How many times to feed baby rice cereal

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.

When Can You Start Feeding a Baby Rice Cereal? Safety and More

If you ask for advice on the best time to start feeding your baby rice cereal, the responses may be all over the place. Some people might suggest feeding a baby rice cereal starting at 6 months, whereas others might suggest as young as only 2 or 3 months old.

But just because someone else gives their baby rice cereal early doesn’t mean that you should do the same. For advice, the best place to go is to your own pediatrician — they’re the authority on your baby’s health. In the meantime, here’s what other experts recommend.

Updated recommendations

New guidelines caution that rice cereal shouldn’t be the only solid given. So the old practice of starting only iron-fortified rice cereal at about 6 months is no longer recommended.

For the first few months of life, you’ll feed your baby exclusively with breast milk or formula. Anything other than breast milk or formula is considered a solid food. So when deciding the right time to start your baby on rice cereal, you should follow the same guidelines for starting a baby on solid foods.

Some people argue that rice cereal is an exception to the guidelines — perhaps because of the ability of rice cereal to dissolve in (and “thicken”) breast milk or formula when added in small quantities.

Yet, rice cereal is a solid food. Babies aren’t ready for solid foods until they’re about 6 months old.

Since every baby is different, it’s important to look for signs that your baby is actually ready to start eating rice cereal before serving it.

You should hold off feeding a baby solid food until they have control of their neck and head. Your little one will need to be upright while eating, so they should be able to sit in a highchair.

Most importantly, don’t give a baby rice cereal until they have the oral skills to move solid food from the front of their mouth to the back. This skill doesn’t typically develop until at least 4 months old. Until then, your baby’s tongue will push out any food that enters their mouth.

Another telltale sign that your baby may be ready for solid food is when they express an interest in your food. If you’re eating in their presence, they might try to grab your food — or lean in toward food with their open mouth (have your camera ready!).

For the most part, you shouldn’t give a baby rice cereal before the recommended guidelines. Even though the extrusion reflex — that automatic reflex that causes a baby’s tongue to push food forward — can provide some protection before they’re ready, offering solid food too early can still pose a choking or aspiration risk.

Giving a baby rice cereal — or other solid foods — too early may also increase a baby’s risk of having obesity.

But when they’re ready, rice cereal can be a great starter food, among others.

After several months of only consuming breast milk or formula, some babies have difficulty adjusting to solid foods.

To start the introduction process, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of iron-fortified rice cereal with 4 to 6 tablespoons of formula, breast milk, or water. Some people mix rice cereal with fruit juice, too. But this isn’t recommended because fruit juice doesn’t offer health benefits and is very high in sugar.

Spoon feed an iron-fortified rice cereal to your baby. (It’s important that babies get enough iron once they start solid foods.) But don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of feedings for your baby to get the hang of eating this way. You can nurse or bottle feed first, and then end feedings with rice cereal.

Doctors used to recommend rice cereal as a “first food.” But now we know that age-appropriate foods can be introduced in any order, and rice cereal shouldn’t be the only solid given for very long due to arsenic exposure, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

You can introduce other jar or puréed foods like fruits and vegetables before or after you introduce rice cereal. And do include other iron-fortified, single-grain cereals besides rice. Variety is the spice of life — even for baby!

When introducing new solid foods to your baby, do so one at a time. This way, you can detect any potential food allergies or sensitivities early. For example, after you feed your baby peas for the first time, wait 3 to 5 days before introducing carrots.

You might have heard of adding rice cereal to a bottle to thicken breast milk or formula. This, however, isn’t recommended unless your pediatrician says it’s OK.

If your baby has episodes of acid reflux, your doctor might advise this method to thicken the milk and try to prevent regurgitation. But this is rare.

Starting a baby on solid food is a major milestone, but you shouldn’t introduce rice cereal too early. Doing so poses a few different risks. So wait until your baby is about 6 months, and look specifically for signs that they’re ready for solids.

When in doubt, talk it out — with your pediatrician. They’re a goldmine of information, and best of all, they know your baby’s health better than anyone else, including Dr. Google.

Memo on cereals

Memo on cereals

The kid is growing up and the question arises of introducing various cereals into his diet. Which one is better to start with, in what quantity can a new product be offered to a baby? Use porridge of industrial production or cook it yourself?

A special place among various types of complementary foods is occupied by grain-based products - cereals . It is well known that by 4-6 months of life in children the need increases both for additional energy (calorie content of the diet), and for microelements and vitamins. The nutritional value of cereals is determined primarily by the nutritional value of flour or cereals, which are their basis. All types of grain products are important sources of carbohydrates, the content of which in different types of flour and cereals varies (the largest amount of carbohydrates is found in rice - 60-70%). In cereals there is a small amount of protein (7-13%) and fat (0.7-7%). With a relatively close composition of the main nutrients, various types of cereals and flour differ significantly in the level of content of vitamins and mineral salts in them. In this regard, buckwheat and oatmeal, which contain the largest amounts of vitamins B1, B2, magnesium, and iron, have an undoubted advantage. Also, cereals differ in the content of dietary fiber, which have a beneficial effect on the intestinal microflora, by increasing the growth of beneficial bacteria: minimum - in semolina and rice cereals, maximum - in buckwheat, oatmeal and millet.

