As solid food becomes a reality for our children, we want to help them make the healthiest choices possible from an early age. Each of the stages of baby food is important and choosing organic during the first few years of life is one of the ways we can make sure our children get all the nutrients they need without unintended ingredients like pesticides or antibiotics.
Parents looking for organic options for their little ones have more options than ever before. Not only are traditional baby food brands getting on the organic train, but these products are also now available in your supermarket and online.
What is the best organic baby cereal? There are several products to choose from. We provide a comprehensive list as well as compelling reasons to go organic in our complete guide to organic baby cereal.
How We Made Our Choices
The list of organic baby cereals remains rather short compared to the number of available baby food and traditional baby cereal choices.
Our standards included using only organic baby cereals and skipping anything labeled merely “natural,” “ecological,” or “bio.” We decided to skip the latter products because there are legal distinctions between organic foods and food using similar labels. The USDA has a list of requirements for certified organic foods, but no such distinctions exist for “natural foods.”
We also kept an eye out for any cereals that had a little extra something. Nutrient-fortified cereals for babies in the process of weaning made a good impression. We also loved cereals beloved by both babies and older children because making one breakfast makes life simpler.
Finally, we took hundreds of customer reviews and incorporated them carefully into our decision. These reviews reveal what babies and parents think of the cereal, and they save you from buying yet another package of food that your baby won’t like.
All in all, our choices reflect both the ingredients list and the little things that make each cereal special for a well-rounded list of baby foods.
The Best Organic Baby Cereal for Your Little One
Have you seen organic baby cereals on the shelves but aren’t sure whether they’re worth the price or if they’re any good?
Try out one of the tried-and-tested organic baby cereal brands listed below.
Happy Bellies Happy Baby Organic Probiotics Oatmeal Baby Cereal
Happy Bellies is a baby food company committed to producing solely organic products.
The cereal’s ingredient list includes milled organic whole grain oats and a vitamin and mineral blend that features phosphorus, choline, calcium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin E, vitamin B12, zinc oxide, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin D3.
The probiotics included in the probiotic mix includes Lactobacillus, acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus salvarius, Lactobacillus plantarum, and fructooligosaccharides.
The only unnecessary ingredient in the cereal is mixed tocopherols, which Happy Bellies uses to keep the oats from going stale.
Although the Happy Bellies brand is a reputable one, there appear to be some issues with the distributor, mainly if you buy via Amazon. As long as you get the Happy Bellies brand, then you are good to go. However, if you feel the packaging fails to meet your standards, then you should be sure to return it quickly.
Parents who buy Happy Bellies love the cereal because it works well not only for young babies, but toddlers love it, too. Because it is effectively softer oatmeal, it is entirely acceptable to serve to babies just starting on solid food as well as older children. We like its universal use because it makes breakfast simple.
If you do feed it to more than one child, fear not. You can buy it in bulk including in packs of two or six.
1. Gerber Organic Cereal
Whether you see it on the shelf today or you grew up Gerber, you likely recognize the Gerber brand name almost instantly. It is a well-established baby food brand that you can trust, and now, it offers an organic option for parents who want an extra piece of mind.
The Organic Cereal line offered by Gerber offers the confidence of buying Gerber with carefully chosen USDA Certified Organic cereals. It comes in a vast number of styles suitable for children over six months, but the only two organic offers are Organic Oatmeal and Organic Rice Cereal.
We love that the ingredients are simple: organic whole grain oats or organic whole grain rice. Gerber also added in extra vitamins and nutrients to fortify the cereal including vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, and iron for healthy bodies and all the help they need with brain development.
Each package comes with eight ounces of cereal, which provides roughly 15 servings.
One of the ways Gerber stands out from the crowd is that it formulates its cereal for use elsewhere. If you have older kids, you can use the product in other recipes like pancakes, cookies, and smoothies.
Earth’s Best Organic Wholegrain Cereal
Earth’s Best is an old school player in the movement calling for organic baby food. It began in 1985, and its only goal is to offer quality ingredients in your favorite stores for prices that make sense for families. Their dream is to provide products that give every baby the best start possible in life.
