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When it is time to introduce cereal into your baby’s diet, you’ll likely be nervous about which product is safe for your child. And given the recent reports about toxic heavy metals in baby food, you should be.
Baby cereal tends to be one of the biggest culprits here, and even buying organic won’t always guarantee you’re in the clear. The best piece of advice is to focus on organic baby cereals without rice. You can learn more about why in our buying guide below.
To help with your search for the best organic baby cereal, we’ve ranked parents’ top picks below.
Organic Baby Cereal
NurturMe Organic Quinoa Cereals
NurturMe is our pick for best organic baby cereal as quinoa is its primary grain. This makes it naturally gluten free, but their cereals also are free from dairy, egg, and soy. In addition, NurtureMe adds probiotics to their product. We sought out a quinoa based product as it is a complete protein, a good fiber choice, and hypoallergenic.
NurturMe is made in the USA, woman owned, and USDA organic certified. Most importantly, their quinoa is Fair Trade sourced. As quinoa isn’t the most environmentally friendly grain, it is important to find Fair Trade sourced quinoa.
Their packaging is BPA free.
What parents love
- More nutritious than rice or oat-based organic cereals
- 100% quinoa with no filler grains
What parents don’t love
- The smell isn’t great and the product looks a little gray.
- Instructions need to be followed explicitly.
Other Recommended Organic Baby Cereal Options
Best Organic Baby Rice Cereal
Organic Rice Cereal
- USDA certified organic
- Packaging is BPA free
While it is highly recommended you consider a non-rice based cereal for your organic baby cereal options given the high arsenic levels, if you’d like to have an organic baby rice cereal in your line-up, Gerber Organic Rice Cereal (from the data available) has lower arsenic levels than other choices.
This product is USDA organic certified and Non-GMO Project verified. Please note it does contain soy – which some babies may be sensitive to. Their packaging does not contain BPA.
Best Organic Baby Oatmeal Cereal
Organic Porridge Cereal
- 100% whole grain, has no milk or added sweeteners and contains no GMOs
- Holle organic by EU standards, and Demeter certified
Holle Oatmeal Organic Porridge Cereal is our pick for best organic baby oatmeal cereal. This cereal is made from 100% whole grain, has no milk or added sweeteners and contains no GMOs. A popular recommendation for organic baby formula, it is important to note that Holle is a German product. You won’t find the traditional USDA organic seal here, but not only is Holle organic by EU standards, it is Demeter certified, which is widely considered even more stringent than organic and looks particularly at sustainable farming practices.
Their organic baby oatmeal cereal is a carbon-neutral product and comes in a cardboard box.
Best Organic Baby Multi-Grain Cereal
- Ingredients are 100% USDA certified organic
- Woman-owned business
Amara’s Ancient Grain cereal contains organic oats, amaranth, strawberry, and mango. A few tablespoons of water, formula, or breast milk is all that is needed to prepare this organic baby cereal.
They are our choice for best mult-grain cereal as their ingredients are 100% organic, there is no rice in the multi-grain recipe, and no other additives. We also like that their packaging is in a box and not plastic.
They are USDA organic certified, made in the USA, and a woman-owned business.
Best Organic Gluten-Free Baby Cereal
Organic Gluten Free
Organic Buckwheat Cereal
- USDA certified organic
- Made in the USA
- Packaging is BPA free
Bio Kinetics organic buckwheat cereal is our best organic baby cereal for those avoiding gluten and want a non-quinoa based option. Buckwheat is a naturally gluten-free grain, packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and more for your little one. Their cereals do not contain any preservatives.
Their packaging is BPA free, and their products are USDA certified organic and made in the USA.
Bio Kinetics offers baby cereals as well as Stage 2 cereals that introduce additional flavors such as beet and apple or kale and blackcurrant. You’ve got a few options to consider depending on the age of your baby.
Organic Baby Cereal Buying Guide
When looking for the best organic baby cereal, the most important thing you need to know as a parent is that the most popular option here – organic baby rice cereal – is an option you should be weary of.
Why? Studies have shown that these rice-based cereals, even if organic, have a high-level arsenic. This has a lot to do with the rice itself. So, while there are some rice-based organic options that have lower arsenic levels, you’re better off exploring options made with a different grain or that at least do not have rice as the primary ingredient.
Why is arsenic bad? For starters, especially for infants, it can affect your child’s IQ. It is also known to cause various forms of cancer and can impact brain development.
Ths chart from Healthy Babies Bright Futures shows the impact of certain foods on IQ loss – and you can see what’s right at the top.
Healthy Babies Bright Futures also took a look at arsenic levels in all types of cereals, and you can see how overwhelming rice-based levels are:
So your first step here is to try to find an alternative to a rice-based cereal.
Following, you’ll want to make sure you truly understand what organic means in order to make sure your preferences are being met. Your safest bet is to look for a product that is USDA organic certified, but we also recommend considering products with certifications such as Non GMO Project, Fair Trade, Food Alliance, or Demeter.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider things that may be important to you personally, such as whether or not the organic baby cereal brand has sustainable business practices or if their packaging is recyclable.
Our Research Process
We started our research on best organic baby cereals by referencing the reviews, ingredients, manufacturing and packaging for most top organic players in the space, which included:
- Little Duck Organics
- Wutsup Baby
- Earth’s Best
- Earth’s Best
- Healthy Times
Following, we focused our energy on understanding the different arsenic levels in the top organic options and narrowed our list down to those with minimals traces of arsenic. We then referenced parent reviews and staff experiences to account for which were a favorite among kids based on taste and acceptance.
Our final pass was based on preference – like parents overwhelmingly preferring quinoa for its nutritional value or other particulars such as gluten free – and from that list looked for other standouts such as organic certification or sustainable business practices.
We were surprised to see that this space is somewhat limited with organic and green players, and look forward to seeing more organic baby cereals in the future that utilize ancient grains like amaranth (which is utilized in Amara’s recipe) in the future.