When to enter?

Pediatricians now recommend introducing vegetable puree into the baby's diet first (not earlier than 4-5 months of life), and then after about 1 month - porridge. This is due, firstly, to the fact that when first introducing “sweet” porridge , into the diet, the child then reluctantly gets used to vegetable puree, and secondly, the early introduction of porridge can contribute to overweight, especially if such a tendency already exists. But there are individual indications for which specialists can recommend baby porridge as a first meal. These are cases when child is not gaining weight, height, or has an unstable stool (the introduction of vegetable puree can aggravate the situation).

Which porridge

should I start with?

The first baby is recommended to give cereals that do not contain vegetable protein gluten, which is part of the shells of such cereals as wheat, rye, oats, barley. This protein is quite difficult to digest, it can cause a violation of intestinal motility, a change in the frequency and color of stools, and allergic reactions, since babies have a deficiency of an enzyme that breaks down this protein. Gluten free cereals - rice, buckwheat, corn. These are the so-called gluten-free cereals . They are also called low allergenic. Children with a tendency to unstable stools can start with rice porridge , but if the child is bothered by constipation, then with buckwheat or corn. You can offer baby oatmeal only after 6 months, and semolina - only after a year. These are the so-called gluten-free cereals . Start complementary foods in the morning before breastfeeding with 5-10 g (1-2 teaspoons). On the 2nd day, the number is porridge is increased to 30-50 g, and in a week it is brought to the volume of one feeding 130-150 g. The second week is allotted for complete getting used to the new product. The volume of a single serving of porridge for children of different age groups: 5-6 months. - 150 ml 6-7 months - 160-170 ml 8-9 months - 170-180 ml 9-12 months. - 180 - 200 ml. After a year for breakfast, not including side dishes, children under 3 years old can be offered a portion of porridge in the amount of 150-200 ml, at 4-6 years old - 200-220 ml.

Industrial porridges

Modern children's food industry today offers a wide range of cereals. Their advantages over cooking porridge at home include the high quality and safety of the raw materials used in production. In such products, the chemical composition is guaranteed (in terms of the content of proteins, fats, carbohydrates), corresponding to the characteristics of the baby's digestion. The degree of grinding is optimal and correlated with the age characteristics of the child's masticatory apparatus. A wide range of raw materials, including those that are not suitable for home use (for example, hard-to-digest cereals - corn, rye, barley and mixtures of several cereals). Most importantly, modern cereals are enriched with micro and macro elements necessary for child - iodine, iron, calcium and a number of vitamins - A, E, C, D group B, PP, etc. A lack of these substances in the body of a growing child can lead to common diseases - anemia and rickets. It should be noted that additional fortification of cereals is recommended by experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), while manufacturers take into account the simultaneous use of several commercially produced complementary foods containing vitamins and microelements. Therefore, "industrial" cereals contain from 30 to 50% of the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals in the children's diet. And finally, industrial porridge does not need to be boiled, which saves time.

Types of cereals industrial production

Cereals are divided into:

  • dairy, dairy-free;
  • mono-, multi-component;
  • gluten-free (low-allergenic) and gluten-free;
  • containing various additives

Dairy porridges contain an adapted human milk substitute (artificial mixture) and are intended for healthy children. Dairy-free cereals are designed for children with various diseases and are usually prescribed by a doctor. Monocomponent are cereals that are made from one type of cereal. Multicomponent - using 2 grits or more. Gluten-free cereals (gluten-free) - rice, buckwheat, corn, classified as low-allergenic cereals. Gluten cereals - semolina, oatmeal, wheat. Porridges with various additives are produced with the addition of dry powders of fruits, vegetables, caramel, honey, chocolate, cocoa, hazelnuts, yogurt. This not only improves the taste of the product, but also increases its nutritional value. But in the diet of children with allergies, such cereals should be introduced with caution. Fruit and vegetable additives can also be allergenic. For healthy children cereals with various additives from fruits and vegetables are recommended not earlier than 6-7 months, with citrus fruits and honey - not earlier than 8 months, and with cocoa and chocolate - not earlier than 9months. and gluten-free cereals . As mentioned, they are suitable for children with food allergies, lactase deficiency. Porridges containing dietary fiber (for example, inulin) will be useful for babies with impaired intestinal microflora, as well as with a tendency to constipation. Porridges containing lacto- and bifidobacteria will also help babies improve the intestinal microflora. If the baby has reached 8-11 months, you can treat him to muesli, instant biscuits and cereals from whole grains, specially designed for baby food. This not only diversifies the diet of child , but also teaches him to chew. It is permissible to add vegetable or fruit puree to the porridge for baby food. It is unacceptable to add additional sugar, oil, they are already contained in the product. It is necessary to comply with the terms and conditions of storage of both opened and unopened packages with cereals.

