Cheerios are a great finger food for babies just starting to eat solids and learning to self-feed. It is important to make sure your baby is ready, however, before introducing Cheerios or other similar snacks.
Pediatricians recommend that parents should not feed their children solid foods before six months of age. Cheerios may be introduced to babies older than six months who show signs of readiness.
To prevent choking, your baby must be able to sit up independently before she is ready to eat Cheerios. Look for other signs of readiness, including the ability to grasp small objects and the ability to make chewing motions. Most babies are developmentally ready for finger foods when they reach seven to eight months of age.
Babies do not need teeth in order to eat finger foods such as Cheerios; their powerful jaws and gums can mash many foods. When starting out, you may soak Cheerios in milk or water to soften them and make them easier for your baby to eat.
Read the label and ensure that your baby is not allergic to the ingredients found in Cheerios. Introduce Cheerios after your child already has tried baby cereals with no adverse reactions. Always be on the lookout for symptoms of an allergic reaction after introducing new foods.
Choking is a serious risk, even with foods that may seem safe. Don’t let your child walk around or play while snacking, and never allow your child to eat in a moving vehicle. Monitor the number of pieces that your baby is placing in his mouth; many babies try to eat handfuls at a time.