1st food- baby cereal WIC says yes....

Sherri - posted on 06/09/2012 ( 153 moms have responded )

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So I happened to get a hand out that all moms get at WIC yesterday. It is a form that is distributed by NH Dept of Health & Human Services - WIC Program. Photos/materials provided by NYS Department of Health



I was reading over it and found something interesting. Since this came directly from the infant nutritionist that I met with yesterday.



So here it is:



How much I might eat each day:



Breastfeed on demand, 6 or more times a day. Breastmilk is all I need until I am 6 months old. (I don't think anyone will dispute this)



If I am ready for solid foods, start out with 1-2 tbsp of single-grain rice infant cereal. This is the first food that should be given.



Wait 7 days to feed me another new food which should be oat or barley infant cereal, so you can watch me for food allergies.



My appetite will grow as I grow. If I seem hungry for another meal, I can have another serving of cereal or once the cereals have all been tried 1-2tbsp of pureed vegetables or fruits.



So I know there is a big controversy as to giving an infant cereal at all. However, if this is what is being recommended everywhere you turn and by so called experts on infant nutrition. How would a new mom even think it was not the best? What are your thoughts?

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/12/2012

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He gagged it, meaning he would choke.

Jodi - posted on 06/12/2012

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And this isn't about whether YOU think it is nasty. This is about factual information. You can think Basmati rice is as nasty as you like, it happens to be the lowest GI rice out there. Short grain white rice is what they use in rice cereal. Fact. Not the best option. Fact.



(and just for your info, Jasmine rice is not on the ok list anyway)

Jodi - posted on 06/12/2012

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1. It is plain tasting, so as to not shock their taste buds, since they are only use to milk.

THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER FOODS THAT ARE HIGHER IN NUTRITION THAT CAN DO THIS.

2. It is easy to digest.

ACTUALLY, NO IT ISN'T. THE LACK OF FIBRE DUE TO ITS HIGH GI MEANS IT DOESN'T REALLY DIGEST PARTICULARLY WELL. IT'S LIKE PLAYDOUGH IN THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.

3. It is a singular strand of grain, so less likely of allergic reaction.'

SO ARE MANY OTHER THINGS.....LIKE YOUR BASIC VEGETABLES.

4. It is easy for them to swallow.

I WOULDN'T SAY THAT. PUREED VEGETABLES ARE JUST AS EASY TO SWALLOW.

5. It is easy to mix with breastmilk, something they are use to.

YOU CAN MIX BREASTMILK WITH ANYTHING YOU CHOOSE.



So, as I asked, how is rice cereal made of plain old high GI white rice BETTER than other foods?

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/12/2012

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BTW Jodi...I think Basmati and Jasmine rice is nasty. I can't tolerate the smell. Brown rice isn't bad but my husband detests it. So, we do long grain white rice in moderation, like we do with everything else.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/12/2012

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Stiffler--- You said "this thread".... OK, you said this site, no I do not go back and read OLD threads. I am well aware what some parents do and like I said they are idiots, without a doctors consent, even if they were giving them something else. I am strictly speaking of a starter food.



ETA:

An infant/toddler needs more carbs than an older child and/or adult.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/12/2012

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Jodi, I think I have already given and provided WHY it is a good starter food. You may go back and read again, if you would like.

1. It is plain tasting, so as to not shock their taste buds, since they are only use to milk.
2. It is easy to digest.
3. It is a singular strand of grain, so less likely of allergic reaction.
4. It is easy for them to swallow.
5. It is easy to mix with breastmilk, something they are use to.

Again, I could not give my son veggies. So, in my position AND in many other Mom's it IS the best choice, if we want our kids to move onto solids.

Stifler's - posted on 06/12/2012

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I have read hundreds of threads with people adding rice to their newborns bottles for no reason or people advising them to because they keep waking up every few hours in the night for a feed *shock horror*. It's the adding it to everything that gets up my goat. We do not need to add extra carbs to already carb laden foods like pumpkin, apples, banana etc. yet it's advised on the Farex box.

Jodi - posted on 06/12/2012

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**sigh**



MeMe, it doesn't matter whether it is for starting solids or for life. My opinion is, you should begin as you plan to continue. If you use long grain rice, then good for you. So do I (in the form of Basmati rice), and I use it in moderation. I also use all processed foods in moderation. But that is irrelevant to this conversation.



Moving on....



