Monday, December 14, 2009

We Are Not Good at Cereal

A few years ago, breakfast cereal maker General Mills started a website called "" At a customer could mix all their favorite cereal components into one blended box of new cereal, create their own packaging, and then have GM manufacture a box of the cereal and send it to their doorstep. Alas, as I was doing my Christmas shopping today, planning on creating a box of "Aunt Maggie-O's" for my sister on the site, I found that is now defunct. Apparently General Mills found few customers willing to spend ten bucks for cereal they could mix up at home for cheaper. Either that or those who really badly wanted to buy a box of Wheaties with Fruity Pebbles and the rainbow marshmallows from Lucky Charms mixed in it had already spent all their money on drugs.

My serial thoughts of cereal were prompted by our recent step in parenthood, feeding solid foods to the twins. Last week Rachel purchased our first box of Rice Cereal to feed the children, who according to our pediatrician are ready to munch. Evidently the kids have not watched enough TV to persuade us to buy cereal with magical leprechauns or talking tigers on the box, because the box of rice cereal only had pictures of other babies on it. As a dug elbow deep into our new box of rice cereal, I became blinded by rage. For the life of me, I could not find the prize in the box. I clearly recall from my childhood that kids cereals include a Johnny Qwest decoder ring, some Transformer iron-on shirt decal or another awesome prize. I guess the makers of Earth's Best rice cereal have not learned how to market to kids yet. I also learned that infant's rice cereal resembles instant mashed potatoes much more than they resemble Rice Krispies. The rice cereal didn't snap, crackle or pop; it only got stuck in my arm hair, which led to our purchase of a second box of rice cereal.

Eventually we got around to feeding the stuff to Micah and Mal, who were not impressed with my impersonation of Count Chocula nor the Earth's Best rice cereal. Micah got impatient, astounded that we wanted him to trade the last four ounces of his bottle for two teaspoons of tepid, tasteless mush. Malorie, bless her heart, made a better attempt to eat the stuff, but ended up with most of it on her bib, with a generous smattering also in her hair, up her nose and in the fold of skin on her neck. It didn't surprise me that Micah and Mal didn't take well to the rice cereal, as most babies are not good at eating right away. However, I still maintain hope that my kids will be savants at something, getting the concept right away with little to no explanation. I guess solids are not their forte, but on the bright side, maybe Micah already knows how to throw a curve ball.

Anyway, back to cereal - So we are going to feed the kids this Earth's Best junk for some length of time, and then eventually they will graduate onto other cereals. As I recall, Rachel told me the progression goes rice cereal, then oatmeal, then barley, then Cocoa Puffs followed by Aunt Maggie-O's. I guess I had better go buy some Kix, Frosted Flakes and Cap'n Crunch, because these Aunt Maggie-O's aren't going to make themselves, and apparently General Mills and isn't going to be much help.


  1. Is it still considered ok to use "cereal feeding bottles" when babies first start with cereal? They really helped the mess factor with our girls when we switched from spoon attempts to the larger hole cereal bottles when they started on solids at 5 - 6 months. Some said it would delay their getting used to using spoons, but we didn't find that to be the case. It sure made things simpler. Here's a website with reviews. Of course, this nurse recommends checking with your dr. first. Can't wait to see you in 6 days!!!!!

  2. Lol, fun times, fun times! I still want to meet them!!!! We are starting to completely get off of baby food, talk about scary. They will be eating ALL people food soon. Ahhh!

  3. Your Grandmother always mixed it with a little mashed banana to improve the flavor. (darn near anything will improve the flavor of baby rice cereal)

    Aunt Mary

  4. all i can say is this...... WHATEVER WORKS. k, that's all. you know where to find me, should you need feeding advice/food tips/tricks and ideas on getting that stuff in their bellies.


    k, that's all.