time to start the procedure and which foods to use as a foundation. When introducing solid foods, single-grain infant cereals have traditionally been the first option, with rice cereal being one of the more well-liked varieties. Although it is still acceptable to begin with cereal today, doctors say there is no proof that introducing meals to your baby in a particular order would benefit them in any way (though babies do tend to like cereal).
Learn how to securely feed your baby rice cereal as well as what other baby cereals you may wish to substitute.
Rice Cereal: What Is It?
When babies first start eating solid foods, rice cereal has traditionally been their first meal. The most popular kind is a dry powdered cereal that needs liquid to give it an oatmeal-like consistency, but it can also be bought already mixed. One of the single-grain cereals suggested for infants when they begin solid foods is this one.
Is Rice Cereal Safe to Give to Your Baby?
As long as you don’t feed your baby only rice cereal, it’s acceptable to include it in their diet.
Due to the naturally existing quantities of inorganic arsenic in rice (inorganic here refers to the specific chemical complex of arsenic bound with carbon), experts advise limiting consumption of rice cereal.
When rice is grown, compared to other crops, the plant absorbs more inorganic arsenic from its surroundings. Arsenic is a substance that naturally exists and can get into food through soil, water, or air.
When body weight is taken into account, a baby may consume three times as much inorganic arsenic through rice cereal as an adult. Infants who consume too much rice cereal may have long-term health issues.
What other infant cereals outside rice cereal can you give your baby?
You can substitute another single-grain infant food, like oat or barley cereal, for rice cereal. Many of these infant cereals are available in premixed or dry forms, to which you can add breast milk, formula, or water to alter the consistency to your baby’s preference.
Just keep in mind to introduce new foods gradually, one at a time, and to wait a few days before adding another to watch for any potential allergic responses. This goes for different kinds of infant cereals as well. Offer a range of soft foods with just one ingredient once your baby has gotten used to eating solids.
How frequently should you give your baby infant cereal during the day?
Once or twice a day, when your baby is just beginning to eat solids, spoon-feed him a tiny quantity of infant cereal, ideally just after he has been nursed or bottle-fed. Start your infant off with one or two spoonful of cereal to help him or her become used to this new food.
One by one, you can eventually introduce various meals, and you can even prepare your baby’s food at home.
Can you give your baby other rice products without risk?
No, not always. Your older baby can have rice as part of a varied and balanced diet. But it’s advisable to stay away from some rice-based goods, such as rice syrup, which is frequently used to sweeten processed meals, and rice milk, which shouldn’t be used as a replacement for cow’s milk.
If your child has turned one and is sensitive to or allergic to cow’s milk, your doctor will be able to suggest milk substitutes if necessary and can also offer advice on any rice products you’re thinking about providing.
When Can You Start Feeding Infant Cereals to Your Baby?
Infant cereals can be included in the solid food introduction at 6 months for the majority of babies. For the first 12 months, the majority of your baby’s nutrition will still come from breast milk or formula.
Waiting until your baby reaches this age is crucial because by then, they would no longer exhibit a response that all newborns have, which prompts them to press their tongues against anything put in their mouths. The majority of infants lose this tongue thrust reflex between the ages of 4 and 5 months.
Can You Give Infant Cereals to a Baby Less Than Six Months Old?
Though some infants may be prepared a month or two earlier, the majority of babies are not ready for solid foods, including infant cereals, until they are about 6 months old. Up until the age of six months, experts advise that infants be breastfed or bottle-fed (with expressed breast milk or formula).