Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Is Cereal a Good First Solid Food for Your Baby?

Is Cereal a Good First Solid Food for Your Baby?

Cereal grains, including rice and oats, are a staple food in many cultures worldwide and are a common first food for babies.

Cereals are an excellent source of energy, vitamins, minerals, which help to meet the nutritional demands of a growing infant. They are additionally a source of non-digestible fibres that support the development of a healthy microbiome.1

By the time your baby is 4-6 months, they may be showing signs of readiness to start solids. These signs include: 2

  • Able to sit in a high chair unsupported
  • Has good head control
  • Declining tongue thrust reflex and beginning to chew rather than suck things
  • Appetite is no longer satisfied by breastmilk or formula alone
  • Showing interested in the food around them

The best first foods for infants

The best first baby foods are those that are soft, smooth, and rich in the mineral iron.2

Until now, your baby has relied on iron stored in their liver and small amounts from the mother’s breast milk to meet their nutrient requirements for this mineral. Including iron-rich foods as part of the baby’s first foods is key to continuing to support their growth and development.

The NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) 2 recommends iron-rich foods be introduced as baby’s first foods.

Suitable iron-rich foods for babies include:

  • Iron enriched infant cereals
  • Pureed meats, poultry, fish,
  • Cooked tofu
  • Cooked legumes

How to choose a baby cereal

The best infant cereal is one that is organic and enriched with mineral iron. The iron used to fortify infant cereals is a haem source of iron. Haem iron is a highly bioavailable and absorbable form of iron.

Choosing an organic infant cereal, ensures you avoid any nasty pesticide residues and other environmental contaminants.

Oatmeal vs. Rice Cereal: which is best for your baby?

Oat-based and rice-based cereals both offer health and nutritional benefits.

Rice cereal is a preferred choice as a first food, as many see it as a safe choice. Rice is free from common allergens, including wheat, eggs, soy, and nuts. There is, however, no evidence suggesting that delaying the introduction of potentially allergenic foods beyond six months is preventive of food allergies.2

Bellamy’s Organic Baby Rice is easy to digest, a good source of iron, and has a mild taste, making it a perfect first food for babies.

Bellamy’s Organic Baby Rice can be introduced from 4 months, Pumpkin Baby Rice from 5 months, and Milk & Vanilla Rice from 6 months.

Serving suggestion: Baby Rice can be prepared as per package instructions by adding to a little breastmilk, formula, or boiling water. Alternatively, it can be added to a vegetable puree to enrich with iron and improve texture.

Bellamy’s Organic Baby Porridge, which is an oat-based porridge, is suitable from 5 months and the Apple & Cinnamon Porridge from 6 months.

Oats, being a whole grain are an excellent food for babies as well as children. Oats are a source of essential vitamins, minerals, provide slow-release energy from carbohydrates and soluble fibres, including beta-glucan. Oats, in particular, are beneficial for babies because of their soluble fibre content has a positive effect on gut microbial composition and may help to ease constipation. 1

How many serves of cereals does my baby need?

The NHMRC recommends babies over six months, and below 12 months consume seven serves of grains per week. One serve is approximately ~20g by weight.1

A serve of Bellamy’s Organic Baby Rice and Porridges is two tablespoons (14g dry weight).

Can babies digest grains?

It is a common misconception that babies cannot digest grains because of the starch content. The truth is that infants can digest starch better than adults. Infants have lower pancreatic amylase (a carbohydrate digesting enzyme). Still, they have higher amounts of other enzymes, including salivary amylase (aiding digestion in the mouth) and glucoamylase-maltase when compared to adults. Infants are also able to ferment non-digestible fibres (resistant starch) in the colon. 1

The health-boosting benefits of cereal for infants

Cereal grains can offer a multitude of nutritional and health-boosting benefits. The introduction of Bellamy’s Organic Baby Rice or Porridge is a great place to start your baby’s introduction to solid foods and a lifelong love of cereal grains. Not only is Bellamy’s Organic Baby Rice’s or Porridge’s a high bioavailable source of the mineral iron,2 supporting optimal growth and development but also provides fibre which is essential in the establishment of healthy gut flora.1

References

1. Klerks, M. et al. Infant Cereals: Current Status, Challenges, and Future Opportunities for Whole Grains. Nutrients11, 473 (2019).
2.NHMRC. Infant Feeding Guidelines Information for Health Workers. (2012).

About the author

Welcome to Bellamy’s Organic.

Please read this important message.

If you are able, breastfeeding is best, as it provides the ideal nutrition for babies and has other important health benefits too. Health Professionals are well placed to provide appropriate feeding advice and support. A healthy diet during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding is important.

Introducing infant formula either partially or exclusively, may reduce the supply of breast milk. Once reduced, it is difficult to re-establish. Social and financial implications, such as preparation requirements and cost of formula until 12 months, should be considered. When using infant formula, always follow the instructions for use carefully, unnecessary or improper use may make your baby unwell.

Information about Bellamy’s Organic products is solely for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice. If you would like to proceed, please click "I understand".