Eating For Your Health

Creative Uses For Baby Cereal

by Salvador Hill

Baby cereal is a special mix of finely ground grains, vitamins, and nutrients such as calcium, zinc, iron, and vitamins B, D and C. While the dry cereal mix is typically combined with water or milk and fed to infants, there are a number of other creative ways you can use it. 

Fortified baby cereal is designed to nourish babies and support their brain and body growth, as well as introduce them to solid foods. As the infant gets older, they're often switched from single to multi-grain cereals, featuring rice, wheat, and oat combinations. The mix gets babies used to a variety of textures and flavors, which will help to develop their palate for different types of food later. 

If you've bought too much cereal and won't be able to use it all by the expiration date, or if your child no longer eats it, you can transform it into other treats for your family. Instead of throwing the cereal out and wasting money, incorporate it into snacks, treats, and favorite recipes as a creative twist. Not only will it give the food a unique texture and flavor, it will also make it more nutritious. 

Here are some ways to put extra baby cereal to work in your kitchen:

1. Baked Goods 

Infuse your favorite baked goods with added vitamins and minerals by incorporating baby cereal into the batter. The cereal addition will also help to fill out a recipe if you are short of a certain ingredient, such as oatmeal.

For instance, whip up a batch of kid-friendly mini muffin featuring a variety of healthy shredded vegetables, such as carrots and zucchini or fresh or dried fruit. Along with the produce, flour, eggs, milk, baking powder and other traditional ingredients, mix in a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of multi-grain baby cereal. Pour the batter into a muffin tray and bake as usual.

2. Pancakes

Similar to the muffins, you can mix baby cereal into either a scratch-made or store-bought pancake mix to enhance the nutritional benefits of this breakfast favorite. Round out the morning meal with sausage patties, bacon, and fresh fruit for a well-balanced start to the day.

You can also add the cereal to a multi-grain waffle mix to help fill it out. In addition, the cereal can also help fill out cookie, brownie, and other types of dessert recipes. Have your kids help you add the cereal and mix the ingredients as a fun activity.