It is safe to give rice cereal to infants. Research has shown that it is a good source of nutrition for babies who are not yet ready for iron-fortified cereals or solid foods.
Rice cereal can be mixed with breast milk, formula, or fruit juice and then fed to your infant. In addition, it is important to know the risks of giving rice cereal too early before you decide whether or not to use it.
Here are some things you should know about feeding your baby rice cereal so you can make an informed decision.
What is rice cereal?
Rice cereal is a mix of rice powder, water, and a couple of other ingredients. It is also known as “advanced fortified rice cereal,” or infant cereals.
Rice cereal contains 3 grams of high-energy, disease-fighting iron, plus the ability to provide vitamin B12, which helps the body absorb calcium.
Rice cereal is safe for infants until they are 6 months old. But it is best to start them on iron-fortified cereals when they are born.
Use this chart to identify iron-fortified cereals. What are the risks associated with giving your baby rice cereal early? The most important thing you need to know about giving your baby rice cereal is that it is safe.
The most common problem is that infants may choke on the rice.
When should I give it to my baby?
Some doctors suggest introducing your baby to rice cereal once they reach their first birthday. Others believe that cereal should be fed by one year of age.
Although some pediatricians will recommend waiting a couple of weeks beyond their first birthday, some will say that it’s better to give your baby rice cereal as early as three months of age, since the food will have more iron in it.
This is the earliest that your baby can be introduced to rice cereal to make sure that they have enough iron.
Is it safe? As we mentioned earlier, rice cereal is a good source of nutrition for babies who are not yet ready for iron-fortified cereals or solid foods.
This is especially important since many babies are born with iron deficiency anemia.
How much should I feed my baby?
The National Institute of Child Health recommends that infants should have about 2 oz. of cereal every three to four hours as a part of their diet for the first six months of life.
This amount varies according to the size of your baby and the need of the child for nutrition and for weight gain.
Experts recommend that you do not feed your baby more than 4 oz. of food per meal, so be sure to feed them the cereal according to the quantity that is recommended by the Department of Nutrition.
Can my baby get choking on rice cereal? As long as you follow all the instructions and are aware of the risks, it is fine to feed your baby cereal.
What are the risks of giving rice cereal too early?
Contrary to popular belief, rice cereal can be given to babies even if they are not “ready” for it. However, research suggests that some babies do not like the taste or texture of the cereal. Here are some risks of giving rice cereal too early.
Risks of feeding rice cereal to infants It can lead to intestinal blockage. This can occur in as little as four hours of introducing the cereal.
There are no known long-term effects, but parents should keep a watchful eye on their infants’ bowel movements. This can occur in as little as four hours of introducing the cereal. There are no known long-term effects, but parents should keep a watchful eye on their infants’ bowel movements. It may cause food allergies.
Giving your baby rice cereal is safe if you follow the suggestions provided. If you think it is best for you and your baby, feel free to try it.
What you need to do is mix in a small amount of rice cereal with your baby’s milk or formula. It’s important to check with your pediatrician first, though, and make sure you’re in a safe zone with the quantity of rice that you are feeding your child.
You can also try feeding your baby fruit or vegetables if you’re concerned that rice cereal isn’t good for your infant.
It may take some trial and error, but rice cereal isn’t a huge risk. Image credit