Use baby cereal as a thickener to assist new self-feeders

From Whitney, one of the beloved Rookie Moms:

We had a 22-year old college grad as a substitute nanny for 6 weeks this summer. To my surprise, she taught me a few tricks. The most useful was:

Mix infant cereal (the dry flakes) into your child’s applesauce or yogurt to make it thicker for a toddler who is just starting to feed himself. My son has not yet mastered keeping the spoon face-up as it reaches his mouth. The thicker substance increases the odds that his food will still be on the spoon. Plus, it’s extra nutrients.


  1. JDP says

    baby oatmeal is also good for helping little hands get hold of things like bananas. Combine some fruit in a little oatmeal, and toss to coat the fruit well.

  2. Lisa says

    I do this all the time, too! I mix cereal flakes into anything runny, from yogurt to jarred baby food, to avoid it being flung all over the dining area.

  3. Kristie says

    cheerios work well too, for older toddlers. I mix some in my son’s yogurt, and stuff is more likely to stay on the spoon.

  4. says

    I crushed cheerios and used them also. Whenever you thicken food, though, you may also need to increase the amount of fluids they take in.

  5. says

    We use instant oatmeal. Or son loves oatmeal, so we buy large boxes at are warehouse club here in town. We use the plain flavored ones.

  6. Mandy says

    I use baby cereal to thicken everything! Yogurt, applesauce, soup, etc. We never spoon-fed my toddler as a baby, or gave rice cereal alone (yuck!) but it works great to add texture and vitamins to runny food.

  7. says

    I use a version of this hack with my seven month old daughter.
    Our “version” is I mix in enough of her cereal so that it is a thick (think adult oatmeal) consistency. Then, I spoon it into her net feeder. She gets to feed herself, but it doesn’t run all over the place.
    Another great idea is to mix the cereal with a no sugar added prune/apple juice. My daughter loves it and it helps keep her “regular”.