How early can you feed a baby rice cereal
When Can My Baby Start Eating Solid Foods? (for Parents)
A friend just started giving her 3-month-old applesauce and rice cereal. My son is just 2 weeks younger than hers, and I am wondering if I should be introducing solids soon too. When should I start?
Doctors recommend waiting until a baby is about 6 months old to start solid foods. Starting before 4 months is not recommended.
At about 6 months, babies need the added nutrition — such as iron and zinc — that solid foods provide. It’s also the right time to introduce your infant to new tastes and textures.
Some babies may be ready for solids sooner than 6 months, but don't start until your baby is at least 4 months old.
How do you know it’s the right time to start solid foods? Here are some signs that babies are ready:
- They have good head and neck control and sit up in a high chair.
- They're interested in foods. For example, they may watch others eat, reach for food, and open their mouths when food approaches.
- They don’t push food out of their mouths, which is a natural tongue reflex that disappears when they’re between 4–6 months old.
- They weigh twice their birth weight, or close to it.
Talk to your doctor about the right time to start solid foods.
How Should I Start Solids?
When the time is right, you can start with a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons of cereal mixed with breast milk, formula, or water. Feed your baby with a small baby spoon. Don’t add cereal or other food to a baby's bottle because it can lead to too much weight gain. Let your baby practice eating from a spoon and learn to stop when full.
When your baby gets the hang of eating the first food, introduce others, such as puréed meat, fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, or yogurt. Try one food at a time and wait a few days before trying something else new to make sure your baby doesn't have an allergic reaction.
Foods that are more likely to cause allergies can be among the foods you introduce to your baby. These include peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, seafood, nuts, wheat, and soy. Waiting to start these foods does not prevent food allergies. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about food allergies, especially if any close family members have allergies, food allergies, or allergy-related conditions, like eczema or asthma.
Infants with severe eczema or egg allergies are more likely to have allergies to peanuts. Talk to your doctor about how and when to introduce these foods to your child.
When starting your baby on solids, avoid:
- foods with added sugars and no-calorie sweeteners
- high-sodium foods
- honey, until after the first birthday. It can cause botulism in babies.
- unpasteurized juice, milk, yogurt, or cheese
- regular cow's milk or soy drinks before 12 months instead of breast milk or formula. It’s OK to offer pasteurized yogurt and cheese.
- foods that may cause choking, such as hot dogs, raw carrots, grapes, popcorn, and nuts
Also, do not give fruit juices to infants younger than 12 months old.
Over the next few months, introduce a variety of foods from all the food groups. If your baby doesn't seem to like something, don’t give up. It can take 8 to 10 tries or more before babies learn to like new foods.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: February 2021
When Can You Start Feeding Your Baby Rice Cereal
Adding solid foods to your baby’s diet is a big milestone, and you may be wondering when to begin the process and what foods to start with. In the past, single grain infant cereals have been the traditional first choice when transitioning to solid foods, with rice cereal being one of the more popular ones. These days, though it is still OK to start with cereal, experts say that there is no evidence that introducing foods in a certain order provides any advantage for your baby (though babies do tend to like cereal).
Keep in mind that experts highly recommend giving rice cereal as part of a mixed diet of single ingredient choices, rather than as an exclusive food.
Find out how to safely give rice cereal to your baby, and what other infant cereals you might want to give instead.
What Is Rice Cereal?
Rice cereal for babies has been a traditional first food for infants who are being introduced to eating solids. The most common type is a dry powdered cereal, to which liquid is added to form an oatmeal-like consistency, but it can also be purchased premixed. It's one of the single grain cereals that have been recommended for infants when they start on solid foods.
Is Rice Cereal Safe for Your Baby to Eat?
It’s OK to include rice cereal in your baby’s diet as long as you’re not exclusively feeding your baby rice cereal.
The reason experts recommend rice cereal be limited is because of the naturally occurring levels of inorganic arsenic in rice (in this case inorganic refers to the arsenic’s specific chemical compound bound with carbon).
As rice is grown, the plant absorbs more inorganic arsenic from its environment compared to other crops. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that can enter the food supply through water, soil, or air.
When body weight is considered, a baby’s intake of inorganic arsenic through rice cereal could be three times more than an adult’s. Eating too much rice cereal as an infant can cause long-term health problems.
What Infant Cereals Can You Give Your Baby Instead of Rice Cereal?
