What's wrong with rice cereal? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was reading the the other post about about the momma whose baby is underweight, when I saw a couple of references to rice cereal being bad ... rather than hijack her thread, I'd figure I'd just ask it outright ...

What's wrong with rice cereal?

Not that DS is eating it at 3 mos (we're waiting until 6 months or later if he's ready later) to start solids ... I had never heard anything bad about rice cereal except early introduction of rice cereal ...

So what's the deal?

I blog traditional foods and Weston A Price at Nourished Kitchen. See my healthy recipes.
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#2 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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It's refined, for starters, has little to no nutrition except what they add to it, doesn't really introduce baby to different flavors or tastes, etc etc. It is completely fine if you grind it and cook it yourself. But not the best for a starter food.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#3 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 03:28 PM
 
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It's pretty much just empty calories...it fills the baby up, but they're not getting the same nutrition they would be through breastmilk.

Oh, and my son was in the 1st percentile, and rice cereal didn't help him gain weight at all...he actually lost weight because it filled him up enough that he didn't eat much breastmilk.

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#4 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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we eat it too stop diarehea so maybe it would constpate a babe
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#5 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, mommas! I learn so much on MDC.

So what is a better option to introduce babes to solids? Is another cereal better, or do you just start with the veggies?

I blog traditional foods and Weston A Price at Nourished Kitchen. See my healthy recipes.
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#6 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 03:51 PM
 
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#1. Rice cereal has next to no nutritional content
#2. constipating
#3. The whole purpose of solids in the first year is to experiment with texture and taste- rice cereal has neither

I would not start solids until at LEAST 6 months then I would start with fruits and veggies that they can self-feed.

-Angela
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#7 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 04:03 PM
 
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Most rice cereals (heck most baby cereals period) are fortified w/iron. When a baby ingests that iron, it causes their gut to change and they no longer absorb the bio-available iron in breastmilk as easily/readily. Doctors will tell you that breastmilk doesn't have much iron in it and that is true. But what they fail to tell you is that the iron that breastmilk does contain is highly available for absorbtion by the baby.

It's like giving your kid an entire dropper full of tylenol because you know they're going to spit out half of it anyway (my sister does this, I don't use tylenol - it was the only analogy I could think of.)
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#8 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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Our ped said not to bother with rice cereal (or any other cereals) for the same reasons all pp's have stated-just empty calories. He was all for my wanting to do sweet potatoes, peaches, squash, pears, apples, avocado....
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#9 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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im glad you posted this..i was going to do the same

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#10 of 30 Old 12-23-2005, 07:33 PM
 
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what about brown rice cereal?
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#11 of 30 Old 12-24-2005, 12:10 AM
 
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Has anyone used the Earth's Best Organic brown rice cereal? Dd is only 3mo, but someone gave it to me so I'm hanging onto it...
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#12 of 30 Old 12-24-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curlyfry
Has anyone used the Earth's Best Organic brown rice cereal? Dd is only 3mo, but someone gave it to me so I'm hanging onto it...
I have! I didn't give my son any rice cereal but that. I could have eaten a bowl of it, it really does, to me, taste like brown rice and he liked it too.
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#13 of 30 Old 12-25-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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I have been eating Cream of Wheat almost every single morning for breakfast. It is also fortified with iron. If I am bf'ing, do you think I might be constipating my babe? She has seemed to be pushing really hard when she poos. (Maybe that is normal for 5wk old babies as my mother said?)

Sorry this is slightly off topic, but the rice cereal is probably similar in content to Cream of Wheat and it made me wonder...
Does anyone know if I'm taking in too much iron if that will affect my babe?
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#14 of 30 Old 12-25-2005, 02:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritmomma
She has seemed to be pushing really hard when she poos.
are her poops still very runny? constipation is not judged by how long between poops or how grunty/red they get, but if the poop is still loose and watery for a bf baby...

Quote:
Does anyone know if I'm taking in too much iron if that will affect my babe?
I don't *think* it will. But I am not positive.


I only feed dd rice cereal if she has the runs. We started her at 6 months on bananas and avocado, mushed up.

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#15 of 30 Old 12-25-2005, 10:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritmomma
I have been eating Cream of Wheat almost every single morning for breakfast. It is also fortified with iron. If I am bf'ing, do you think I might be constipating my babe? She has seemed to be pushing really hard when she poos. (Maybe that is normal for 5wk old babies as my mother said?)

Sorry this is slightly off topic, but the rice cereal is probably similar in content to Cream of Wheat and it made me wonder...
Does anyone know if I'm taking in too much iron if that will affect my babe?
My ped said the amount of Iron in moms Blood does not affect the amount in mom's blood stream.

