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weaning, avoiding wheat and gluten, what breakfast cereal can I use for baby?

(31 Posts)
alibo Wed 04-Aug-04 12:20:16

dh has excema, asthma ,nut allergy, hay fever, and am getting conflicting advice on how long to avoid wheat, gluten or both. What breakfast cereal can I give ds(he is just 6 months, but 3.5 weeks prem and have just started weaning). gf book refers to a wheat free, gluten free baby cereal, does this actually exist??

Tommy Wed 04-Aug-04 12:21:27

baby rice? (pretty disgusting but mix it with pureed fruit and it seems to go down quite well)

Pidge Wed 04-Aug-04 12:48:07

alibo - I too have eczema, asthma, hay fever and nut allergies so was ultra careful when weaning my dd (now aged 2). I found Suzanne Olivier's book "What should I feed my baby" very good - it is a bit hippyish, and I took some of the recommendations with pinch of salt (so to speak!) and basically steered what I thought was a sensible course between SO's advice and the standard Annabel Karmel/Gina Ford type weaning information.

On the cereal front I became a champion of millet and quinoa porridge. In particular quinoa is ace - you can get flakes from a health food shop, and then you just boil up a tablespoon or two in a few ounces of milk for 4-5 minutes until it becomes a porridgy texture. Then mash in some fruit, e.g. banana, or stewed apple or whatever. My dd still eats it aged 2. It's also some kind of super food - supposed to be very very healthy!

I then introduced porridge oats at around 9 months - they have something like gluten, but it's not supposed to be as problematic as the gluten in wheat.

I know porridge requires cooking - but it really only takes 5 minutes, and you can even do it in the microwave if you like.

I can't quite remember now when I introduced wheat - I think maybe small amounts from 10-11 months. She's now fine on all foods (except nuts of course) and no sign of allergies or eczema.

Good luck.

Portree Wed 04-Aug-04 13:07:41

I'm with Pidge on the millet front - my ds, now 8 mos, loves it with pureed prunes. I've got some quinoa but haven't tried it. You could also try buying brown rice flakes from a health food shop then grinding them down to make a flour. Mix with milk and cook it up for 5 mins or so. Ds loves it too.

strawberry Wed 04-Aug-04 13:13:22

Pidge is right. It's good to try oats before wheat as it is not as allergenic. But there are also lots of rice based cereals if you feel you want to avoid gluten completely.

Pidge Wed 04-Aug-04 13:24:06

Another good trick with cereals is to cook up some dried apricots or prunes in some water, then puree them till smooth and freeze them in tiny cubes for stirring into the porridge.

1. They taste yummy - you only need a tiny amount
2. Putting the frozen cube into the red-hot porridge helps cool it down a bit to eating temperature!

almost40 Wed 04-Aug-04 13:47:51

I introduced oat before wheat, but I accidentally have given wheat to DD who is only 7 months. She did not have a bad reaction to it. Does that mean I can still give it to her or do I need to stop giving it to her and start again at 10-11 months? Sorry to hijack, but I was just searching for a thread with the wheat question and found this. I've never understood the allergy theories.

Pidge Wed 04-Aug-04 13:50:35

I think if you've seen no bad reaction to the wheat then just carry on - by far the majority of babies will have no problem with food allergies. There are no hard and fast rules about appropriate ages for different foods, it's just a question of managing the risk and the main thing is to see if your own baby is ok with eating something.

almost40 Wed 04-Aug-04 13:57:33

Thanks, Pidge.

alison222 Thu 05-Aug-04 09:18:57

Message withdrawn

elliott Thu 05-Aug-04 10:29:55

Porridge made from maize meal (polenta) seems to go down well. ds1 also liked millet flake porridge but it is quite bitter and ds2 wasn't keen. Other than that rice is an option (baby rice or just make a traditional rice pudding without sugar and freeze portions). There are several rice based instant cereals on the market- try Boots own brand.

ChicPea Sat 07-Aug-04 23:44:50

Hi Alibo. I have coeliac disease (I look normal!) and I follow a gluten free diet. I also have my 22mth DD and 9mth DS follow it as well until I see a specialist who advises either way. For breakfast for my Ds he used to have baby rice with fruit but moved on to the Farleys low sugar and gluten free rusks. I take half a rusk and pour freshly boiled water over it to make a paste, add mashed fruit, say banana, raspberry, and a teaspoon of natural yoghourt. The gluten free variety taste like the real thing and while they do have sugar added, it is less per 100g than the organix, Milupa, etc and other good brand mixed cereal.
If I eat ready brek, in fact I can't, I would puff up within 2-3 minutes and haven't tried it on my children. They have gluten free everything, even bread sticks by Kallo. Sainsburys have a good range and I place a large order for gluten free bits and pieces to save going there. There must be a branch near you, you will probably need one of their big stores. Oh! Boots also stock the rusks. HTH.

alibo Thu 12-Aug-04 13:40:38

Thanks for all your suggestions!! Pidge, have been reading up on quinoa- it does sound like a very nutritious superfood- may try it myself!!? What sort of volumes would you suggest when first trying 6mth ds with it, ie how much milk to use, etc? Could I use formula to make it, as don't want to risk cow's milk yet? Also, do you think it would be a good alternative to his fruit and baby rice that he has in the evening? (Only been weaning for 2 weeks, and has sweet pot. with another veg for lunch). Also, is it easy to do in the microwave?

