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Cereal provides important nutrition for your baby

Iron-rich cereal helps support brain development and contributes to your baby's growth
Iron-rich cereal helps support brain development and contributes to your baby's growth

All babies needs iron for healthy development and growth; however, one out of nine babies doesn't get enough iron in their diet.

Although there are several baby foods on the market, Gerber cereals provide up to 90 percent of a baby's daily iron needs. Gerber cereals also provide 10 essential vitamins and minerals in only two servings.

“Iron is critical for babies’ brain development and growth. Around the middle of the first year, babies' natural iron stores begin to diminish and need to be replenished,” said Bernadette Tortorella, Integrated Marketing Manager, Gerber. “It’s important that moms understand the importance of feeding iron-rich foods to their baby.”

Gerber recently launched the "Cereal 1-2-3" sweepstakes to spotlight Gerber cereal's role in helping parents provide the nutrition their babies and toddlers need.

Great nutrition for your infant or todder is as easy as 1-2-3 with iron-rich Gerber cereals.

  1. Gerber cereals are baby’s number one food source for iron.
  2. Two servings provide 90 percent of baby’s daily iron needs.
  3. Gerber also offers varieties that are developmentally appropriate across three milestones.

Gerber cereals are made with a special VitaBlocks blend containing iron, zinc, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and six B Vitamins.

While breast milk or formula is still your baby's main source of nutrition, babies usually begin iron supplementation around 4 months of age. The nutrition found in iron-rich infant cereal is an important part of your baby's diet for the first two years.

Iron-fortified infant cereals are the top source of iron among the foods your baby eats. Two servings of most infant cereals will provide most of your baby's daily iron needs.

Use developmental milestones to determine when your baby is ready for cereal. Always follow your pediatrician's instruction about when to start solids.

Here are some of the milestones to know if your baby is ready to start cereal:

  • Pushes himself up with elbows straight while lying on his tummy.
  • Sits with very little help because he’s gained more control over his head and neck.
  • Turns his head to the left or right.
  • Moves his tongue backward and forward in a smooth rhythm when you put a small spoon to his lips. This allows him to draw food in and swallow it.
  • Before starting cereal, your baby should be taking at least 24 oz. of breast milk or formula on a daily basis.

If your baby is pushing the spoon and food out, this is his body’s reflex telling you he may not be ready. Keep trying in a few more days, though, as your baby’s oral skills are always developing.

Gerber's new no mess package is easy to use at home or on the go. Open the plastic package, pour and scoop and your little one is ready to eat in no time. The package can easily be tucked into a purse or bag.

Gerber Lil’ Bits is the perfect cereal for older babies and toddlers. With a spoon-hugging texture, Lil' Bits makes it easy for toddlers to feed themselves. Lil' Bits also offer 50 percent more iron per serving than the leading toasted oat cereal to support healthy growth and development.

To enter the sweepstakes, visit and “Like” the Gerber Facebook page now through May 25, 2014. Then, click the sweepstakes tab and follow the directions to submit a cereal number UPC code from your Gerber cereal package and complete the online registration form to receive one entry. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. Winners will be selected at the end of May 2014. For full sweepstakes details, see the Gerber Facebook page or website.

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