How to cook porridge by yourself?

If it is not possible to use industrial porridge, you can cook porridge at home. It is better to grind the cereal in advance in a coffee grinder to the state of flour. Instead of cereals, you can buy special crushed flour for baby food, enriched with vitamins, micro-, macroelements. Porridge should be boiled in water (whole milk is not used when preparing porridges for up to a year), and immediately before feeding, 20-30 ml of breast milk or a mixture can be added to it to increase energy value and improve taste. It is recommended to add 3-5 g of butter or baby cream (10%) not more than 50 g to home-made cereals. But sugar for cooking porridge is not used. At first, porridge should be liquid (5 g of cereal per 100 ml of water), gradually, if the product is well tolerated, you can make it thicker (10 g of cereal per 100 ml of water, etc.). Be sure, even liquid porridge should be given with a spoon, and not use a bottle for this. It is possible to cook porridge with whole milk after a year, if child does not have allergies, if there is one - only after consulting a doctor.

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Rice porridge - Encyclopedia Baby food

Levchuk Victoria ©

Levchuk Victoria ©

Rice porridge is ideal for the first feeding, as it does not contain gluten.

Rice is different, so you can find on sale long-grained, medium-grained, round-grained, and rice also differs in color: white, brown, wild or black, yellowish. The most ideal option for usefulness for baby food is brown rice, which retains the shell of the cereal, which is the benefit. But you can use any kind of rice for baby food.

Brown rice and any other rice are unlikely to cause allergic reactions, the absence of gluten contributes to this. Nutritious and versatile, brown rice can be paired with any meal your child loves.

Brown rice is a minimally processed brown rice with a light nutty flavor.

Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice. This is because it is unrefined and the natural shell is preserved. Brown rice on the Russian market is a little more expensive than regular white rice, but it's worth it. Moreover, you can cook rice flour for baby porridge at home without industrial additives, which will reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

Table of contents:

Rice in the form of porridge can be introduced into complementary foods for a child from 4 months of age. However, it is necessary to remember the WHO recommendation to introduce complementary foods at the age of 6 months.

The second step in starting complementary foods is to identify the first type of complementary food and the first product (see here). Usually mothers have a choice between cereals and vegetables, if there is a lack of weight, then, most likely, cereals are introduced into the baby's diet. But buckwheat and rice are considered the first complementary foods. Most often, buckwheat is chosen as the first porridge, since the child's stool most likely will not change. But rice porridge strengthens, it is ideal as a therapeutic diet for diarrhea.

But it should not be discarded and can be introduced as the first complementary food, as it is easily digested, coats the stomach, helps to remove toxins from the body, and is often recommended for unstable stools and frequent spitting up. It is also necessary to note the nutritional value of rice, with its low calorie content, which is useful for overweight. Rice also helps the body meet the need for complex carbohydrates, which are then used to build muscle mass and feel full for a long time.

Rice is introduced into complementary foods like any new product, it is necessary to withstand the first 4-7 days to monitor the reaction of the child's body to a new product. Usually, butter is introduced along with porridge, so if a child is about 7 months old and porridge is introduced, then butter must also be introduced, also as a new product. With an undesirable reaction of the child's body in the form of worsening stools, rashes, etc. consult a doctor and stop giving rice.

How to select and store rice

It is best to choose local varieties of rice as they travel less from seller to buyer. Our Krasnodar rice is ideal for baby food. Moreover, there is brown rice of Russian production, but you need to look for it. It will be difficult to choose rice, since there are more than 150 types, and it also differs in the way it is processed: polished, unpolished, steamed.

Therefore, mothers usually use rice, which the whole family eats for a long time. You can, of course, buy brown rice for your beloved baby, but this is decided individually with the pediatrician and at the family council.

When choosing rice, you should pay attention to the appearance of cereals, which should be the same size throughout the package. If it is long-grain rice, then round-grain rice should not be found in the package. It is also worth checking for the presence of larvae, insects, checking the GOST sign and making sure that the rice does not smell of anything nasty.

Whole grains can be stored for 12 to 18 months in a dry, cool, dark place. If the temperature becomes extremely warm in the house, you can store the grains in the refrigerator. However, do not forget to look at the expiration date on the package.

Cooked rice is stored for no more than three days, for a child it is worth preparing a new porridge every time.

Ground whole grains such as rice flour should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Flour can be stored in a cool, dry place, but should be checked frequently.