Pidge Thu 12-Aug-04 13:48:59

Yup quinoa is supposed to be a superfood - and very versatile. I used the flakes to make up porridge - roughly 1 tablespoon, simmered in about 3 fl oz of milk for 4-5 minutes. Then chuck in some pureed fruit or mashed banana to make it nice and tasty. Now dd is 2 she still eats this but I double the quantities.

You can definitely use formula - no problem. Just like you can with other cereals.

You can also get quinoa in grain format for throwing into casseroles, and using as an alternative to rice. We never really got on with this - it has a slightly bitter taste and dd didn't think much of it. Dp and I tried it too and frankly didn't care for it either!!

alibo Thu 12-Aug-04 14:29:20

Thats good if I can mix it with formula as ds is messing with all his bottles at the moment, so at least I can get some more milk down him!!(grin) Still not sure whether to try quinoa with fruit with his 6pm bottle, instead of baby rice and fruit. What quantity of quinoa do you reckon would be equivalent to his 3 teaspoons of baby rice? Just feel that baby rice has little nutritional value, but fruit alone does not seem to fill him??

alibo Thu 12-Aug-04 14:30:43

oops smileys not working, try again

Pidge Thu 12-Aug-04 14:38:13

alibo - I know what you mean about baby rice and it's not the most exciting stuff. Though at this early stage I think the most important thing is to get them used to the idea of eating.

You could definitely try quinoa in the evening - not entirely sure what the equivalent to 3 tsps baby rice would be. The quinoa swells up quite a bit when you cook it ... ummm I would try half a tablespoon with a couple of ounces of milk. Though you may find it fiddly to cook up such a small quantity. The other thing you could do is cook up a bigger amount and freeze it ... might be a bit of a funny consistency, but you can always add more milk once it's defrosted to make it right.

A bit of trial an error required probably. Hope your ds likes it!

alibo Thu 12-Aug-04 14:49:58

maybe a small amount would work in the microwave with a couple oz of milk?; the 3 spoons of baby rice also seems to swell to a sizeable amount once milk is added.

ChicPea Mon 23-Aug-04 20:30:53

I take half a gluten free, low sugar Farleys rusk and add some just boiled water to it to then make it into a smooth paste. I then add some mashed banana and a dollop of greek yoghourt and DS 10mths loves it. Have used baby rice and I do agree its boring. I have tried those ready made cereals even Organix but they are higher in sugar. The rusk is also great to rub together to make a crumble over pureed apples.

CP3 Mon 23-Aug-04 21:27:07

alibo my ds is coeliac and is not aloud dairy either. I found cereal the hardest thing to find for him, but we finally settled on some Kallo Organic Puffed Rice Cereal, available from thr free from isle in sainsburys. Tescos also sell it. We mix it with his Nutramagin milk, or a banana puree jar for variation. There are a few cereals but this is the easiest i found for a baby. When hes older he can move onto the Honey nut version of it.

We did try Rice Krispies by Kellogs but they made him ill so they must have gluten hidden in there some where

ChicPea Mon 23-Aug-04 21:42:56

CP3, I found the puffed rice you mentioned in Sainsbury's this afternoon and I bought it so that I could do cold cooking with DD 23mths by mixing it with melted chocolate and raisins to form little circles (?) and allowing them to set. Do you by any chance know of any recipes for this?
I don't know how old your DS is but there is a Peter Rabbit version of gluten free cornflakes if you are interested.

Utka Mon 13-Sep-04 22:33:26


Just about to post on the same topic and spotted this - thanks! We have same issue, but have also been advised to avoid dairy for a while too. Lots of the organic cereal alternatives are either gluten free or dairy free, but not both, so I was pleased to find out about quinoa.

BTW Did you know that several of the organic manufacturers are now doing gluten free later stage meals in jars - verified by Allergy UK? Was really pleased to spot one today that is gluten, egg and dairy free (so often they're bulked out with milk powder).

Has your enjoyed the quinoa?

alibo Tue 14-Sep-04 10:40:37

Hi Utka, hope this thread has helped you. Unfortunatly ds is still not interested in breakfast, except for a bit of fruit. Struggling on the whole with all solids at the moment due to teething. So I'm leaving breakfast for a while, so he'll hopefully eat a decent lunch. He didn't like the quinoa at all, but will keep trying it.
Are you avoiding wheat and dairy due to family allergies, my hv is very vague about it, so not sure still wen to try gluten/wheat and dairy

bundle Tue 14-Sep-04 10:47:13

alibo, children of people with coeliac disease are advised to avoid any gluten until they're a year old (for "normal" babies it's 4 mths).

alibo Tue 14-Sep-04 12:33:52

bundle, most weaning books, even birth to five from gp says not to introduce gluten till 6 months in babies "normal" babies not at risk from allergies. If baby is at risk from family allergies, like mine, 9-12 months is recommended for high risk foods such as gluten, dairy, fish,eggs etc.

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