Why All Babies and Toddlers Eat Cheerios

Transitioning baby to solid foods from breast feeding or bottle feeding usually takes place via baby food, liquefied versions of fruits and vegetables.  Whether you use jars of baby food or make your own baby food, the route to strained carrots and peas is a time tested one.  What comes next is almost as universal.

It seems that all babies and toddlers eat Cheerios as one of their first truly solid foods (the name being used somewhat inaccurately for jars of baby food which are not so much solid, as non-liquid.)  Go to just about any day care, playground, or other place where there are groups of children, and you are likely to see Cheerios in the hands of more than one youngster.

What Makes Cheerios a Great Food

What makes Cheerios such a great food for toddlers and babies is that it comes already pre-made without triggering any of the usual parenting concerns.  They are too small to be choked on by any child old enough to actually be eating non-strained foods, and even if they did manage to get lodged sideways in a child’s throat, there is always the whole in the middle.

Cheerios also taste good to children who are naturally inclined toward that “cereal” flavor, not just in Cheerios, but also in the form of rice cereal which is often a starter food for babies moving to solids as well.

Additionally, Cheerios are not sticky, don’t have to be cut or peeled, don’t spoil if not refrigerated, don’t make a mess (unless stepped on), can be carried around in just about anything, and can be grasped by little fingers just starting to develop the fine motor skills that will soon develop into the ability to use a spoon and fork.

Finally, while Cheerios are not free of any sugars or artificial flavors, most parents are less worried about that by this stage of development.  And, whatever it does have in the way of those things is still rather low compared to other foods that meet the size and flavor criteria.  As an added bonus, Cheerios come fortified with vitamins, so it is a little bit like giving a multivitamin to children who are too young to have actual vitamins, which is always a nice plus for parents who worry about whether or not the array of foods their youngster is willing and able to eat provide enough all around nutrition for a growing baby.

In the end, it seems that Cheerios are just an easy way to make sure that baby is getting at least a little nutrition, even when snacking.  So, when you are wondering if your kid should get Cheerios too, the answer is, “Why not?”

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