Iron from Infant Cereal Helps Support Learning Ability and Brain Development

Iron from infant cereal helps support learning ability and brain development

Quick summary

Learn about how infant cereal is an ideal first food and can serve as an important source of iron during the first year. Available in English and Spanish.


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Infant Cereal is an Ideal First Food and an Important Source of Iron During the Whole First Year

  • The number of infants falling short on dietary iron is growing.1
  • The iron fortified infant cereal provided by WIC helps ensure infants get enough iron, especially for breastfed infants.2
  • Fully and partially breastfeeding infants who do not eat infant cereal may not get enough iron.3

Around six months of age (when starting solid foods), the iron stores babies are born with begin to deplete and need to be replenished. At this stage, babies need iron from foods to meet their iron needs and help support learning ability.

Pediatricians and nutrition experts recommend iron-rich foods like infant cereal for both breastfed and formula fed infants.

Add the Nutrition of Infant Cereal to Easy Recipes for Older Babies (9 months and up)

Peaches and Yogurt Pancakes

  • ¼ cup Gerber® MultiGrain or
  • Oatmeal Cereal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 container (3.5oz) plain or vanilla yogurt
  • ½ tub of Gerber® 2nd Foods® Peach 4oz container
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup water

WHISK cereal, flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.Stir in yogurt, peaches, egg and water until combined.

SPRAY a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-low heat. Pour 1½ tablespoons of batter into a hot skillet for each pancake. Cook for about 2–3 minutes or until bubbles begin to pop; flip and cook for an additional 2–3 minutes or until golden brown

CUT pancakes in bite size pieces and serve with Gerber® 2nd Foods® Peach by topping the pancake or allowing your little one to dip the pancake in the peach puree.

Servings: 1–2 pancakes for 9–11 month old.
Amount per serving: Recipe makes about 16 small pancakes.
Nutrition per 1 pancake: Calories 25, Fat 0.5g, Protein 1g, Carbohydrate 4g, Sugars 2g (includes 0g added sugar), Sodium 35mg, 5% Daily Value Iron, 8% Daily Value Calcium.

Footnotes and References

WIC is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

1. Eldridge A. et al Journal of Nutrition 2019.

2. Finn K. et al Nutrients 2017.

3. Finn K. et al American Society for Nutrition 2019.