I asked because I have the opposite problem. I am anemic and was throughout my pregnancy also. Sage was born almost 2 months early so I was really concerned about her Iron Stores and thought since I am anemic that I wasn't giving her enough Iron in my milk. We just had her checked and her levels were at 11.9 (anything above 10.5 is good) Mine on the other hand was 8.1 last I had it checked
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#16 of 30 Old 12-25-2005, 10:45 AM
 
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On the OT, I also am fairly sure I read somewhere here on MDC that we can not digest grain until we have Molars as we do not produce the necessary enzymes until the first set of Molars come through
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#17 of 30 Old 12-25-2005, 01:10 PM
 
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OP asked what to do instead of rice cereal -

with both kids we did sweet potato and avocado (about one week apart). Both can be given mashed or diced or in big hand-held chunks (tho w/avo I'd wait until they're old enough to have a couple of teeth). The sp is GREAT food for babies - second best to breastmilk, in fact. Yams are ok, but taste different. That's where we started and I gotta say I have great eaters who eat everything (almost). Once they get a taste for food, and that can take a while for some babies, then I offer whatever I'm eating. I don't eat dairy or wheat, so other than honey and eggs everything is fair game. He just gums stuff like broccoli and beans (LOVES beans), chick peas, sprouts, cooked carrots, etc. We don't do much in the way of cooking specially for him, but I do buy jars of food for a quick meal when I'm busy or if we go out. The organic food is great and simple and has no preservatives, so once it's open, use it or toss it. and HAVE FUN!!!

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#18 of 30 Old 12-25-2005, 05:34 PM
 
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I never use rice cereal plain. But I do use it to thicken up fruits or veggies that are too runny-- makes for a nice spoonable consistency, and adds some iron.
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#19 of 30 Old 12-26-2005, 04:12 AM
 
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Does anyone know when quinoa can be introduced? It is a supergrain, and very easy to make into a mushy cereal for baby...

I did rice cereal with my first but have since changed to veggies and fruits and quite a while past the 6 month mark.

Cool thread!!
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#20 of 30 Old 12-26-2005, 03:44 PM
 
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So do you make it yourself or just skip it? What's wrong with Earth's best brown rice cereal? I started with it according to the Super Baby Food book, but quickly introduced veggies and fruit. I mashed and pureed produce myself, but never felt like making cereal myself. Maybe people rely on it too much or something. I never had trouble with constipation because I was still bfing as well. It's not like people use cereal to the exclusion of veggies, fruits and breastmilk. I didn't know that about the iron though..
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#21 of 30 Old 12-26-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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we also liked the Earth's best cereal, DD enjoyed it made with breastmilk, although I didn't know about the iron fortifying problem- interesting!! we didn't give her any solids until 7 months, but DS has gotten into a bit more with big sister around she was trying to feed him goldfish crackers on xmas eve!!! He hates the cereal...maybe he knows more than I do for first foods, i know they are lame, but little man LOVES cheerios- does anyone know anything bad about them?

oh and to the OP- i think part of why rice cereal gets referenced in such a negative way, is not about feeding it to your 6 month old by spoon, or fingers at the table (which I think is ok) but is about lacing the formula bottle with it at 4 weeks to get them to sleep through the night (which i'm pretty sure is not OK!!!! ) But a lot of mainstream boards have that suggested all over the place- "oh, he doesn't sleep through? have you tried rice cereal?" like it's a fix it for babies waking up.....

Brenda- Blessed wahmama to Sara(7) & Alex(5) 7/10 & 9/10 Living the crazy life with dh David & Charlie on our little urban farm!
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#22 of 30 Old 12-26-2005, 04:21 PM
 
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I know people who have said they waited till 6 months to start "solids" but were giving their kids rice cereal 2-3 times a day since 4 months. I'm not sure how cereal isn't a solid to them! So yeah, some people do use it to the exclusion of fruits, veggies and BM.

once in a while I think it is fine. I also used it like a PP mentioned to thicken some of my runnier purees and I sometimes add it to yogurt for the same reason.

Christine, mom to C(7.5) - E(5) - J(3) - B(10 mos)

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#23 of 30 Old 12-26-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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Have you tasted infant rice cereal? EEEWWWW!

It's got nothing that food is supposed to have. It's so full of non-digestible iron that it's constipating, and full of empty, non-nutritive calories.

My babies started by eating mushed chunky veggies and fruits. By the time my kids were eating more than 1 bite of food, they were each 8 months old, and wouldn't eat anything they couldn't pick up with their fingers.