If you are beginning your journey towards solid foods, then Earth’s Best Organic gives you several options. Their ranges of infant cereals include:
- Oatmeal with Banana
Each of the cereals comes from wholegrain, USDA-Certified Organic versions of the food for better nutrition and easier digestion. The company also fortifies the cereal with iron, which promotes healthy growth for infants.
Unlike other companies, Earth’s Best Organic doesn’t add anything to the cereal that doesn’t belong. There are no artificial flavors mixed in to make the taste more appealing or addicting, and there are no funny colors or unnecessary preservatives.
We like that Earth’s Organic brings cereal and baby food back to basics. There are no gimmicks, and you don’t need to go to a specialist shop to find it. We also like that you can buy in bulk or subscribe, so if your child loves the cereal, then you never need to go without.
However, we may not recommend that you buy in bulk. Customers have pointed out that those who fulfill the order seem to send cereal that expires before a child can eat it all, which ultimately results in a waste of money.
Xongdur Organic Baby Cereal
- Supplements that help develop baby's skills of swallowing and taste perception. We selected rice from Thailand , organic...
- Bananas are rich in potassium. There is natural sugar, glucose, fructose, sucrose, amino acids and minerals essential...
- Spinach is rich in vitamin A, iron, calcium, folate and fiber
Xondur Organic Baby Cereal isn’t a well-known brand, but it does offer a product line that you won’t find among the most popular lines of baby food.
Xongdur primarily offers rice cereal flavored with fruits and vegetables. It’s suitable for use a few times a week or for supplementing other grain-based cereals. Doctors tend to recommend avoiding a complete reliance on rice cereals because it increases the likelihood of your baby’s exposure to arsenic.
The primary ingredient in any Xongdur Organic Baby Cereal is organic sprouted brown rice. If it includes other vegetables or fruits, those are also organic. One of the most popular flavors is banana and pumpkin. The second most popular flavor is the rice cereal with organic banana and organic spinach powder.
In addition to the primary ingredients, Xongdur also adds prebiotics to the cereal. However, there are still no awful ingredients like artificial flavors, trans fats, or preservatives. The cereal is also free from both nuts and soy.
A typical box of rice cereal includes six sachets or servings, which is ideal for supplementing your usual cereal. We suspect this one will be hard to find in your local supermarket, but you can likely find it in an Asian supermarket. It’s also readily available online.
Healthy Times Organic Whole Grain Cereal for Baby
Healthy Times Organic Cereal is a fan favorite among children and parents alike. The product is made using USDA Certified Organic Ingredients and is free from:
- Added flavors
It also comes in four-grain options including oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and mixed grain.
Unlike some of the other baby cereals on the list, it also includes some nutrient-rich ingredients that add extra layers of health to the cereal. Other components include electrolytic iron, zinc sulfate, vitamin E, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, folic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6.
We love the Healthy Times brand because it concerns itself as much with the ingredients as it does with meal time. It’s soft enough for baby’s very first cereal, and even the oats offer an irresistible, worry-free texture. Each one is also simple to make. All you need to do is pour in water, breast milk, or any other liquid to make the cereal in only a few minutes.
People who buy the cereal remark on how smooth the texture is and how well it blends (and avoids lumps) whether you make it hot or cold.
Our only complaint is that it comes in rather small packages, which tends to make it more expensive. However, your little one is sure to finish the bag with plenty of time to spare before expiry, so the five-ounce packages also cut down on waste.
NurturMe Organic Infant Cereals
NurturMe Organic Infant Cereals eschew traditional grains altogether and instead rely solely on easy-to-digest quinoa. Each quinoa cereal offers a bowl full of balanced nutrition with carbohydrates and protein in your bowl along with natural, plant-based nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Each quinoa cereal offers quinoa that is certified organic as well as kosher. It offers quinoa and quinoa only—no dairy, soy, gluten, or egg involved. NurturMe receives its quinoa from sustainable, organic farms high in the South American Andes. What is more, every bag sold generates a donation to children’s welfare in Peru.
