INSIDE: In this blog, you’ll find a week of baby breakfast ideas you can easily share with your baby.
My first son didn’t take to solids readily. It’s like he didn’t know his Mam was a dietitian!
But breakfast was the ONE meal that he reliably ate. And watching him polish off a bowl of fruity porridge was a joy. So much so that he converted me to porridge, something I’d disliked from my own childhood.
We impact our babies’ eating, but they can influence ours too. And that aside, it’s much easier to make one breakfast than two (or three, or five!).
Bonus: As a bonus for joining my weekly newsletter, get this free cheat sheet of 7 simple baby breakfast ideas you can easily share
When’s the best time to introduce breakfast to my baby
There’s no right or wrong answer, but most parents introduce breakfast after ‘vegetable first tastes’.
So generally, at about 6.5 months.
How can I make sure what I offer my baby at breakfast is nutritious?
From shelves of baby porridges to scrambled eggs to quinoa with Goji berries, choosing a nutritious breakfast can seem overwhelming.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes the most straightforward ideas are the best. And the good news is that you’re probably already eating a version of the perfect baby breakfast yourself.
This simple rule makes planning your baby’s breakfast a no-brainer!
Follow this simple rule for nutritious breakfasts.
Here’s the simple rule I teach parents about planning nutritious meals for babies and toddlers at any time of the day.
- Choose an iron-rich food.
- Add an energy-rich food (this is usually a starchy food, healthy fat or some dairy or fortified soya product)
- Finish with some fruit and/or vegetable
And if you follow this formula, you really can’t go wrong!
|Iron-rich food||Energy food||Fruit or vegetable|
Whole milk + peanut butter
Raspberries cut in half
Mashed banana with almond butter
*Carrot cake porridge with chia seeds
Spinach and tomato omelette fingers
Finger of wholemeal toast
Hard-boiled egg (finger food or mashed with Greek yoghurt)
Avocado cut into fingers or mashed
Whole milk + chia seeds
Strawberries (mashed or sliced)
FREE CHEATSHEET: Seven days of simple baby breakfast ideas that you can easily share
*Honey isn’t suitable for babies under one
What’s the best approach for offering breakfast? Finger food or from a spoon?
If your baby is over six months, why not get the best of both worlds and offer both? Or maybe your baby has already decided for you by refusing the spoon.
Tip! When your baby prefers finger foods
Luckily, you can adapt most foods to serve either from a spoon or as finger food. If your baby doesn’t like being spoon-fed:
- Serve cereals like porridge or Ready Brek as muffins, porridge fingers, and pancakes.
- Fruit and vegetables are easy to serve as finger foods.
- Use thick yoghurt or nut butter as a spread on toast, pancakes or fruit
READ MORE: How to offer finger foods to babies: A step-by-step guide
Tip! When your baby prefers eating from a spoon
- Serve mashed (or blitzed) hard-boiled egg mixed into porridge or yoghurt.
- Serve mashed fruit (try to move on from puréeing fruit as quickly as possible) in porridge.
How to offer porridge every day without getting bored
Parents often ask, “ is it OK to serve my baby porridge or Ready Brek every day”.
If you eat porridge every day, then it’s perfect for sharing with your baby every day. You’re not a personal baby chef.
And porridge every day needn’t be dull. By changing the flavourings, toppings and finger food, you can offer your baby a new breakfast experience daily.
READ MORE>>>>>> The best guide to introducing babies to cows milk ever
Seven Days of interesting Baby Breakfast Ideas based on porridge
- Porridge + coconut + banana
- Porridge +Greek yoghurt +frozen berries
- Porridge + peanut butter + strawberries
- Porridge + almond butter +pear
- Porridge + chia seeds + grated apple
- Porridge + raisins + grated carrot + cinnamon
- Porridge +nutmeg + mashed tinned mandarins
Serve the fruit mashed into the porridge, as finger food on the side, or both!
Which is better, Ready Brek (fortified oat cereal) or regular porridge?
The choice between using Ready Brek or porridge is yours.
Advantage of Ready Brek (fortified oat cereal).
Ready Brek and most supermarkets’ own instant oat cereal are fortified with iron.
You’ll find advice online about making your own smooth oats by blending up regular oats. I think this is a waste of time! If you want to serve smooth porridge, choose Ready Brek (or own-brand versions) and take advantage of the added iron without the added labour!