The FACT is, rice cereal is NOT made of long grain or brown rice, it is made of plain old white rice. High GI, plain old white rice. NOT the best food for the child. That is the debate.



Please SHOW ME EVIDENCE of how rice cereal made of plain old high GI white rice is better than other foods (namely the vegetables everyone has suggested) that could be offered to a child as their first food.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/12/2012

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I am strictly speaking from a starter food view. Meaning when your child is 4-6 months and is being given it as a food not a drink.



If you add it to bottles without a doctors consent, than you're an idiot. Sometimes, a doctor will suggest adding it to a bottle simply for gastric reflux. Some kids cannot keep milk down, so they need a thickening agent.



Also, I actually have not read but one thread that said they placed "rice" cereal in a bottle. The others could have been oat, wheat or barley....



ETA:

Oh and I take back that I read someone used "rice" cereal in the bottle because it was a wheat based cereal. So, no, I have not read any posts saying they used "rice" cereal for everything. ;)

Stifler's - posted on 06/12/2012

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Meme have you not read this site? People mix it with EVERYTHING as if it's some kind of miracle food. "well i give mah baby rice cereal in their bottle, some rice cereal for breakfast,... rice cereal mixed in their vege at 10 PM before bed so they will sleepp threw the night"
Sorry, enough mocking for one day.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/12/2012

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Yes Jodi, it is fact that unprocessed foods are best. However, unless you never ever give your family processed foods, I cannot fathom your stance on white rice.

We do eat white rice. I only use the long grain type (would never use minute rice), I also only make my son long grain brown rice (because he likes it). We also only eat it once to twice a week. So, you to act as if someone is going to die or ruin their bodies because they eat long grain white rice every so often, is laughable.

Also, to include. As I have said. The infant rice cereal is for starting solids. It is not something you would continue to give them for every meal forever. Most mother's start with the rice cereal but quickly move on to the oat, wheat or barley forms. I know I did. Only 3 days of the rice cereal, then once he went 3 days of the other types (I listed above) I started adding veggies and fruits to it.

It is a recommended starting food. So are veggies and/or meat. It is a family decision and those that choose to use a nutrient fortified infant rice cereal are NOT harming their kids. If you think that, then you may as well also state that those that use formula are also harming their child. Since formula is crap without the added nutrients and vitamins. These things are made for infants. Whether YOU like it or not doesn't matter, except for YOU. What anyone else chooses to do should not be ridiculed. Our children's hospital here also recommends infant rice cereal or veggies or meat, as first foods. If infant cereal was soooo bad, then they would NOT suggest it as a starter food.

Again, I had to use infant cereal because of my sons severe gag reflex. It was the only thing he did not gag on AND he is healthy and growing. Actually, the Daycare has stated more times than not, that he is quite advanced for his age. I guess the infant cereal hasn't done him a disservice as one would try to make others think. o-O

Jodi - posted on 06/12/2012

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"OK Jodi. You won't give them white rice, I actually know lots of people that don't eat it. Not because of the low nutritional content but because they don't like it. Although, if you feed your family anything processed, than your opinion on white rice, is moot. Thanks for sharing, though. "



How is it moot? I don't feed my family white rice because it is an extremely high GI food. There are two types of rice that are low GI, and are therefore a much slower burning sugar, so that's what I use if we have rice. I wish, if they insist on us feeding our babies rice cereal, that they would also insist it be made from either Basmati or brown rice. But no, they use plain white rice, which is incredibly high in converted sugars, which, in turn, convert to fat easily, therefore *potentially* increasing the risk of obesity.



Not ALL processed foods fall in this category (although, if we are honest with ourselves, we will acknowledge that natural foods are a much better option when given the choice). So I fail to see how my comment about white rice being crap and extremely high GI is moot. It is not my opinion that white rice is high GI and that there are healthier alternatives. It is fact.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/11/2012

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That's too funny, our canadian gallons hold 4.5 liters. Roughly 4 litres...



Good old imperial measuring system...;)

Stifler's - posted on 06/11/2012

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Yeah we go through about that and it seems the more i buy the more we go through even though I only drink it in my coffee. I bake with it I guess and have kids who drink it.

Sherri - posted on 06/11/2012

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So in your case Stifler we go through 48 liters a month or 12 liters a week.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/11/2012

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A gallon is 4 litres...

