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Do you have questions about rice cereals for babies? Baby foods abound on the market, from baby formula to cow’s milk to buffalo milk and even soy milk, and the list is definitely incomplete without the inclusion of rice cereal. If you walk into any supermarket in your locality, chances are that rice cereal is one of the many products you will find.
In a world where every baby food product says they are the best, most healthy, most delicious, and even nutritious, the decision to pick a product has never been harder to make for most parents.
Brands decorate their rice cereal packs with all sorts of praises – of how their product is ideal for infants, a healthy food to start them on, and other declared perks. But are rice cereal products as healthy as their manufacturers claim? We will uncover this, alongside many other related details in this article. Giddy up!
Does Rice Cereal Make Babies Gain Weight?
One of the best spectacles you can have of your baby is how he grows from baby milk to solid foods. It not only makes you feel successful as a parent, but also gives your baby an explorative experience. In picking solid foods for babies, most parents make rice cereal chief on their list; all thanks to its low allergenic properties. However, your introduction of rice cereal into your baby’s diet should be preceded by a thorough understanding of the nutritional implications of this food.
Rice cereal consists mainly of carbohydrates, and very partly of protein. A cereal fortified with minerals such as calcium, iron, and B vitamins; rice cereal is best combined with a little quantity of breast milk or formula when introducing it to your baby, and slowly.
If you introduce your baby to rice cereal this way, there should not be any issue of excessive weight gain. Instead of that, rice cereal gives your baby a friendly transition from milk to solid foods, in a steady way. All to the end that she gets some more nutrition and texture, even alongside the familiar taste of breast milk.
So, the answer is, rice cereal does not make babies gain weight when introduced the right way.
Does Rice Cereal Help Baby Reflux?
Acid reflux is what happens when the lower esophageal sphincter is feeble or not well developed. The lower esophageal sphincter is a muscle bridged between the stomach and esophagus. It’s a unidirectional valve, and opens temporarily to aid the passage of food when something is swallowed. When this muscle fails to close, there is usually a reflux of stomach contents back into the esophagus.
If your baby’s reflux is mild and recurring, then it is recommended that you add a teaspoon or two of rice cereal to her formula or breast milk. Rice cereal is a sort of thickener, so it makes the stomach contents firmer and heavier to flow back. In a way, rice cereal can reduce the chances of reflux in a quite effective way. However, do note that including rice cereal in your baby’s diet will not completely nullify the effects of reflux. No, it only reduces them. And unless your baby is four months old, the inclusion of rice cereal in his diet will be counterproductive, as it can expose him to high risks of food allergies, choking, and overfeeding.
Also, even if your baby shows signs of reflux, do not include rice cereal in his diet unless your doctor gives you a go ahead.
Side Effects of Rice Cereal for Babies
- Rice cereal has lots of Arsenic: The amount of arsenic that accompanies rice cereal is something to be bothered about. This is one reason why many research organizations have cautioned parents against rice cereal. Arsenic is a natural element present in water, soil, and air. It is said to have a role in cancers of the skin, lung, liver, and bladder.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Rice cereal offers your baby an imbalanced proportion of carbohydrates. The ratio of carbohydrates is very much higher than that of protein and fats.
- Constipation: Rice cereal is linked with constipation.
- Autoregulation Issues: Feeding your baby with rice cereal may lead them to eat more calories than is found in formula. This could discourage his system from regulating the diets he takes in, and as a result, intensify the risk of obesity.
- Abdominal Pains: Rice cereal cannot be adequately broken down except through a digestive enzyme. And babies do not develop mature digestive enzymes until about three months of age. So, introducing rice cereal to your baby prematurely can result in abdominal pains and intestinal gas.
- Reflux: Adding rice cereal to your baby formula or milk thickens the mixture and reduces the chances of reflux, no doubt. But it does not completely eliminate reflux. The chances are just reduced, and not impossible.
Alternatives to Rice Cereal for Babies
When Can You Start Feeding a Baby Rice Cereal?
There are different answers all over the place as to when you can start feeding your baby rice cereal. While some people suggest at six months of age, others think giving your baby rice cereal as early as when they are three months old, is not bad.
None of these thoughts are absolute, or have to be true for you. Your pediatrician is the surest source of advice, on questions like this. For the meantime, you can make do with what we have to present.
Babies differ in body systems. So, you may want to check for the following things to see if your baby is ready for rice cereal:
- They are able to control their head and neck
- They are able to sit up in a high chair
- Their oral skills are well developed
- They demonstrate interest in your food
Rice cereal is a great food for baby. As it has pros, so does it have cons. There is an ideal time to start feeding your baby rice cereal though, and we have uncovered that in this content.
Furthermore, in this content, we have highlighted the side effects of rice cereal, as well as the healthy alternatives you can make do with. Did this information help you? Kindly let us know in the comment section!