DD is now 10.5 months and DS is 3.5 years. DD eats SOME mushy foods, but it's stuff that I've made like mashed potatoes. She's never eaten out of a jar.
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#24 of 30 Old 12-26-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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It's like giving your kid an entire dropper full of tylenol because you know they're going to spit out half of it anyway (my sister does this
and what happens if the baby decides it's yummy and takes it all down! An overdose?! Thats not a risk I would take. Both my kids as babies really liked the Panadol (Tylonel)

As for rice cerial, I used it for both my kids, dosn't bother me. If you have a rather hungry baby a little filling wont hurt. I was always under the impresion that the white rice cerial is easier to digest then the brown due to less fibre. I never gave much, maybe a table spoon. Then after a few days I started vegies and fruit. I know it has little taste or texture but I think thats why it's suposed to be used as a first food. Just because we think it tasts like nothing dosn't mean it tasts like that to a baby. Some babies actualy like it. Our palets have had years of salt and additives. That said if a baby dosn't like it it's no big deal not to use it. I found it a great mixer and thickener.
You can tone down the taste of a strong fruit or vegie with it, and it thickens up home made yoghurt a treat.
You can make your own brown rice cerial. I know Super Foods For Baby's has a recipe and I have another home made book with a slightly diffrent recipe. Basicly you powder the rice in a procesor and cook what you want each time.
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#25 of 30 Old 12-30-2005, 01:19 AM
 
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My dr. recomended quinoa and millet as healthy alternatives to rice cereal. Does anyone know about that?
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#26 of 30 Old 12-30-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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I know that quinoa is supposed to be VERY nutritious!

Christine, mom to C(7.5) - E(5) - J(3) - B(10 mos)

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#27 of 30 Old 12-30-2005, 10:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joandsarah77
As for rice cerial, I used it for both my kids, dosn't bother me. If you have a rather hungry baby a little filling wont hurt.
Umm..... babies want to eat because they need nutrition, not because they're depressed and need the emotional comfort of a full stomach. : If your baby is hungry it means it needs something to help it grow, not something to keep it quiet.

Filling a baby with empty calories is not good. Why is it such a big deal to wait until the baby is older and can eat real, nutritious, homemade food? Oh, and in the meantime, they can even... breastfeed!!! What a revelation!

Sorry, I just get up in arms about this because everyone around me (outside my LLL group) makes it a race to see if they can get their baby to eat solids. And then when they have kids that won't eat vegetables, they complain. Sorry.
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#28 of 30 Old 12-30-2005, 10:53 AM
 
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What about the baby oatmeal cereal? Ben never liked the rice cereal so we used the oatmeal. Is the one that comes in the box (gerber, i guess?) just as processed and loaded with crappy additives like the rice?

Of course I am much wiser now and will feed this baby much better and later (although I did do the homemade fruits and veggies with Ben).

Jenn, perpetually tired mom to DS(9): DD(4.5): DD(2) :
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#29 of 30 Old 12-30-2005, 04:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teakafrog
I never use rice cereal plain. But I do use it to thicken up fruits or veggies that are too runny-- makes for a nice spoonable consistency, and adds some iron.

yes we did too! dd 1 didn't like being fed, but she loved applesauce that was mixed with rice cereal so that she could pick it up with her little fist and stuff it into her mouth.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#30 of 30 Old 12-30-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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Umm..... babies want to eat because they need nutrition, not because they're depressed and need the emotional comfort of a full stomach. If your baby is hungry it means it needs something to help it grow, not something to keep it quiet.
lol I never said they were depressed. I was talking more about a large baby who always seems hungry may then be satisfied with a few spoons of cerial.
I'm not talking about feeding them lots of cerial to replace milk.
I'm a big believer in milk for babies and toddlers.

Quote:
Filling a baby with empty calories is not good. Why is it such a big deal to wait until the baby is older and can eat real, nutritious, homemade food? Oh, and in the meantime, they can even... breastfeed!!! What a revelation!
I started solids at 5 months because I think it's an age that they take the new tasts quite redily. It's only ment to accustom the baby to new tastes and textures, not be a meal. And it was all home made foods apart from the Farex rice. I'm not talking about a jar full of food, only an ice cube of food. Also I was actualy talking more about bottle feed babies; Once they have had a full bottle and are still hungry then I think a little cerial, fruit or vegtable is quite ok. Of course if your lucky enough to be able to breast feed thats certainly the best way. But even if I could have bf, I would still have given the small amount of solids that I did. My ds is 15 months old and still most days only eats two meals. But thats because he's a small eatter and I want to make sure he takes a full quota of milk, which he wont do if given more food.
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