Stifler's - posted on 06/11/2012

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What's a gallon? I swear we go through a 3L every 2 days. my husband thinks because it's there he can have a milo.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/11/2012

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With a family of 4, we go through 10-12 gallons of milk a month.

Sherri - posted on 06/11/2012

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@Janice yes I can see consuming 2 gallons myself as I said just myself and 2 out of 4 of my kids go through 12 gallons a month at least. I only get 5 gallons a month. So even if those 5 gallons should only be for myself I would use more than a gallon a week for sure. I drink probably an 8oz glass every other day, have cereal a few times a week and I bake and cook with it almost every single day.

Janice - posted on 06/11/2012

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@ Sherri - the milk you get is only supposed to be for you. I'm sure like me, you use it for your whole family but can you imagine consuming 2 gallons just yourself? IDK but my family has 3 people drinking cow's milk and we only go thru 1-1.25 gallons a week. Also only breastfeeding moms get tuna and they don't allow the solid white albacore which is the only kind I eat so I have turned it down all together. I tried buying the canned salmon as a substitute because I love fresh salmon but it smelled horrific and there were a ton of bones. I was required to buy 4 cans, so I still have 3 in my cabinet!

Off topic - I digress ;)

Janice - posted on 06/11/2012

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Only skimmed recent posts but to add to the obesity issue ....
While I don't think the cereal itself causes obesity, the availability of a powdered food that some parents use improperly can. Many people add rice cereal to their baby's bottles in order to fill them up so they go longer between feedings. If you become used to your belly being over stuffed at a very early age I think its more likely you will have weight issues. You cant add pureed veggies or fruit to a bottle. But that is just my opinion.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/11/2012

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Jodi - that is your experience. I am going by what I was told by two separate pediatricians. One in AB and one in NS. They recommended starting with infant cereal. So, I did and I can say my kids are healthy, no allergies and they are far from fat. I am not talking obese, I am talking just fat.



It is all about moderation. I fill my kids full of many good foods, I cook home cooked meals every single day, I prepare 4 suppers every Sunday for the following week. We rarely eat shit foods, this includes snacks.



I am just not going to believe that if you start your child on infant cereal it is going to harm them. Simply because it is not. It all depends on how you teach your kids what foods are healthy and whats ones aren't.



Also Jodi, the obesity epidemic is NOT because someone was fed infant cereal. It is because the parents are too damn lazy to cook an appropriate meal, each and every day (I don't mean KD, or potatoes or gravy based or chicken nuggets). We have this handy thing called the "Canada Food Guide", it helps a lot to show parents (and people in general) what to eat and how much of it is required each and every day. If you go and eat out all the time or eat a bag of chips or a box of cookies, your gonna be fat. If you eat a shit load of gravy or massive carbs, you're gonna get fat. It is ALL about moderation and it has absolutely nothing to do with giving your child infant cereal, unless you force feed them and make them fat by over feeding them. This can happen from too many fruits too.



I also know oodles of people that were fed infant cereal, every single person in my family. That consists of 6 siblings on my mom's side and 6 siblings on my dad's side, then 4 more for my grandparents and add my kids and me. That is a total of 19 people, only ONE out of all 19 are fat. We are a slender family on both sides and we were fed infant cereal. Again, it comes down to genetics and choices, daily choices. Moderation is key. Oh and don't forget about EXERCISE.



If you eat bad foods in moderation (you know rarely) and exercise, you will be a good weight. Anything in excess is bad. Infant cereal is not forever. It is a good starter food.



I think it is rather funny for anyone to ridicule infant cereal because it is sooo bad (which I disagree) but yet, they more than likely have given their kids KD or McDonalds or white bread (or whatever other none nutritious food) before the age of 5. At least the infant cereal is made for infants and is fortified with many nutrients.

Sherri - posted on 06/11/2012

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All my sisters and my brother were fed cereal and not a one of us are overweight. My parents are but none of us kids are. Why because we exercise and eat well as adults. Cereal I seriously doubt is going to contribute to what you look like as an adult. How you eat as an adult is going to contribute what you weigh as an adult.

Jodi - posted on 06/11/2012

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MeMe- "It is still highly recommended by DOCTORS." NOT TRUE. My pediatrician told me to stay as far away from the stuff as possible. My midwife warned me against it, even my OB in my second pregnancy told me to avoid it if possible. When I was on WIC with my first, the ladies at WIC told me this was just an option for mothers who couldn't afford anything else, infant cereal is cheap, so cheap for them to supply, but that it'd be better to start with almost anything else. My cousin is a pediatrician and he had never, and has clearly stated would never touch the stuff with a 10 foot pole and tells his patients the same thing (only I guess a bit more diplomatically and nicely). I actually havn't ever spoken to a health professional or doctor, or pediatrician or anyone who actually advocates for rice cereal.