Instead of rice cereal, you can offer another single grain infant cereal such as oat or barley cereal. You can find many of these infant cereals in premixed or dry versions to which you would add breast milk, formula, or water to create a consistency that your baby will like.
Look for cereals that are specifically made for babies because they will be fortified with nutrients like iron and zinc that your baby needs.
Just remember that when introducing new foods — including different types of infant cereals — do so gradually, offering one new food at a time, and then waiting a couple of days before adding another food, to watch for any possible allergic reactions. Once your baby has become accustomed to eating solids, feel free to offer a variety of single ingredient, soft foods.
How Many Times a Day Should You Feed Your Baby Infant Cereal?
When your little one is just starting on solids, spoon-feed your baby a small amount of infant cereal once or twice a day, ideally just after he’s been bottle-fed or breastfed. Start with one or two teaspoons of cereal so that your baby can get accustomed to this new food.
Eventually you can introduce other foods one at a time—and you can even make your baby’s food at home.
Are Other Rice Products Safe to Give Your Baby?
Not necessarily. You can give rice to your older baby as part of a varied and balanced diet. However, it’s best to avoid certain rice-based products like rice syrup, often used as a sweetener in processed foods, as well as rice milk, which should not be used as a substitute for cow's milk.
If your child has turned 1 and is sensitive or allergic to cow’s milk, your healthcare provider will be able to recommend milk alternatives if needed, and can also weigh in on any rice products you’re considering giving.
At What Age Should You Start Feeding Your Baby Infant Cereals?
For most babies, 6 months is a good age to start to introduce solid foods, which can include infant cereals. Breast milk or formula will continue to provide most of your baby's nutrition for the first 12 months.
Waiting until this age is important because by this point your baby would have outgrown a natural reflex that all babies are born with that causes them to push their tongue against anything inserted into their mouths. Most babies grow out of this tongue thrust reflex between 4 and 5 months.
Can You Give a Baby Younger Than 6 Months Infant Cereals?
Most babies are not ready for solid foods, including infant cereals, until they are about 6 months old, though some babies could be ready a month or two earlier. Experts recommend that babies be breastfed or bottle-fed (with expressed breast milk or formula until 6 months of age.
How Do You Prepare Dry Infant Cereal for Your Baby?
If you’re using dry cereal, mix one tablespoon of dry cereal with four tablespoons of breast milk, formula, or water; or follow the recommended directions on the container.
Be sure not serve the cereal from a bottle for reasons we mention in the next section. Gradually, you can add less liquid to the dry cereal to find a thickness your baby likes.
Can You Feed Your Baby Cereal in a Bottle?
Although this might be a practice you’ve heard of, don't feed your baby cereal in a bottle unless your baby’s healthcare provider says otherwise. Feeding your baby through a bottle can lead to unnecessary calories—she may consume more food than she actually needs.
Although rice cereal may have been a popular choice, experts now say there are other infant cereals and first foods that may be safer for your baby. If you’re ever unsure about which infant cereal to give, or need advice about expanding your baby's menu, reach out to your baby’s healthcare provider for advice.
As your baby transitions to solid foods, you deserve lots of rewards for all those diaper changes. Download the Pampers Club app to get rewards for all your Pampers purchases.
How we wrote this article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
Rice porridge for children | Nutrilak
Contents of article
- Benefits of rice porridge
- At what age can you give rice porridge to a child?
- Rice porridge with milk for a child
- Recipes for cooking rice porridge for a child
Rice porridge is a dish made from milk (or water) and rice grains.
Depending on the size of the grains, there are round-grain, medium-grain and long-grain rice.
Rice grains can be processed in different ways, which determines the type of grain obtained: polished, polished, crushed. The color of rice is white, brown, black, red.
Benefits of rice porridge
Rice grains are rich in carbohydrates, they are gluten-free and low in protein. Therefore, rice is considered a dietary product and is used in nutrition for diseases such as diarrhea, celiac disease and phenylketonuria.
From what age can you give rice porridge to a child?
The best time for a baby to get acquainted with cereals is the period from 16 to 27 weeks of life. It is called the “window of tolerance”. It is during this period that the immune system forms the correct response (tolerance), the result of which will be a good tolerability of the product.
Rice porridge with milk for a child
Whole cow's or goat's milk is not recommended for use in the nutrition of children under 6 months, including for making cereals. It is better to cook cereals in water. If necessary, and when ready, you can add breast milk or infant formula, for example, Nutrilak Premium Sour Milk.
