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Cereal Bottles for a Toddler

I am trying to get some information for a friend. Her daughter is 17 months old and she still gives her a bottle before bed and puts cereal in the bottle with the milk. When I mentioned to her that I thought that was not a good idea she quoted from the cereal website that babies need: "Two servings of product each day provides 90% of your baby's daily value of iron. The good nutrition of iron-rich cereal is an important part of a baby's diet until the age of 2."  Am I wrong to tell her that the bedtime bottle with the cereal in it is bad for her baby?

I do not recommend bottles of anything beyond 12 months. Prolong use of bottles increases a child’s risk of ear infections, dental cavities and an overbite.

Rice cereal itself is really not bad for a child, but I prefer toddlers eat table foods. Rice cereal is “fortified” with iron - meaning it is added to the rice. Your friends argument in favor of the iron content in rice cereal is probably accurate. However, there are numerous ways for a toddler to get their iron. Green veggies, red meat, eggs, whole grains and raisins are all natural good sources of iron.

If she really wants to encourage rice cereal, it is best to spoon fed it to her daughter. Children with teeth should have their teeth brushed after eating before bedtime.


Written November 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Windermere Pediatrician


 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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