ETA: "People have been giving their infants fortified rice cereal for years and years. I bet each one of you had rice cereal to start. Are you saying your not healthy or weren't as a child? Lets get a general census." I dont' know about Canada, but here in the US, we have a MAJOR obesity epidemic with all the syptoms and side effects that go with that. A big link to obesity, I' have been told, is diet as an infant/child. So, I know I'm too fat, I also know I was fed rice cereal, my sisters are overweight, fed rice cereal, I know oodles of people who aren't healthy, and were fed rice cereal I'm sure...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/10/2012

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Minnie - You weren't on here when I first provided my info (my first few posts). So, save your crap. ;) ETA: No need for you to respond with such haste. Only my first paragraph was in response.



And yes, fruits and many vegetables ARE simple carbs. Do some more research. I even provided links. It may help if you actually read them.



Grains are a complex carb and they have nutritional benefits. Whole grains, that is.



**End of response to Minnie**



Jodi---Rice cereal is made of highly processed plain WHITE rice. It's crap. I don't even feed that rice to my family. It is high GI (which means it turns into sugar INSTANTLY in the body and is NOT a slow burning sugar) and should be an absolute minimum in anyone's diet. If you are feeding baby solids because you want to keep their tummy's full, WHITE rice is probably the worst option you could choose because of how the body processes the sugars.



OK Jodi. You won't give them white rice, I actually know lots of people that don't eat it. Not because of the low nutritional content but because they don't like it. Although, if you feed your family anything processed, than your opinion on white rice, is moot. Thanks for sharing, though.



White rice is not the best BUT it is mighty fine if eatten in moderation and it is better than some shit out there that people eat (like my neighbour that gave her kid french fries at 7 months). It is NOT going to harm a child learning to eat or at any point in their life for that matter. By the time they are 5yrs of age, I bet they have had much worse foods.



Also, just because where YOU live the cattle/pigs/chickens (which I highly doubt) are grass fed only, does not mean it is like that everywhere. Of course, I am talking of where I live, why would I talk about where you live? Now, that's just silly to think otherwise. I did say, however, that we can purchase grass fed, it is just not the most prominent in the grocery store. Oh and don't get me started on all the other shit they add to meat to place in the stores. Really, whether they are grass fed or not means nothing, if you don't purchase directly from a farm.



People have been giving their infants fortified rice cereal for years and years. I bet each one of you had rice cereal to start. Are you saying your not healthy or weren't as a child? Lets get a general census.



So WHY has infant rice cereal always been considered the best first food for baby?



It is relatively bland in taste - some experts say that this makes it more acceptable to babies because - when mixed with breast milk or formula - it tastes familiar to them.

You can mix it to a fairly thin texture, which is believed to be ideal for babies making the transition from an all-liquid diet to a more solid one.

It provides necessary iron - most baby rice is iron-fortified to boost babies' levels of this essential dietary element at a time when they become depleted (around 6 months of age).

It is believed to be relatively non-allergenic, making it a safer option as a first food.

It is said to be very easily digested.

It is believed - by some - to help babies sleep through the night by keeping their tummies full for longer.

It is gluten free, meaning that it can be given to babies under 6 months of age




Look I said vegetables are fine, if YOU want to start with them. Go hard. However, I am also saying there is nothing wrong with infant rice cereal. As far as I know, not one person in this thread is a pediatrician. So, don't try and make it sound as though YOU know and parents that DO use the cereal as a starter are doing an injustice to their child. Since, they simply are not.



It is to be decided by the mother/father and if cereal is chosen I can guarentee that the child is going to be just dandy. I am not fat (at all), my husband is not fat (at all) and both of my children are slender. We ALL had rice cereal to start. Not one of us has an allergy to anything. It is still highly recommended by DOCTORS. Regardless if other mothers disagree because they did their own research. Do you not think doctors do research? Of course they do. ;)



ETA:

May I add that for some reason your all stuck on infant rice cereal. I actually only gave my son and daughter this type for 3 days. They much preferred the oats and wheat based, ones. ;) Are you going to deny these ones too?



