Sugar-free, Whole-grain Cereal for Babies: A Natural Alternative to Cheerios

Ever since Audrey started on solid foods at six months, she’s loved oatmeal. We spoon-fed oatmeal to her for months, and now she asks for her “oats” and feeds herself. I was happy to find a cheaper, more nutritious alternative to the typical rice cereal, which many parents are now avoiding as a first food. (Read an article about how to choose baby and kid cereals here. Learn more about the oat porridge I made Audrey in the early months here.)

I had a harder time finding a dry cereal that Audrey could enjoy as finger food. Cheerios, a common baby finger food, contain both wheat and sugar–two ingredients doctors say to avoid during baby’s first year. Plus, they’re not organic. My neighborhood stores offered plenty of organic Cheerio-like cereals, but almost all of them also contained wheat and sugar (sometimes disguised as organic cane syrup). Kamut puffs are delicious!

Finally I found the perfect solution: puffs. Both Nature’s Path and Arrowhead Mills make puffed grain cereals that are perfect for babies. The only ingredient is the grain itself–no sugar, no salt, no additives or preservatives. I’ve seen puffed corn, rice, millet, wheat, and kamut. Kamut is the preferred puff in our household. Although it is a larger relative of wheat, many people with wheat allergies or intolerances can digest kamut. If you are really worried about introducing wheat or its cousins, I’d recommend the corn puffs instead.

What about the price? I try to buy the six-ounce bags when they are on sale for $1.50 ($4/pound), but the regular price is $1.90 ($5.06/pound). Yes, this is more expensive than a jumbo-box of Cheerios, which can be had for 22.2 cents an ounce ($3.55/pound). However, I think the extra price for an organic, whole-grain cereal is worth it. And most importantly, kamut puffs are one of Audrey’s favorite foods!

This week’s Works for Me Wednesday is all about what doesn’t work for you.  Cheerios weren’t working for me, so I’m glad I found an alternative.  For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.


  1. Great tip–thanks so much for this. I feed my daughter organic and didn’t really want to resort to Cheerios, and now I have an alternative!

  2. I think it’s so great to raise children eating well … I’m finally after hmm-hmm-hmm years doing it myself and it took a long time to finally break me of certain patterns. I’ll tell ya, I feel *SO* much better now that I’m doing it!

  3. Thanks for pointing me toward those! We are just getting to the “Cheerio stage” of eating and we needed to find an alternative!

  4. I’m impressed that they are her favorite food! I tried puffed something or other once and it reminded me of packing peanuts, so I didn’t try it again. Don’t think it was Kamut though, might have to give that one a go!

  5. Where do you get them?

  6. Nottrying, we can get them at Safeway or New Seasons (a local store). Ames, the kamut puffs do taste pretty good . . . I actually have to stop myself from eating too many of them myself. Audrey’s four-year-old cousin tried some and declared, “This is the best cereal I have ever tasted in my life.” So while they may appear bland, they are definitely kid-approved!

  7. Good to know – thanks so much!

  8. rebecca's mom says

    One of Audrey’s favorite things to say is “more puffs!” It’s a sure fired way to keep her happy or distract her if she is unhappy. I do not eat cereal with added sugar and buy Fred Meyer’s shredded wheat. Has Audrey tired those yet?

  9. At what age can you feed your baby kamut?

  10. Kamut is a wheat, too. So, if you do not want to feed wheat yet, you might want to eliminate that until the age comes.

  11. BTW, you mean Natures Path, not Nature Valley.

  12. You’re right! I fixed it.

  13. I just got some Kamut Puffs for my son and was wondering if it was alright for him since he is allergic to wheat. This article helps a lot. I am going to try and see if he can have it. Thank you for an informative article 🙂

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