The first complementary food is a very important and responsible moment in the life of every child and parent. Proper feeding has a positive effect on the health and development of the baby, ensures comfortable digestion and strengthens the immune system. Using low-quality dietary supplements may cause a number of problems: allergic reactions, gastrointestinal disorders, restless sleep and, as a consequence, the mood of a capricious baby. According to modern recommendations of doctors, the time of introduction of complementary foods is from 4 to 6 months. The WHO strongly recommends that baby should be breastfed as long as possible, preferably up to the age of 24 months.
The first additional food ration is chosen individually for each child according to his physiological data and state of health, it can be either kasha or baby puree, by the recommendation of his pediatrician. But almost every company producing baby food also offers baby porridge for complementary feeding. What cereals are worth paying attention to and what manufacturers should be trusted??
Varieties of porridge
When choosing porridge, it is necessary to carefully study the key components in the composition:
- The number of components in the porridge – mono-component or multicomponent
- The presence of gluten;
- The base (dairy/dairy-free/dairy formula);
- with supplements (fruits/vegetables, etc.).)
- Enrichment with vitamins, enzymes, minerals, probiotics;
- Preservatives, flavor enhancers.
It is recommended to start cereal complementary foods with gluten-free (rice or buckwheat), mono-component (one cereal in the composition, no fruit or other additives), dairy-free or on dairy mixes porridge. The timing of the introduction of different types of complementary foods and products is defined in the National Program for Improved Feeding of Infants in the First Year of Life, 2019.
For the choice of food, always consult your pediatrician.
- Gluten-free porridges
Gentler, reduce risk of allergies, so they are better suited for first complementary foods. Gluten-free porridges include: rice, buckwheat and corn (allowed from 5 months) porridges. Gluten-containing porridges: oatmeal, wheat, semolina, barley, etc.д. These porridges will not harm children who have good gluten intolerance, but are worth introducing them later.
- Dairy-free porridge.
To minimize the risk of allergy development it is advised to start complementary feeding with non-dairy cereals, or better still, with cereals based on milk formula. Animal milk protein (cow’s and goat’s milk) is a strong allergy trigger, and if possible it should be introduced later, not earlier than at 5 months of age. If your baby has a history of parents’ allergies to milk protein, then the introduction of dairy products should be discussed with your doctor.
An added bonus of good porridge is that it is enriched with probiotics and other functional ingredients. But there should be no preservatives, strengtheners or sweeteners, and it is better to give preference to “pure” and natural composition.
Kabrita brand can be placed on the leading position. The company produces products on goat milk, such as blends, porridges and purees.
The porridges based on adapted milk formula contribute to a smooth and gentle introduction of the first cereal snack. It is worth mentioning that goat milk is quite close to mother’s milk in protein and fat composition, so it is digested faster and better metabolized. All of these contribute to a more comfortable digestion of the baby.
The benefits of goat’s milk, the energy of cereals and useful additives in porridges is a key to harmonious growth and development of the child.
The range includes gluten-free rice and buckwheat porridge suitable for early complementary feeding for babies from 4 months of age.
For babies 5 months and older, there are oatmeal and multigrain (gluten-containing) cereals. In addition, they are presented both in pure form and with the addition of fruit.
And yet, when it comes to early complementary feeding, it is worth giving preference to gluten-free porridge. So, the composition of Kabrita brand first-feeding cereals:
- The basis – an adapted milk formula on goat milk;
- cereal base partially hydrolyzed flour, which facilitates digestion and gives the porridge a pleasantly sweet taste;
- DigestX complex (vegetable oils);
- are prepared without crystal sugar, with the addition of natural milk sugar (lactose);
- enriched with prebiotics;
- Contain vitamins and minerals;
- Are perfectly soluble (no lumps);
- Have a very delicate texture and mild creamy taste.
- does not contain GMOs;
- No preservatives in the composition;
- vitamins, minerals, prebiotics.
- Not available in all chain stores.
Gluten-free porridges of this manufacturer get a lot of attention from mothers, as they have a good composition and are liked by children. The brand offers both dairy and non-dairy porridges for first complementary feeding.
If a child is diagnosed with a milk intolerance, it is possible to choose dairy-free porridge to begin complementary feeding. Dairy-free cereals are made from flour, which is produced using a special technology of cereal breakdown. Useful trace elements are added to the main component, which makes the porridge a wholesome meal for a baby.
- Cereal flour (rice, buckwheat, corn).
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Micronutrients ensure normal growth and development of the baby, bifidobacteria improve digestion. The porridge is hypoallergenic and does not contain cow’s milk.
- no GMOs;
- no sugar or flavorings;
- The presence of bifidobacteria and useful substances.
- Not all babies like the taste.
3. FLEUR ALPINE
This company produces the whole-grain cereals which use all parts of cereals and therefore are rich in natural vitamins and fiber. It is usually recommended to choose rice or buckwheat gluten-free porridge for the first complementary feeding, and it is approved for children from four months of age.
The composition is as simple as possible:
- whole wheat flour;
- vitamin B1.
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Due to its light consistency, the complement is well absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract of the child, does not cause digestive upset, the product is organic. The presence of fiber stimulates the intestinal function, which prevents problems with stools.
- palm oil free;
- without preservatives and flavorings.
- no vitamin complex;
- does not contain bifidobacteria and prebiotics;
- is not available in all stores.
This company also has both dairy-free complementary foods and porridges with added milk. If we talk about the first complementary food, you can safely choose dairy-free porridge of buckwheat or rice. Porridge for the first course of this brand contains a full complex of proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals, the totality of these components ensures normal operation of the gastrointestinal tract of the baby. In addition, this porridge is suitable for the prevention of constipation.
The product is low-allergenic, with a complex of vitamins (12 of them), iodine and iron added to the basic composition.
- Cereals (rice, buckwheat)
- Inulin (in rice);
Inulin in the composition is an organic polysaccharide, which is a polymer of fructose, which makes the porridge a bit sweet to the taste. Inulin helps improve carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, maintains normal blood sugar levels, strengthens the immune system. But inulin also has the side effect of increased gas, so its availability is a moot point. However, it has much more positive effects, and the percentage in rice porridge is insignificant -7.3%.
- A rich complex of vitamins;
- palm oil free;
- reasonable price.
- no bifidobacteria and probiotics.
For first complementary foods, there are both low-allergenic (I without added milk, sugar or salt) and simple dairy-free porridges.
Rice porridge can be found at practically any supermarket chain store at a reasonable price and is suitable for complementary feeding from the age of four months.
- cereal flour;
- Prebiotic chicory fiber (inulin);
- vitamin substances;
Porridge has a harmonious composition, is well assimilated and has no negative impact on the child’s body.
- without palm oil;
- no sugar or flavor enhancers.
- No exact data on the percentage of inulin.
This is the porridge chosen by many parents because of its availability in stores and price.
When the time comes for the introduction of the first complementary food, you need to decide which porridge will be the best option for your baby.