Oh and Minnie, I have done a decent amount of research as well. o-O

Sherri - posted on 06/10/2012

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Moonbeams - The entire diet in the US is crap, so of course the nutrition guidelines and programs offered here are going to reflect that.

I actually disagree with this. The entire diet in the US is not crap. Some peoples choices are crap but not the recommendations and serving sizes. If people decide to live on fast food and junk food then of course they will be overweight or obese. However, if you follow a healthy diet w/fast food and junk food in moderation then you won't.

Minnie - posted on 06/10/2012

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Meme, you really needn't give me an essay on nutrition. Believe me, I've done more than enough research. :)

I stand by my position. Rice cereal offers nothing to an exclusively breastfed infant.

Fruits are not simple carbohydrates. They're carbohydrate, I agree, but not simple. The iron in cereal has very low bioavailability, meaning it's difficult for the body to absorb and utilize it. It can actually increase the risk of bacterial infections in the gut- the iron is not taken up by the body but will be utilized by bacteria. Grains have extremely little nutrition to offer- they're basically starch, which turns to sugar- and no, my children don't get juice, no need to go there.

You want baby to get practice chewing? Put an avocado slice in front of him and let him go to town.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/10/2012

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I do find that most pediatricians really are not well versed on what is the best baby foods. They hand you a list and send you on your way. I did not follow the doctors list because it was all jarred food and meat. I think that is the one area most pediatricians fall short on.

Jodi - posted on 06/10/2012

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"meats come from animals and most animals are grain fed."

Um, no, that depends where you live. Obviously where YOU live they are mostly grain fed, but not where I live.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/10/2012

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I also learned that meat before 2 years old in not truly recommended by doctors and traditionalists that specialize in baby food. Kids under 2 cannot digest the meat properly. There really is no benefit, except to teach them how to chew. I did not offer my kids meat until then (well my daughter a little sooner cause she wanted everything on dads plate) but it is not necessarily a benefit.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/10/2012

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I have read through some of the comments not all. I got this awesome baby book on how to make your own baby food with my son, and it laid out everything for you. It is incredible. It actually recommended avocado as a first food. I blended it smooth and added some pumped breast milk. My son devoured it. It has a lot of fat, and is really easy to digest. Then I made homemade sweet potatoes, also adding breast milk. I think my third item was bananas. I also tried making the super porrage which had grains and beans in it. My son hated it, and it was a pain in the ass to make so I skipped that. I never liked the idea of the infant cereal, and had no luck with it. I tried it but and learned so much about food with this book that I found out the infant cereal was not necessary.

About the iron rich foods, MeMe, some kids are highly intolerant to iron rich foods even with consuming a large amount of water. My son was one of those kids. I am one of those adults. I am always anemic because I cannot tolerate enough iron. Also to much iron in a baby or kid can be life threatening, it acts like poison.

Jodi - posted on 06/10/2012

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Rice cereal is made of highly processed plain WHITE rice. It's crap. I don't even feed that rice to my family. It is high GI (which means it turns into sugar INSTANTLY in the body and is NOT a slow burning sugar) and should be an absolute minimum in anyone's diet. If you are feeding baby solids because you want to keep their tummy's full, WHITE rice is probably the worst option you could choose because of how the body processes the sugars.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/10/2012

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I think it is the fast food fad that is causing the obese empidemic in the US. I truly do not think it has anything to do with giving your 6 month old, rice cereal. There are plenty of foods that can be homecooked that are very high in carbs. Anything with startch is a carb.



My doc (pediatrician/OB GYN) also recommended rice cereal to start. We don't have an obese problem in Canada, as the States does.



Really, it has to do with moderation. Everything is best when in moderation. If you stuff your face full of carbs all day, everyday - or grease or fats or sugars - yeah, you're gonna get fat. However, our body's need carbs, so completely taking it out of your diet is not a very healthy choice.

Iridescent - posted on 06/10/2012

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The entire diet in the US is crap, so of course the nutrition guidelines and programs offered here are going to reflect that. It's no wonder WHY we're the fattest country in the world. Carbs carbs carbs, if you're overweight eat lots of protein, god forbid fats for anyone so no MCT's which are good for all age groups, and not even taught how to use. Fiber? Isn't that the stuff that comes from a bottle of pills?