When grain is ground, the natural oils found in rice can become rancid if left unrefrigerated. When buying any type of ground whole grain, it's best to buy a smaller amount to ensure it's used quickly and completely before it goes rancid.

By the way, brown rice should be stored in the refrigerator, and preferably in the freezer. If such rice is stored in the kitchen at above zero temperatures, then the oils begin to oxidize, which makes brown rice harmful.

Freezing rice or mashed rice

Freezing rice porridge does not behave very well, namely it becomes too soft and tasteless, therefore, it is best to freeze multi-ingredient dishes where there is very little rice porridge. Boiled rice is better than frozen rice porridge. Here's how food behaves after freezing.

Complementary food preparation: Rice

You can use a rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer and just a pot of water to cook rice porridge. Usually, rice in its pure form is not very suitable as the first complementary food, because after cooking it, whipping it into a homogeneous mass with a blender and other devices turns out badly, only a plastic grater will help, but it will take a lot of time. Therefore, rice must be prepared for the preparation of baby food. You need to pass it several times through a regular cereal mill, which is not difficult to buy in any store. Someday I will write a review of two mills that I have at home, one Soviet, the other modern. It turns out ordinary rice flour, from which it is easiest to cook children's rice porridge.

Approximately ¼ cup of rice flour uses 1-2 cups of water, depending on final consistency and child's preference. Next, rice flour is poured into boiled water, everything is whipped with a whisk to get rid of lumps. Then everything is cooked over low heat until cooked, see the recipe here.

I think everyone knows how to cook whole grain white rice, but remember, wash in several waters, you can soak for 1 hour, simmer for the first time, stirring until the rice is ready.

There is another original way to cook rice, but it is worth trying to understand whether it suits you or not.

Wash rice, boil water, add rice, cook at a boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat, close the lid and leave to cool or reach for 5-10 minutes, until cooked. You will get fluffy rice.

Brown rice cooks a little differently because it is more firm. It is best to soak brown rice overnight in cold water, then wash it thoroughly in new water in the morning, pour new cold water over it. Boil for about 10 minutes, then rinse again with cold water, pour again and cook for 15 minutes. And then you need the rice to reach, so we remove it from the fire and wrap it in a blanket.

We would like to remind you that children should not be introduced to sugar and salt until they are one year old.

The difference between brown and white rice

The difference between brown and white rice is not only in color. A whole grain of rice has several layers. Only the topmost layer, the husk, is removed to make what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing of the grain.

If brown rice is further milled to remove the bran and most of the germ layer, the result will be white rice, rice that has lost more nutrients.

However, the rice is still unpolished and is polished to make the white rice we are used to seeing. Polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grains, filled with essential fats. Because these fats are highly susceptible to oxidation when exposed to air, this layer is removed through a refining process to extend the shelf life of the product.

The resulting white rice is simply a refined starch that is largely stripped of its original nutrients.

How often to give rice?

If the child is prone to constipation, a pediatrician should be consulted, as the product is too useful to be abandoned forever, it may be worth introducing it later into the child's diet or feeding rice porridge only 1 time per week.

If the child is healthy, then we still monitor the stool while rice porridge is introduced into the diet, then when other products are introduced, when the child’s menu expands significantly, rice porridge or rice should be given 2-3 times a week as part of various dishes, not only like porridge for breakfast.

Foods that go well with rice:

Fruits, vegetables, yogurt, meat, fish, poultry, seafood, seaweed, mushrooms, dried fruits are great foods to mix with boiled rice.

grass and spices that perfectly complement the taste of rice:
  • Cardamom
  • Courkuma
  • Garlic
  • Lovelc
  • nutmeg
  • parsley
  • Shafran
  • Shafran
  • Shafrans0078
  • rice porridge with apple and pumpkin
  • cauliflower and rice puree

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On our site Encyclopedia Baby Food there is useful information on the nutrition of your children, which is useful for everyone, and we update the site "Encyclopedia Baby Food" constantly and try to search and write only excellent, verified and necessary information for you and your children.

Disclaimer No. 1: It must be understood that the author of the articles on the Baby Food Encyclopedia website is not a medical staff, “I am not a doctor.” The information I share is based on my own experience. My goal is not to teach you how to eat or feed your child, but to talk about how we did it, what new things I learned or read. This expands the picture of Baby Food knowledge, gives you a glimpse of the whole process so you can decide if you like it or not.

Disclaimer No. 2 : However, the above does not replace visiting a pediatrician. Before you start complementary foods, you need to get his professional opinion on the best way to introduce new foods for your baby. I also draw your attention to the fact that you need to look at the original date of the published articles, because some of the "best practices" may have changed. Always check with your child's pediatrician about complementary foods and their health.

Disclaimer #3: Keep in mind that every family is unique, every situation is also completely unique.

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