We like this cereal because unlike other grain-based cereals, quinoa cereal is gluten-free and offers a more nutritionally complete profile compared to other gluten-free grains like rice. Quinoa also provides a nutritional profile that is similar to breast milk, which means the two balance each other well and offer meal with more amino acids, natural fiber, and antioxidants.
We also like that you can buy it with fruit for added sweetness. The product line features:
- Original Quinoa
- Quinoa and Apple
- Quinoa and Banana
- Quinoa and Raisin
What do parents like you think? They find there might be a learning curve compared to making other grain cereals. Also, you might notice the color becomes off-putting, particularly if you put the mixture in the microwave. Don’t let the color scare you away. We have it on good authority that it tastes far better than it looks sometimes.
It’s also worth noting that the packet size may be much smaller than what you usually find in baby cereals. You can buy as many as six packs of the 3.7-ounce package at a time.
Getting Started with Solid Food
The transition from milk to solid food is a huge step. Your child only drank breast milk or formula during the first six months of their life, but by six-months-old, they’re often ready for something more alongside their breast or bottle-feeding.
Before you start thinking about cereal, keep an eye out for signs that your baby is ready. Age is a good indicator, but some children are ready earlier or later than others. In addition to waiting for the six-month mark, you’ll want to wait to offer your baby cereal until they can:
- Hold their head upright
- Sit upright without support
- Express interest in what their parents and siblings eat
Around this time, babies begin to develop the coordination they need to move food in their mouths to take a bite and then swallow it.
How to Make Your Baby’s First Cereal
Are you just about to make the transition from an exclusive breast milk diet to a solid diet by adding in grain-based cereals? Even if your baby shows all the signs of being ready, you’ll need to adjust the cereal to meet their abilities and begin to train them to swallow solid food.
Usually, you’ll follow the instructions provided on the manufacturer’s packet, but you’ll need to take extra steps during the first few feedings.
Start by adding three to four tablespoons of liquid per tablespoon of cereal for the first few attempts at eating cereal. You can start reducing the liquid as your child grows and begins to tolerate the cereal well.
You also won’t start with a full bowl of cereal. Offer your baby a teaspoon of runny cereal after feeding a few times a week and slowly begin to introduce more over time.
Because the texture is foreign, your baby might reject the cereal. After all, new foods are scary. Don’t pressure them into eating it. Try again after a few days or even a week.
If solid food seems to be a non-starter after a few weeks of trying, visit your pediatrician to talk about where to go next and make sure their distaste of the food isn’t a symptom of a different issue.
Why Choose Organic Food
Why is organic baby food worth hunting down? It comes with more health benefits that are vitally important for babies and young children who are still developing their immune, hormonal, and nervous systems.
These benefits include:
- Lower pesticide levels
- Less contamination
- No GMOs
- Fewer additives
Here’s why these characteristics matter so much more for our little ones.
Children are More Vulnerable to Chemicals
Babies and toddlers are more vulnerable to all kinds of things because young children are still in the process of developing critical bodily systems including their immune and nervous system.
As a result, they experience a greater vulnerability to chemical and other compound exposure than older children and adults do.
Organic farmers typically avoid herbicides and pesticides in favor of natural fertilizers.
Thankfully, grains don’t typically exhibit as much pesticide residue as produce like strawberries, spinach, nectarines, and apples. However, minimizing your child’s exposure during their early years in any way you can has the ability to help.
Organic farming rules are stricter when it comes to the use of things like antibiotics. Antibiotics don’t make a significant difference in grain-based cereals, but if you buy a cereal that has any kind of dairy or protein additive, then you may find that antibiotics may sneak their way in.
Either way, buying organic means avoiding them altogether, which helps your baby’s immune system develop the way it should.
The jury is out on GMOs, but if we can keep them away from our youngest children during the most critical stages of development, then there’s no reason not to do so.
The most significant selling point of going organic when choosing baby cereals is that organic baby food producers tend to prefer basic formulas that are free from sweeteners and anything unnecessary for cereal.
Plus, organic standards ban any food additives that don’t come from a natural source.
What’s banned? You won’t find aspartame or hydrogenated fat in your baby’s organic food.
Featured image source: pixabay