Advantage of regular porridge
Porridge is an excellent way to push your baby on with lumpier textures.
But like most decisions, it doesn’t need to be one over the over.
Why not mix and match them both over the week?
Apart from oats, what other cereals are suitable for babies?
Weetabix is a wheat-based (and gluten-containing cereal) that’s iron-fortified and can be gradually introduced to your baby anytime.
RELATED: Easy ways to serve Weetabix for babies-and why to do it!
Bite-size Shredded Wheat can be helpful as your baby gets older and develop its pincer grip. Although unfortunately, Shredded Wheat isn’t fortified with iron.
Can I use cows’ milk to make up porridge?
It’s OK to use whole cow’s milk in food anytime, but it’s not suitable for drinking until after 12 months. If you’re plant-based and want to share your bowl of porridge with your baby, that’s fine. Fortified soya milk is an ideal option. But fortified oat, coconut, or almond milk are also OK to use (although they contain very little protein) in food. But rice milk isn’t suitable for babies under five years of age.
Options for milk alternatives for a cow’s milk allergic baby?
If your baby is allergic to cow’s milk, the best off-the-shelf alternative to use in food is fortified soya milk (if tolerated). If your baby needs to be cow’s milk and soya free, then choose fortified oat or pea milk.
And make sure to consult with a registered dietitian for personalised advice on managing a milk-free diet.
Baby breakfast alternatives for egg-allergic babies (you can still serve pancakes!)
Eggs are a breakfast staple, so when your baby is allergic to eggs, it’s hard not to feel cheated!
My first baby had allergies to milk, egg and peanuts, so I feel your pain!
However, your baby can still enjoy egg-free versions of breakfast favourites like pancakes, muffins and even ‘scrambled eggs (tofu)’.
Best bread options for your baby at breakfast time
Previously, wholegrain products were discouraged for babies under two years of age. However, that advice has changed.
It’s OK to offer your baby some wholemeal foods like wholemeal bread and wholemeal cereals like Weetabix. But that doesn’t mean we want them to fill up exclusively with wholemeal varieties. Babies and young children have small tummies meaning they can fill up quite quickly. Therefore we want to ensure we offer them a balance of foods, some that are higher in fibre and some that are lower in fibre.
Try to choose bread with the least amount of salt per 100g.
Expert Tip-you don’t need to buy special baby porridge (and why regular porridge is better)
There’s no shortage of baby porridges to choose from. Walking down the baby food aisle, you’ll see boxes, pouches and jars in every colour under the rainbow.
Bottom line: Most baby porridges are blends of oats (or sometimes other cereals like wheat, rice, rye) with milk powder and possibly some fruit concentrates for flavouring.
Here are three reasons not to bother with baby porridge or cereals.
REASON 1: They’re expensive
You can see here in the example below that an own-brand smooth porridge fortified with iron is far less expensive than an unfortified baby porridge. Don’t get sucked into clever marketing!
REASON 2: They’re not necessary.
Ready Brek, Weetabix or most own-brand versions of these cereals are perfect for your baby. They contain no added sugar or salt and are fortified with iron, just like baby porridge.
REASON 3: They can be high in sugar.
Many baby porridge products contain puréed fruit or fruit concentrates, considered free sugars. It’s far better to mash or grate fruit into porridge or serve it as finger food alongside the porridge. Mashed, grated and chopped fruit contain less ‘free sugar’ than purée fruit.
READ MORE >>> Sugar for babies-Separating fact from fiction!
I hope this helps you and your baby enjoy this important meal of the day stress-free and easy. My son’s fifteen now, and breakfast is still his favourite meal of the day!
Get Your Free Cheat Sheet
When you’re in the thick of a busy morning, it can be difficult to come up with varied breakfasts for you and your baby. So, here’s a week’s worth of ideas to stick on the fridge!
- Get the free cheat sheet. You’ll get the cheatsheet, plus join my weekly newsletter! Just click here to get it and subscribe.
- Print or download onto your phone.
- Hang your cheat sheet somewhere handy, like the fridge. Or save it in a folder on your phone.
Great tips. I’ve been blending up porridge. I’m just going to buy ready brek seeing as it’s fortified with iron.
One less thing to do!