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Parents are often excited to begin the journey of introducing solid food to their little ones because they get to experiment with different foods to offer additional nutritional benefits to their babies. Babies get their first nutrition from breast milk or formula, although these nutrients would need to be complemented by the ones found in solid food. It has been recommended that babies are not introduced to solid food until 6 months of age to enable their digestive system to get ready to break down complex food.
Parents are usually advised to introduce solid meals to their little one by giving them cereals. Although there are different types of cereals in the supermarket, some parents get to pick the option of feeding their baby with oatmeal since they are one of the healthiest grains. Most parents have heard about the regular oatmeal but might get confused at the supermarket when they see both the regular oatmeal and the baby oatmeal. Below is the necessary information you need to know about baby oatmeal vs. regular oatmeal.
Baby oatmeal Vs. Regular Oatmeal
Baby Oat Meal
Baby oatmeal is a variant of oatmeal that is specifically for babies. This type of oatmeal is the processed form of the regular oat. Baby oat is steamed, flaked, and dried so it comes out in a thinner and smoother texture. This allows a baby to easily digest it since it has a smoother consistency. Baby oatmeal are found in single-serving packages which need only the addition of hot water to get it ready
- Saves preparation time
- Easily digestible
- Might contain artificial flavoring
- Lower in protein due to extra processing
- A little pricey than regular oatmeal
Regular oatmeal or usually called the classic oatmeal is not designed for a specific age grade, unlike the baby oatmeal. Its preparation time takes between 8-10 minutes with cooking. Due to the thicker texture of regular oats, it is advised that your baby has begun to chew and swallow properly to avoid the risk of infant food choking before eating it.
- It does not contain artificial flavouring
- It can be grounded into baby oatmeal
- It contains more nutrients than baby oatmeal
- It requires a longer preparation time unlike baby oatmeal
- It might need a natural flavouring such as fruits
When can babies have regular oatmeal?
You might be curious about when your baby can have regular oatmeal so you can feed your baby directly from your food during mealtime or even for a different personal purpose. Regular oatmeal is safe for your baby’s consumption when he/she begin to develop teeth, learns to chew, and can swallow without the fear of a choking hazard. Although babies grow at different rates, you can start feeding your little one regular oats at 7-8 months of age. This would allow your baby to enjoy the nutrients found in the regular oatmeal that the baby oatmeal doesn’t have because of the extra processing.
When can babies eat Quaker oatmeal?
Quaker oatmeal is regular oatmeal. It is advisable to start with baby oatmeal then proceed to regular oatmeal. You can give your baby Quaker oatmeal from 7-8 months. Although, if you want to introduce the taste of Quaker oatmeal to your baby who is around 6-7 months of age, it is advised that you grind the oat into a fine and smooth texture before preparing it. Also, ensure that you only use water while preparing the Quaker oat for the first few times to know if your baby has an allergic reaction to it. If you do not notice any reaction, you can go ahead and prepare the oat with milk and any fruit of your choice.
When to switch from baby oatmeal to regular oatmeal?
Making the switch from baby oatmeal to regular oatmeal depends on your baby’s ability to chew and swallow properly. Once a baby is 6 months of age you can introduce the baby to baby oatmeal but as your baby moves to 7-8 months of age you can begin to introduce regular oatmeal. When introducing regular oatmeal, you can give your baby a teaspoon or two first to see if he/she can chew and swallow it properly or not. You can try it again after a few more days to be sure your little one doesn’t experience a choking hazard while eating.
When can babies have oatmeal in a bottle?
Babies can have oatmeal in a bottle at the start of introducing solid food to a baby. You might need to mix a little quantity of cereal with breast milk or formula so your baby can gradually start taking cereals and if your baby has an allergy to rice cereal, oatmeal would be the safer option. Ensure that the oat is finely grounded to have a smooth texture. This would prevent lumps from passing through the teat of the bottle and resulting in a choking hazard for your baby.
When to stop feeding baby cereal?
As your baby gets older, he/she begins to get interested in eating varieties of food apart from cereals. But at what age can your baby take finger foods and other solid meals? Between 7-8 months of age, you should notice that your baby has learned to chew and swallow properly without gagging or feeling choked. Hence, you can gradually introduce finger foods, fruit puree, or other light snacks that are nutritious.
Baby Oatmeal Vs. Regular Oatmeal: The verdict
Pediatricians usually recommend baby oatmeal first since it has a smoother texture and can be easily digested by a baby. You can slowly start introducing your baby to regular oats when you notice that your baby has gained the ability to chew and swallow without choking on the oatmeal. Remember that babies are different and have different growth rates so do not compare the growth of your little one with another baby’s growth. It is also important you watch out for any allergic reactions and consult with your pediatrician if you notice any to avoid exposing your baby to any medical complications.