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Weetabix has been a family favourite in the UK since 1932 and is associated with a healthy start to the day which is emphasised by the common phrase “have you had your Weetabix?”.
As the name suggests, Weetabix is made with whole-grain wheat and are widely known to be one of the healthiest cereals – this leads to many parents pondering when can their babies have it for the first time when they enter the weaning process.
When can you start feeding your baby Weetabix?
Babies should not be fed Weetabix until at least 6 months, with cow’s milk at 6 months as long as it’s mashed.
Weetabix is a wheat-based cereal and wheat shouldn’t be introduced until 6+ months old
Wheat is the grain most commonly associated with food allergies, especially wheat gluten and Weetabix is packed full of the stuff. A baby’s digestive system is still under development and may not be able to effectively digest wheat and what gluten until 6 months of age. Plus, allergies can be more difficult to handle the younger they are so it’s best to wait.
However, there are studies that suggest otherwise which may be of interest to read but these studies to contradict both Weetabix and the NHS’s own guidelines.
Weetabix with Cow’s milk shouldn’t be introduced until 6 months+
Several sources such as Today’s Parent say that babies should not be introduced to cow’s milk until they are 1, this is because their stomachs may not be able to digest it properly and can lead to an iron deficiency if they drink too much milk and not enough solids. Weetabix does, however, have a lot of iron so we believe it can be introduced at 6 months old if it’s mashed up.
Therefore, Weetabix with cow’s milk (even if it’s mashed up) shouldn’t be offered until they’re around 6 months old but this rule shouldn’t be applied to cereals without iron.
Some tips on introducing Weetabix to a baby
Weetabix has not been designed for children and the brand state this on their website. As such, parents should not be going out of their way to introduce this over classic weaning foods such as fruits, vegetables, yoghurts and so on. What we mean to say it, there are better foods they could be eating at such an age.
Weetabix should not be the first foods introduced during weaning, the wheat content and the additional minerals, nutrients, salt and sugar may prove too much for them which can lead to digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhoea and a sore tummy.
But, if you are adamant to feed your baby Weetabit then we encourage it to be introduced gradually and mashed in with other foods such as fruit; a mashed banana is one of the best options. The fibre content has been reported to be a little too much for babies which can lead to nappy rash and diarrhoea. Babies do not need as much fibre as adults and Weetabix is an adult cereal.
Despite guides (including this one) suggesting babies can be introduced Weetabix at 6 months old, it shouldn’t be the first foods they encounter post-milk and it isn’t the best thing they can wean with. Weetabix may well be a great cereal option but it is not designed for babies so foods which are designed for babies is what should be prioritised.