Can I Give My Baby Cream of Wheat? When?

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Many parents wonder if they can safely give their baby cream of wheat, a popular breakfast food. So, let’s talk about it!

Cream of wheat is an excellent option for your baby once they are at least six months old since it is a thicker consistency food. However, avoid versions with a lot of added sugar and salt. 

Let’s dive into more beneficial information about when and how to safely feed your baby cream of wheat, especially since it’s a common allergen, too.

Can Babies Have Cream of Wheat?

It is safe to feed your baby cream of wheat when they are at least six months old. As opposed to grits, it offers a smoother puree but is still quite thick. Therefore, it is an appropriate food to give to your baby once they are at least six months old and can tolerate thicker purees (source: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

At this age, it is appropriate to feed about two to four tablespoons at a feeding.

Many parents wonder if the milk in cream of wheat is safe for babies since it is not recommended to feed them any cow’s milk until they are at least one year of age. However, it is okay to provide your baby with cow’s milk when they are under 12 months old as long as it is just used to prepare or cook food (source: Cleveland Clinic).

Giving your baby cow’s milk to drink before age one is not recommended.

cream of wheat with berries in a bowl

Is Cream of Wheat Good for Babies? 

Cream of wheat is a suitable food for babies as long as it is prepared without added sugars or excessive amounts of sodium. 

It is best to avoid feeding your baby foods that are high in added sugars and sodium (source: National Health Service [NHS]).

Thankfully, a serving of instant Cream of Wheat Original does not contain any added sugar and just has about 100 milligrams of sodium. Therefore, the sugar and salt content depends on what you choose to add to it.

Cream of wheat is a very healthy choice for your baby as it contains high amounts of calcium, iron, B vitamins, vitamin D, and more (source: Cream of Wheat). In addition, when it is prepared with whole milk, it can also be an excellent source of healthy fats and protein.

Can Babies Be Allergic to Cream of Wheat? 

Since wheat is a common allergen, it is possible that your baby can be allergic to the cream of wheat. However, rather than be worried, you can take precautions to keep your baby safe and be alert if an allergic reaction occurs. 

Firstly, it is essential to start with feeding your baby single ingredients foods first and then begin slowly feeding new foods one at a time. For example, wait three to five days before trying the following food (source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). 

After feeding your baby cream of wheat for the first time, monitor for severe eczema, hives, vomiting, extreme amounts of fussiness, wheezing or coughing, or any other unusual symptoms (source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign). These symptoms will typically occur within three to six hours after consumption. 

If you notice these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. 

homemade healthy cream of wheat farina porridge

Cream of Wheat vs. Oatmeal for Babies

Both cream of wheat and oatmeal are suitable for a baby who is at least six months of age. 

Cream of wheat is a smoother option for a younger child, while oatmeal can tend to be a bit chewier depending on how it is prepared. Based on the age of your child, start with cream of wheat as it provides healthy vitamins and minerals but ensures that your baby can tolerate the thick puree texture first before trying oatmeal.

When preparing oatmeal for your baby, add more water to make it a bit runnier and thinner. 

Whole cow’s milk can be added to your baby’s oatmeal, just like cream of wheat, to increase the fat and protein content of the food. 

In conclusion, I hope you found this article helpful in breaking down the information regarding feeding cream of wheat to your baby.