Rice porridge with water is preferable for a child in the first 6 months of life. Closer to the year and beyond, you can cook porridge in milk. To facilitate cooking, rice grains can be ground to a flour state before cooking. But, it is easier to use cereals that do not require cooking, for example, 100% natural Nutrilak Premium Procereals rice milk porridge with banana.
Recipes for cooking rice porridge for a child
How to cook rice porridge for a child
- Grains should be washed, cleaned of husks, unpeeled grains, foreign particles, impurities and can be boiled. If desired, before cooking, rice can be soaked in cold water overnight, or pour boiling water for a minute and rinse again.
- 1 part of cereal is poured with 1 part of water and put on medium or slow fire. The duration of cooking depends on the size and variety of cereals.
- For children under one year old, it is preferable to grind cereals in a blender before serving. Salt and oil are added only after 6 months. For children older than a year, cooked grains can be used as an independent dish (porridge) or as a side dish, it can be added to soups and salads.
Rice porridge for children recipe
Rinse the cereal, clean and dry. Grind in a coffee grinder, pour one part of boiled milk and leave in a thermos for 2 hours.
Cool the porridge to 30-35 degrees, add salt, fruits, berries, etc. to taste.
- Rice porridge is a dietary and healthy product. It can be used from 4 months.
- For the first feeding it is better to use rice porridge of industrial production.
- Rice can be cooked with water and milk.
- The use of rice grain is not limited to porridge.
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how to cook rice for feeding
- Main benefits of
- Rice porridge for infants
- First baby food with rice porridge
- Dietary Guidelines
- How to cook rice porridge for babies
One of the first "adult" dishes on the baby's table is rice. This cereal has earned the trust of nutritionists, pediatricians and parents around the world. Rice is a gluten-free, low-allergenic cereal with a high content of "healthy" carbohydrates (up to 85%), which are perfectly digested in the baby's sensitive digestive tract. Rice is also traditionally used in the therapeutic diets of people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and intestinal infections.
Main useful properties
The main properties of rice porridge are its low calorie content (44 kcal per 100 g of product) and the optimal ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Rice has a low glycemic index, which contributes to a more efficient supply of glucose to the brain. Protein in rice contains a small amount, but due to its structure, it is perfectly absorbed by the human body (up to 98%). In the fat component of rice, 1/5 part (21%) belongs to fatty acids important for the child's body: oleic (37%), linoleic (41%) and linolenic. The low fat content in rice groats (0.7–1 g/100 g of groats), the optimal ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates (7 g/1 g/74 g) create a long-lasting feeling of fullness when eating ready-made rice dishes. Since rice does not contain coarse dietary fiber, it can be used in the diet of people with diseases of the digestive system, accompanied by excessive motility and gas formation. The vitamin and mineral composition of rice cereal is not as rich as compared to buckwheat or oatmeal. However, rice grains contain a large amount of B vitamins, of which the most are pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and tocopherol (vitamin E).
Rice dishes occupy one of the leading positions in the world gastronomic culture. About 5000 recipes based on this cereal are known. Therefore, in baby food, rice porridge does not lose its popularity.
For breakfast in Russia, porridge is traditionally prepared for children, because the first meal should be high-calorie, satisfying and tasty. The main components of a healthy breakfast should be complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats of animal origin, which take longer to be processed by digestive enzymes. Therefore, the choice of parents in favor of porridge as the main dish in the morning is quite justified.
Rice porridge for feeding children in the first year of life
Children's rice porridge is one of the most popular products in the Baby Premium line. Small gourmets can choose from dairy-free and milky rice porridges, with fruit additives. All cereals of the Baby Premium line have a high safety profile, are enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, which increases their nutritional value.
The use of fortified baby foods is an important part of nutrition in the first year of life. During the transition of a child from exclusive breastfeeding to the stage of introduction of complementary foods, short-term deficiency states for individual microelements may occur.
Lack of proper eating habits in the family, encouragement of the child's independent choice of foods, selectivity in nutrition, restrictive diets are factors that lead to a deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the baby's diet.
In this regard, health professionals have developed a global strategy to reduce the risk of developing vitamin and mineral deficiencies - the mandatory fortification of daily food products, especially regarding the children's menu.
