Why You Should Skip The Rice Cereal
One of the exciting things about being a parent is when your baby hits a new milestone! For most mamas and daddies feeding their baby food is a very exciting first. They finally get to experience TASTE of new things. You can't wait to watch them react to different flavors. However; there can be risks and dangers associated with starting your little one on foods before they are ready this includes RICE CEREAL. Even The American Association of Pediatrics says six months before introducing any type of food.
Most baby cereal is advertised to be okay for babies starting as young as four months old. Even some pediatricians will tell you to add it to your child's bottle which is why it's so essential to research EVERYTHING when it comes to your child. Regardless of if the advice you are given is coming from a trusted mommy friend or a certified pediatrician.
Gut health is so important for everyone but for babies who are still developing it can be crucial. Babies under six months have their bodies working hard at fully developing their digestive system. Without a fully developed digestive system, anything other than breastmilk or formula will result in food not being digested correctly.
Aside from the gut health aspect of it baby cereal really no nutrition benefit. It's more of a filler. Would you rather have your child full from processed potato chips or a healthy salad full of nutrients that promote development? If you said salad glad we are on the same page but this also means you will defiantly want to think twice before reaching for that baby cereal next time your shopping.
Breastmilk and formula are designed to fill your baby up while providing them with all the healthy nutrients they need to stay healthy. Baby rice is VERY processed and is filled with all kinds of nasty things like arsenic, pesticides, herbicides, synthetic vitamins. Even the organic brands are known to have traces of arsenic and still contain nasty synthetic vitamins. EW.
Consumer Reports, "the independent consumer watchdog group, has conducted analysis of a number of different rice products, finding that an array of them–including organic rice baby cereal, rice breakfast cereals, brown rice, and white rice–contain “worrisome” levels of the carcinogenic toxin arsenic. Arsenic is not regulated in food, though the government does have a standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for arsenic in drinking water." From Consumer Reports
Now the question I'm sure you are wondering. Is my baby ready for solids? When should I start introducing something other than breastmilk or formula? Here is a good list of questions to ask yourself when trying to determine to start solids.
If you can answer these all with a confident YES it may be a good time to start solids. However; if you had any no or unsure to the questions below, it would be best to wait a little bit longer.
We choose to go with Baby Led Weaning (blog post coming soon). Baby-led weaning (BLW) is a great way to start to introduce foods to you baby. BLW skips the running puree baby mush foods altogether and introduces your little one to real whole foods; this will add complementary foods the baby's diet of breastmilk or formula. BLW is known to help with oral motor control while maintaining eating as a positive, interactive experience.
Our experience was nothing but positive! Even is said to help the baby be less picky with foods later down the line.
Stay tuned for the "Baby Led Weaning Intro Post" dropping this weekend.