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of Cheerios, so be happy to start there. The serving dimension listed on the Cheerios field suggests 3/4 cup is suitable for youths ages 1 to three. 

A Phrase From Verywell

Infants can take pleasure in Cheerios after they’ll sit with out help and convey meals to their mouths. Count on your child to be prepared no sooner than 8 months of age, although all infants develop at completely different paces. As typical, ask your child’s pediatrician when you’ve got any questions on when or what to feed your baby.

Verywell Household makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to assist the information inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to be taught extra about how we fact-check and maintain our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.

By Elizabeth Narins

Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn-based freelance author, editor, and social media strategist whose favourite exercise is chasing her toddler. Her work has been revealed by Cosmopolitan, Ladies’s Well being, Males’s Well being, Mother and father, Well being, Bustle, and extra.

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