Rice cereal is commonly the first solid babies are introduced to. I am on a personal mission to change this! Ok, not really. Ok, maybe just a little bit. While I may not be able to launch a national campaign against it, I can educate moms (and dads!) on the facts. There are many different reasons why I’ve chosen a different route but I’ve narrowed the list down for you to 3 reasons to skip rice cereal.
Most parents want to give their kids the very best and start them off in the best possible way. Rice cereal is not setting our children up for optimal health.
Here are 3 Reasons to Skip Rice Cereal:
- It is almost completely starch. And we know what happens to starch, right? It turns into sugar. Rice cereal has been compared to giving a baby a soda. It’s basically junk food! Dr. Greene, leader of The White Out Movement, expresses concern that starting babies off this way can be setting them up for a lifetime of poor eating habits. We are essentially getting them hooked on sugar.
- It can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. Higher intake of white rice, which is what rice cereal is made of, has been linked to a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
- It contains arsenic. Rice (brown and white) contains potentially harmful levels of arsenic, particularly for young children.
Why, then, has rice cereal been the recommended first food? It is fortified with iron and the most common deficiency in babies is iron. Iron deficiency can lead to impaired brain, cognitive, language and motor development. Many children who suffer from iron deficiencies have learning and behavioral challenges.
Iron is important to a baby’s diet but, in my opinion, rice cereal has too many cons to out weigh this pro. There are other means of making sure your baby has sufficient iron.
If you are looking for iron rich foods, I recommend checking out this detailed list at Wholesome Baby Food.