When you are picking up pieces of cereal from the floor, couch cushions, inside your shirt and out of your hair, it may seem like measuring cereal portions was a purposeless exercise. But your little one has certain dietary needs just like you do. Measuring portions will help ensure your child is getting the correct amount of grains, not too few or too many, even if all the pieces don't make it to their intended destination.
Start with a small amount of cereal. Measure dry cereal with a tablespoon. According to the Nestle nutrition guide, babies 8 to 9 months old can have 2 to 4 tablespoons of cereal twice a day, increasing to 4 to 6 tablespoons a day for babies 9 to 12 months old.
For toddlers, measure dry cereal with a measuring cup. Give toddlers 1/2 cup of dry cereal at snack time, or 1 cup of cereal as part of a meal. If you do not have a measuring cup, keep in mind that 1 cup is about the size of a baseball.
Place an empty bowl on a small scale to measure cereal by weight for older children. Note the weight of the empty bowl. Add cereal and subtract the weight of the bowl from the total weight to get the weight of the cereal. Give your child the single-serving portion recommended on the nutritional panel on the cereal box. If you do not have a scale, you can use a measuring cup for cup-based portions.