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Rice Cereal - friend or foe?

If you're just starting to think about introducing solids to your baby, this post is for you!

Rice cereal is the number one recommended food for babies by many health professionals. This all started in the 1930's when rice cereal was fortified with iron. Processed foods were on the rise. The convenience in knowing that your baby was meeting iron requirements with fortified foods was (and still is) appealing. However, the iron in fortified products in not the most absorbable form. It is synthetic and can be really hard to digest. This may also be one of the leading causes your baby is experiencing constipation, upset tummy, fussiness and nausea after introducing rice cereal!

Rice cereal is highly processed meaning that it is stripped of all vital nutrients and fiber. This creates a very high glycemic product. It also doesn't include some top nutrients that baby needs like healthy fat, vitamin D, choline and naturally-occurring iron. Naturally occurring Iron is metabolized by baby much easier causing none of the side effects, like constipation.

What I recommend, and what my clients have been very successful with, is putting the focus on real whole foods. Whole foods will have the necessary fiber and the very important micronutrients to ensure your baby is getting what he or she needs to develop and thrive.

So what foods do you start with? Here are just a few of my top recommendations but there are many more you can begin to introduce between 6-8 months of age.

  • avocado

  • chicken liver

  • bone broth

  • squash

  • carrots

  • sweet potato

  • pear

  • chia

  • spirulina

How you feed your baby is really up to you and your comfort level. Your baby may even make that choice for you! With my first born, I really wanted to do baby led weaning. However, he downright refused anything I gave him. So we switched to home made puree's and he did great. We were all stress free and eventually were able to switch to more of a combination style feeding. With my second born, we started baby led weaning with finger foods right away and it's gone incredibly smooth. Messy, but smooth.

Whole foods can be introduced either by cooking and pureeing them or cooking and cutting them into appropriately sized shapes. Keep meal time happy and stress free!

If you need more help with feeding your little one I would be happy to help. I offer this during my 1:1 virtual appointment's where we can really discuss all the in's and out's of this exciting time on a more personal level. You can also purchase my Infant Food Introduction document directly off my website that outlines what foods to introduce and when. It is available here:

Happy Eating,

Caelin Folsom, RHN

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