No, it's no wonder why the brochure is printed as it is, but it's based on our horrible guidelines that are the direct cause of the obesity epidemic in this country. People who want better for themselves and their families simply have to take some responsibility and research to find out what truly is best for themselves vs blindly trusting.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/10/2012

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The no fruit first thing is crap. Some of the best eaters I know started on fruit, my kids included. Annie's first food was banana and the other day she ate an ostrich taco for dinner (everything scratch made of course). Kid will eat anything you stick in front of her, sweet or no.

My kids get water, but I never found it enough to combat the iron in the cereal. Naturally occurring irons didn't seem to give my kid the same trouble. And this makes sense to me because iron pills are constipating, even when your body is low in iron. Your body simply doesn't handle added vitamins and minerals in the same way. The iron supplement I took after birth had all sorts of things added to make it digestible. Tasted like prune juice. So basically I could give my kids rice cereal if I put prunes in it every time. Or I could just do what people did before rice cereal and just give them food that has what they need.

I don't bash anybody who uses cereal. It's an option and it's not totally without benefits. I just don't personally care for it and I don't see it as required.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/10/2012

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Rice cereal is fortified with many many vitamins and nutrients. All you need to do is read the box. Further explanation there, I would assume is not required? Due to being processed and refined, it may qualify as a simple carb BUT so are many (most) fruits and vegetables. Also, unless you make your own, they are processed when bought off the self (jars of baby food). Anything with a long shelf life is processed.



Also, meats come from animals and most animals are grain fed. Unless you are buying only grass fed, which is less likely. It is way more expensive and is not a common meat in supermarkets. Therefore, if you start with meat, you are inturn giving them grains. Grains being a plural word. Meaning, you don't know what grains or how many. Which means possible allergic reaction. However, whole grains are a complex carb.



Some vegetables are also complex carbs. Potatoes, corn, sweet potatoe and beans for instance.



Most vegetables and fruits are simple carbs. Yes, they are natural and good for you but they are still simple carbs.



All vegetables have some carbohydrate, but vegetables that are higher in starch and sugar have more. Examples of starchy vegetables are potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and dried beans. Sugary vegetables include tomatoes, beets and carrots. Vegetables with a high water content have the least carbohydrate. Lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, and zucchini are in that group.



http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/...



Again, a child under the age of 12 months does NOT need any added nutritional value other than what is in their milk. Rice/Oat/Barley cereals are not bad for your child and neither are veggies. My son could not tolerate much until he was 14 months, due to his gag reflex, therefore infant cereal was the best choice for him.



ETA:

If you give your child any type of juice, you ARE filling them full of simple carbs. I know many parents that give their child apple juice. Yep, they are giving them a very high content of simple carbs.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/10/2012

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I'm not sure why anyone believes that processed rice offers -anything- to a baby learning to eat solids.



It offers them to learn how to open their mouth and swallow. A 6 month old does not need any more nutrition than what they get from breastmilk or formula. They do not need added nutrition until 12 months. They do need a supplement to fill them but the nutrition part is moot. Iron is a big mineral that they need for their overactive brain growth, which is why infant cereal (and formula) is fortified with it. However, infant cereals are singular stranded food, rather than a multi-stranded food.



One thing I don't understand is some people think infant cereal is not a good starter food because it is processed but it seems it is forgotten that fruits and veggies often have insecticides/pesticides. Even if you buy organic. Organic simply means there are less insecticides/pesticides, it does NOT mean there are none. This is because, one farm may not use any insecticdes/pesticides BUT the farm next to it may. Insecticdes/pesticides are airbourne. Therefore, they are most definitely getting into organic crops, if there are any within a particular radius. Also, just because they state they are organic does not mean they don't use other harmful potions other than an insecticide/pesticide.



I have done a lot of research on what exactly organic means. It is simply not a for sure thing, unless you know the exact source of where it is being farmed. Such as going directly to the farmer and asking the correct questions, to ensure there is absolutely no way anything could be getting into the dirt they are grown in.



It is also recommended to not start with fruits. This is because they are sweeter than other foods and could cause the child to not want anything other than a sweeter food. I don't think there is anything wrong with starting with veggies. I do not agree with starting with meats. Simply because there are allergic reactions to meats. I know people that are allergic to red meats, especially. Their systems just cannot process these meats. It causes bloat and constipation. It causes them to not feel well and increases cramping. Meat is a multi-strand food. It is harder to digest.