Thus, it has been proven that no additional non-fortified food can provide the infant with an adequate level of zinc, the deficiency of which causes a decrease in growth rate, intestinal diseases and a decrease in immune tolerance. Accordingly, the child should receive additional zinc with enriched complementary foods.
The same risk factors include a high prevalence of iron deficiency in children of the 1st year of life due to poor control of maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation, obsession with diets, premature birth and the development of digestive disorders in the infant in the first months of life. Iron deficiency can cause delayed psychomotor development and other health problems in the baby. With the right balance of trace elements in the diet of both the mother and the baby, this condition can be avoided.
Baby Premium baby cereals contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals, but the content of such elements as iron, iodine, zinc, B, A, C vitamins is especially high, which cover up to 10% of the daily requirement for these substances.
The first complementary foods with rice porridge for children
Every parent can offer their baby rice porridge for breakfast. For healthy babies, complementary foods at 4-6 months can be started with safe, low-allergenic Baby Premium rice porridge and gradually move to milk-based rice porridge, which has a high nutritional value due to the ideal combination of animal proteins and cereals, as well as the additional introduction of vitamins and minerals . In terms of calories, milk porridges are comparable to breast milk (90 kcal and 70 kcal, respectively), in this regard, they perfectly maintain a long-term feeling of satiety and give a stable supply of energy to the little hero.
If it is necessary to make a more varied diet and introduce the child to new tastes in the Baby Premium line, you can choose milk rice porridge with fruits. Fruit additives in cereals are additional sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and also develop the taste buds of a little gourmet.
If a child has health problems in the form of food allergies, malabsorption syndrome, celiac disease, then he can be recommended for a long time low-allergenic rice porridge, which is also a full-fledged dairy-free cereal dish. The ratio of the main nutrients, the content of vitamins and minerals in it correspond to all physiological norms of consumption in early childhood. Dairy-free rice porridge is enriched with prebiotics in the form of inulin, which will favorably affect the formation of a healthy microbiota in the intestines.
The use of Baby Premium cereals in the daily diet of young children allows parents to be confident in the high level of technological, microbiological and chemical safety of the product, its usefulness and ease of preparation in a variety of conditions.
1. Start introducing a new food into your diet with a tiny amount. For the first acquaintance with rice, a quarter of a teaspoon of porridge will be enough for a crumb. Every day, you can increase the serving, gradually trying to reach the amount of one serving recommended by the pediatrician.
2. It is best to offer this high-carbohydrate product to babies in the morning.
3. Set aside rice foods for a while if your baby has stomach distention, intestinal colic, or problems with bowel movements (constipation).
4. Having decided how to cook rice porridge for feeding, over time you can enrich the taste of the main dish by adding mashed apple, pear or squash puree to it.
5. In the Bebi Premium line, along with classic rice porridge, there are options with fruit, vegetable, and cream components. They will introduce the baby to new facets of the taste of a product already known to him a few months after the introduction of the first complementary foods.
6. Take the time to teach your child about food etiquette from an early age. Wash your hands before and after eating. If the baby is already more than 10 months old, let him try to feed himself. To do this, put a beautiful bowl in front of him and offer a spoon that will be comfortable for him to hold.
How to cook rice porridge for babies
You can go in two ways - buy a package of regular rice or choose a special ready-made baby porridge from this cereal. Let's consider both options in more detail.
Several varieties of the product can be found on store shelves. These are parboiled, long-grain, round-grain and medium-grain rice. For the first feeding, the last option is best. Such a product absorbs a large amount of moisture during cooking and boils well. Before you cook rice porridge for the first feeding, you need to carefully prepare the grain.
- Sort by hand to remove possible pebbles and other debris.
- Rinse under water until the liquid is clear.
- Soak rice in warm water, then rinse with cold.
It is important to consider the following information:
- it is not recommended to boil cereals for children under one year old with cow's milk;
- proportions: for 20 g of rice - 50 ml of water and 100 breast milk or formula;
- for babies, do not season porridge with salt, sugar.
At the first feeding, the consistency of the food should be light and as homogeneous as possible. The presence of even small lumps in the baby can provoke regurgitation and rejection of food. Therefore, for the smallest, it is permissible to begin acquaintance with rice in the form of a ready-made powder for making porridge.
In this case, it is better to take the dairy-free version as the very first product. He leaves the mother the opportunity to prepare a dish with the addition of breast milk or a mixture - products with which the baby's body is already familiar.