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Cereal...just empty calories???

I have noticed a lot of moms on here say that baby cereal is just empty calories. Gerber's cereals are made with natural grains, have iron, zinc, and b vitamins ect. in them. How is it just empty calories? My daughter is 7 months old and loves her oatmeal in the mornings!!

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:51 AM on Jan. 31, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (9)
  • If your daughter loves her oat meal that's fine! But the biggest problem, I think, is the marketing of cereal. They have a ton of vitamins, but the bio availability of those vitamins are low. So most of them end up flushed out of the system and into the diaper without doing the baby any good. The excess iron can cause constipation problems as well :(
    There is new research linking infant cereals to Type 1 diabetes, but I don't know much about this.

    However, if someone wants to feed their baby cereal that's fine! It's yummy! But it really is mostly empty calories.

    Answer by Devory at 3:30 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • Do you add fruit to her oatmeal? It's a great way to add flavor and nutrients, I add organic applesauce to Lil's ( we feed her milled oats not gerber because it's the same thing but cheaper!)

    Answer by Devory at 3:33 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • I didn't know about the milled oats. i'll have to look into that when I reach that stage.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 3:43 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • When they make baby cereal, they bleach and dehydrate the grains - removing all natural health benefits. Then, they add in chemical forms of nutrients and as the PP said, they have low bioavailability. Also, the iron in baby cereal can reduce baby's iron absorption.

    Beyond that, rice cereal has a high glycemic index because it's easily converted to sugar in the body.

    I skipped cereal. I started with banana and avocado. When they were older, I gave them ground oats or made my own brown rice cereal.

    Answer by asaffell at 3:58 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • Here is the definition of an empty calorie- in casual dietary terminology, are calories present in high-energy foods with poor nutritional profiles, typically from processed carbohydrates or fats. Also known as a discretionary calorie, an "empty calorie" has the same energy content of any other calorie but lacks accompanying nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, or in the case of refined grains, fiber.

    Cereal has both vitamins and minerals so it is NOT an empty calorie food!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:53 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • My daugher eats the stage 3 oatmeal with fruit. There is protein and everything else and my dr says her diet is fine...She gets that in a.m....squash, carrots, sweet potatoes for lunch, and a dinner for dinner.....And then some snacks (gerber graduates, etc) dont listen to anyone but ur dr. My daughter is 11 months and healthy...Not overweight, 50th percentile....

    Answer by Alexmygirl at 4:55 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • Look at the calories/nutrients in baby cereal, now look at an equivalent "adult" oatmeal cereal. Take the adult serving and cut it by 1/4....much better.

    The thing with baby cereal being "empty calories" is when parents use it to substitute for formula or breastmilk...HUGE difference in the calories. Cereal takes longer for them to digest, so they may seem fuller, but later when it's digested the baby is even more hungry because they've received fewer calories for the day. The phrase "empty calories" may be the wrong term to use....but there's a HUGE difference in the calories and nutrition they receive from formula/breastmilk and table foods.

    Baby food is for practice, not nutrition.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 6:35 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • My son loves his cereal, too. I go for the organic, whole-grain baby cereals, and add fresh fruit such as bananas or unsweetened applesauce to it for a boost. I believe they are good for babies and young children. However, I personally believe that organic and whole grain is the way to go. They even have brown-rice cereal as well. Just read the label and compare. You'll find one with better nutritional value than the plain Gerber cereals. But rest assured, generations have grown up on those cereals and turned out just fine. It's just a personal decision

    Answer by ShadesofGrey at 10:47 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • My son LOVES his rice cereal. I don't consider it empty calories because I make it with his formula.

    Answer by ap9902 at 11:23 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

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