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Some moms ask “how long do you feed rice cereal before other food”? It has been advised that breast milk be given exclusively for 6 months. Although, infant formula can also be given to babies till 6 months of age as recommended by a pediatrician. It has been recommended that solid food be introduced to a baby from 6 months of age to give additional nutrients for healthy development. When introducing solid meals to your baby, a lot of people would advise that you start with rice cereal, this is mostly because rice cereal has the ability to dissolve in breast milk and formula.
It might be also easily accepted by your little one if you’ve been mixing it with either breast milk or formula. Although rice cereal is a great starter food to get your baby used to solid foods, it is important that you know how long you should feed rice cereal to your little one before you introduce them to other solid food to ensure a balanced nutrient.
How many times should I feed my baby rice cereal?
How many times you should feed your baby rice cereal would depend on the age grade. Although, you should know that it is normal for a baby’s appetite to change over time. It is advised that babies who are 6 months of age should be given 3-4 tablespoons of rice cereal once a day, babies who are 7-8 months of age should be fed 4-5 tablespoons of rice cereal once a day, and babies who are 9-10 months of age should be given 5-6 tablespoons of rice cereal once a day or at most, twice a day if accepted by the baby.
Many parents start with rice cereal because it helps a baby who is just being introduced to solid food sleep well. It also prevents midnight wake-ups in some babies. However, it has been recommended by pediatricians that rice cereals should not be given to a baby over 7 months of age more than twice a day to enable the baby to have an appetite for other solid meals. Babies are different and what might cause a reaction in a baby might be different in another baby. If you have noticed that your little one makes a fuss after being fed rice cereal without knowing why below are some possible reasons.
Why does a baby fuss after being fed rice cereal?
- Feeding your baby rice cereal at the wrong age:
If you give your baby rice cereal between 3-5 months of age, your baby’s digestive system might not be fully developed to break down complex food yet. This could result in a stomach upset for your little one and make your baby get fussy. It is advisable that you discontinue the rice cereal till your baby is about 6 months old and would be able to digest complex food easily.
- The feeding time is wrong:
Starter food is meant to compliment either the breast milk or the formula given to your baby and not to replace them at the beginning. Your baby might make a fuss if you offer only the starter meal without complimenting it with milk. There should be a 30mins gap between milk and rice cereal so your baby doesn’t make a fuss after being fed.
- Baby has an allergic reaction to rice cereal:
Although rice cereal is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in babies, some babies get a painful gas experience after eating rice cereal. This could result in your baby being fussy due to the discomfort felt. It is advisable you give your baby alternative starter solid food that would not cause an allergic reaction.
- Baby doesn’t like the taste of rice cereal:
Babies cannot be predicted. Your baby might like the taste of the rice meal this week and might find the taste of the rice cereal unappealing the next week. This might result in your baby spitting out the rice cereal and making a fuss. You can give your baby an alternative to rice cereal for a solid meal starter.
Does your baby hate rice cereal? 5 alternatives you can try
Not all babies would like the taste of rice cereal and you should have an alternative when your baby makes a fuss when offered rice cereal. Below are 5 alternatives you can try.
- Barley: Barley is a nutritious grain that can be prepared into cereal. It is a great choice if your baby is starting solid and cannot tolerate rice cereal. Barley is an excellent source of fiber that ensures a free bowel movement, therefore promoting healthy development for your baby
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal is gentle on your baby’s digestive system and works well to prevent painful gas. It is versatile and can be mixed with different fruits to give your little one a variety of tastes while being introduced to solid food.
- Mashed potatoes: Mashed potatoes are a go-to for baby solid starter meals. Although your baby would be getting the essential nutrients in the potatoes, the potatoes must be mashed properly to avoid a choking hazard.
- Pureed Fruits: Fruits are tasty, nutritious, and widely accepted by so many babies. You can puree fruits like banana, apple, pineapple, etc. while introducing your baby to solid meals. Pureed fruits are gentle on a baby’s stomach and easily digestible.
- Quinoa: Quinoa is packed with nutrients and it is a great additive to your little one’s diet while being introduced to solid meals. It can be prepared as cereal and fruits can be added to it for a natural flavouring.
How Long Do You Feed Rice Cereal Before Other Food? The Verdict
Starting your baby on solids is a major step but it is advised that your baby is 6 months old before the introduction of solid food. Highlighted above are the necessary tips you need to know about feeding your baby with rice cereal. Your little one might be allergic to rice cereal and it is important to know some alternatives starter food your baby can eat. It is also important that you monitor your baby to ensure he/she doesn’t have allergic reactions to any of the alternatives to rice cereal.