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My mother put cereal in my bottle at 2 months because pe her, I was that hungry. I didn't start with my son till he was 6 months and did the cereal which he didn't really like and after tasting it - couldn't blame him. So we worked with fruits and veggies. Sweet potatoes and squash were the faves then (can't get him to eat either now for the life of me) but hated anything green and now he eats green veggies like mad (LOVES lima beans, peas, brussel sprouts and brocolli best.).

I guess it really depends on your kid. I was breastfeeding exclusively for those 6 months. had to stop when I went on some strong anti-depressents (dealing with my husband's abandonment and watching all my hopes & dreams get flushed down the toilet of divorce.)

Minnie - posted on 06/10/2012

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Well....it's not really being recommended everywhere. LLLI recommends breastfeeding until baby can eat whole foods rather than starting with cereal.



But I don't fault mothers when they turn to cereal if WIC and their pediatricians recommend it. Often pediatricians are behind the times and much of WIC's guidelines simply regurgitate non-scientific government tripe.



I'm not sure why anyone believes that processed rice offers -anything- to a baby learning to eat solids.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/10/2012

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All depends on the amount of water they are getting. High iron in diet=lots of water. Meat is FULL of iron... My children only get/got milk during their meals and water the rest of the day (always available for them). They do not get juice until age 3.



At the age of 4-6 months, they aren't eating a major amount of anything. If a few bites of cereal constipates them, then they aren't getting enough water. Once my boy graduated to more foods, then he only got the cereal for breakfast. All the other foods, including veggies kept him well oiled for good poops.



ETA: 4-...since it all depends on when they start solids. My kids only got cereal for the first 15 days of them starting. Since I only do the "3 day" trial, to ensure of no reactions. After those 15 days, I added things to their cereal. From different apple sauces to veggies, all with a 2-3day span between each new addition. Never had a problem with constipation. My son was even on Iron fortified formula (my daughter only breast milk).

Lady Heather - posted on 06/09/2012

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Also if iron laden rice cereal is easy to digest, well...wow. You must have super poopers. Two bites backed my kid up for days. Rice is one of four components of the BRAT diet to treat diarrhea. Added iron is known to be constipating. It's hypoallergenic, yes. But digestible? I wouldn't call it that from my experience.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/09/2012

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This actually isn't recommended where I live. Well, they don't not recommend cereal. It's just an option listed with high iron foods. Since I had my older daughter they threw out the rule book. I was told my new baby could have anything but honey starting at six months and they highly encourage meats and other iron rich foods.

It's the fact that not everyone agrees that gets me. There isn't much consistency. So I feed her good whole foods and don't worry about it. Cereal to me just isn't necessary. My older kid had it twice, maybe four bites, and she is very healthy. So why bother? Easier to just feed them what I'm eating. Cheaper too.

Stifler's - posted on 06/09/2012

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I honestly think they recommend it because of people giving their kids food to "make them sleep" way earlier than 6 months regardless of advice that they need to wake through the night and have milk. My personal opinion is that vegetables should be a first food rather than grains.

Sherri - posted on 06/09/2012

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@ Janice I honestly have no problem with the amount of milk. We will go through that amount and then some. I usually buy 3-4 gallons at a time. I find the fruits and veggies could be higher though and eliminate the juice all together and limit the amt. of tuna fish. I honestly don't know anyone that goes through that much a month.

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2012

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I am not really a fan, to be honest. I did try it with my kids, because that was what was recommended, but they both totally hated the stuff. My son was a hungry baby, and he took really well to lots of different kinds of vegetables, but he HATED rice cereal. My daughter rejected pretty much everything until she was about 8-9 months old and then, would only eat it if it was off MY plate, so she was introduced to lots of meat and vegetables at a young age. If I were to have another one (which is NOT going to happen, LOL), I wouldn't bother with the rice cereal.

I also believe that rice cereal is not really that great. We are feeding our babies a processed food as a first food. I don't think it is an ideal start. Iron rich vegetables is a much better option IMO.

As to the question of how a new mother might think it is best because of all the paraphernalia? Well, I can see why she might think that. Lack of experience, and reliance on WIC produced information, of course she would. I don't think rice cereal is BAD, but I think you will find that many nutritionists now are questioning whether it is best. Trouble is with a government run program is that they need this verified with studies, etc, and that information simply isn't available at a level that would be considered absolute.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/09/2012

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I do agree that waiting 7 days is a bit much. I agree with 3 days. It's all I did.

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