Proper nutrition during infancy and early childhood is fundamental to the development of a healthy adult. Given the high nutrient demands of children, they are easily one of the population groups most susceptible to micronutrient deficiencies. Early weaning is one of the leading causes of child malnutrition and ultimately increases the risk of infant morbidity and mortality. After the first six months postpartum, breast milk becomes inadequate for the optimal growth and development of babies, and cereal-based foods are often introduced to increase nutrient intake and energy levels. Until children reach 3-5 years old their digestive systems are not yet fully developed and the food that is provided should thus contain all the nutrients necessary for a healthy development. Cereal-based foods are by far the major source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals for infants from 6 to nearly 36 months old. This chapter deals principally with infant vitality and the importance of cereal foods for infant nutrition, the various types of cereal foods, the nutrients they contain, commercial infant cereals and cereal-based complementary foods for babies. Towards the end of the chapter, potential allergies and food safety parameters for these cereal foods are also discussed.
Jeelani, P., Ghai, A., Saikia, N., Kathed, M., Mitra, A., Krishnan, A., … Chidambaram, R. (2020). Baby foods based on cereals. In Food Science, Technology and Nutrition for Babies and Children (pp. 59–97). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35997-3_4