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Starting solid meals for your baby comes with the responsibility of ensuring that your baby’s essential nutrients are met and your baby is not exposed to any health risk. It has been recommended that a baby is not introduced to solid meals until 6 months of age. At this age, your baby needs the nutrients found in solid meals to have a healthy development. At the supermarket, you would see different products for solid starter meals for your little one and you would need to pick from the array of choices.
You might have also received different advice from family and friends but you still need to make the decision yourself. Oatmeal and Rice cereal are part of the starter meals when introducing your baby to solid meals, but, knowing about their nutritional benefits, pros, cons, etc. would give you leverage while making the decision to make a healthy choice for your baby.
Oatmeal Vs. Rice cereal for babies
Oatmeal is made with oats and is packed with nutrients to ensure your little one stays healthy. It contains magnesium, zinc, and iron which promotes your baby’s growth. Oatmeal also contains Vitamin A, C, B1, and B2 which are essential to your baby’s healthy development. It is high in fiber which enables bowel movement and reduces constipation for your little one. Oatmeal comes with a nutty taste which some babies love and for those who don’t find the taste appealing, fruits can be added as a natural flavouring. Oatmeal has been considered to be one of the best starter food for your little one because it is designed to be easily digested by babies.
- The preparation process is easy
- It is easy to digest and easy on your little one’s fragile tummy
- It helps to ease acid reflux
- Fruits can be added to it for an extra flavour
- It relieves constipation due to its high level of fiber
- Not suitable for babies with an allergy to whole grain
- If it contains gluten, it could cause an allergic reaction for your baby. Hence, check the ingredient list while buying it.
Rice cereal is made from rice grains. It contains calcium carbonate which is a great source of calcium for your little one to have strong bones. Rice cereal is a great source of energy for your baby. Your baby would have a consistent flow of energy throughout the day if given rice cereal. It also contains B-complex vitamins which are essential to the healthy development of your baby. Rice cereal is often recommended as a starter meal while introducing your baby to solids because it can easily be mixed with either breast milk or formula to give it a thicker consistency.
- It can be mixed with breast milk and infant formula
- It is gluten-free
- It is easy to digest
- It has a smooth texture which is similar to the texture of milk
- Too much intake can expose your little one to arsenic
- It might cause an allergic reaction in some babies
- It has a plain taste and might need a natural flavouring based on your little one’s preference
Oatmeal vs. Rice cereal for babies with reflux
Reflux in babies occurs when food moves back up from a baby’s stomach, causing the baby to spit up. It has been recommended that Oatmeal should be given to a baby that experiences reflux. It is believed that oatmeal is a safer option than rice meal because of the possible arsenic exposure with rice cereal. Also, babies with reflux might respond well to a thicker cereal; oatmeal. If you notice that your little one is gaining weight and not acting fussy during mealtime then it is probably an “uncomplicated’ reflux and should not get you alarmed. Babies would usually grow out of reflux as they grow older. Ensure you see a pediatrician if you notice a change in your baby’s weight while experiencing acid reflux.
Baby oatmeal vs. rice cereal for thickener
While starting solid meals with your baby, you might want to make your breast milk or formula thicker to teach your baby how to swallow a thicker consistency. Rice cereal is the best option for a thickener as it helps the liquid stay together while your baby is swallowing it. Also, it mixes well with both breast milk and formula. Rice cereal adds more calories to either breast milk or formula when mixed with it. The nutrients found in the rice cereal also strengthens your baby and ensures healthy development. It is important to note that some babies might react to rice cereal, therefore, you should monitor if your baby has an allergic reaction to rice cereal.
Oatmeal vs. rice cereal for constipation
Constipation in babies occurs as a result of an unusual bowel movement. Many babies tend to have constipation when being introduced to solid meals. To prevent constipation, oatmeal is a safer choice. Oatmeal is rich in fiber which acts as a natural laxative and prevents constipation. One of the fibers found in oatmeal is a soluble fiber which is a type of fiber that allows water to remain in the stool. This ensures your little one has a normal bowel movement that allows the stooling process gentle and easy. If you notice that your little one doesn’t get relieved of constipation, ensure you see a pediatrician to avoid putting your baby at risk of a severe medical condition.
Oatmeal Vs. Rice Cereal for babies: The Verdict
With the array of starter food in the supermarket, you might get a bit confused about what cereal to get for your baby. Oatmeal and rice cereal have their pros, cons, and nutritional benefits. It is essential that you know about each of them so you can be confident about your choice to give your little one the best without putting him/her at risk of any medical complication. You can also consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions relating to any of the starter food for your little one.