I've said it before, but baby cereal really should not be a baby's first food. In fact, I don't think baby cereal should play any role in an infant's diet. It's full of empty non-nutritious calories, develops a taste for refined starches, increases the possibility of diabetes, causes constipation, and tastes disgusting. Not convinced? Check out this article in USA Today vilifying baby cereal. Also, see the BLS FAQ's for more information on baby cereal.
So, what kind of cereal does one feed their baby-led solids baby? How about oatmeal? Oatmeal is a whole grain, easy to digest, and high in protein, vitamins and minerals, and fiber. I have been hesitant to give Buttercup much "solid" breakfast because I am usually pretty engorged in the morning and want her to nurse really well. But, recently I decided to try oatmeal.
A great way to serve oatmeal to your self-feeding baby is to cook it with less water than usual, then allow it to cool. It is then thick enough that you can roll it into baby fist-sized balls (good for pre-pincer grasp babies) or break it into little chunks.
The first time we tried this, Buttercup ate a good amount of oatmeal. The second time I gave it to her I made the mistake of also giving her blueberries, which are her favorite. The oatmeal was shunned. I don't think oatmeal will ever replace Buttercup's love affair with multi-grain Cheerios, but it is a great healthy morning option.
PROS: surprisingly not messy, nutritious