Is infant cereal (also known as baby rice) the best first food for baby? Are there alternatives to baby rice that may be a better option?

Amanda - posted on 02/17/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Offering baby rice cereal has become established and widely accepted as the 'norm' when transitioning infants to solids. Our little one (4 1/2 month old) is showing signs that he is ready to try "solids." But I can't help but worry that rice cereal is going to uncomfortably sit in his digestive system and constipate him. So, why not try oatmeal instead? I've learned that oatmeal can contain trace amounts of gluten, which I've read should be avoided for the first 6 months.



How do you feel about 'going against the grain?' Has anyone chosen to offer their little one other foods as their first solids (ie banana, avocado, vegetables)?

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Molly - posted on 02/24/2009

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I have been doing a lot of research on this also. My baby is constantly constipated so Rice Cereal is not always recommended because it can be binding. I hear that avocados are great, along with sweet potatoes. The book Super Baby Food is also a great book. Try the following website: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/

Katey - posted on 02/24/2009

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Oh yeah, try it your self too, if it tastes yucky, they probley wont like it either!!

Katey - posted on 02/24/2009

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I give my son rafferty's farm organic's available from 4mths. He has fruit in the morning and then vegies at night with just the smallest bit of farex in it. I also wrap apple and pears in foil wrap and bake in the oven till soft and then mash them and strain them and he love it!! If you do avocardo though, only do a little bit mixed with some milk, i found out the hard way!! (he threw it up and that had the most horrible poo's the next day!!)

Nicole - posted on 02/23/2009

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I started my son on rice cereal because I was told that it is the least likely to cause an allergic reaction, but I regrat it as it made my son constipated. I looked into "first" baby foods and found that bananas, carrots, applesauce, yogurt, and white potato can also be constipating.
So, my son is switching over to oatmeal & barley for his cereals and the other food I am going to slowly introduce are sweet potato, peas, squash, avocado, prunes, pear, peaches

Lou - posted on 02/23/2009

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I tried the rice cereal with my daughter,she hated it, doesnt like apple either.She now eats banana,pear and will be trying sweet potato next week.I love seeing the look on her face when she tries new food,she really wants to eat more so im going from 1 solid meal to 2 per day.Hopefully your little man adjusts to trying new foods.

Laura - posted on 02/19/2009

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my doctor recommended rice, oatmeal or barley first and then fruits...I only gave her rice from 4 months until yesterday (now 5.5 months old) and I tried the oatmeal and she LOVES it...it is so much easier to feed it to her when she enjoys it. I'd say go for it.

Rebecca - posted on 02/19/2009

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My doctor told us to try single grain cereals first.  He said it doesn't matter weather rice or oatmeal.  He recommended fruits second, due to possible allergies.  Also, cereals seem easiest because you can gradually increase the cereal to milk/formula ratio.

Amanda - posted on 02/18/2009

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Quoting Chelsea:



I go to a breastfeeding support group run the way LLL meetings are run and the lactation consultant said that iron beings to deplete at 9 months of age.




That's reassuring advice, Chelsea. 



Today, I consulted our copy of What to Expect The First Year, and read that bottle-fed babies get their full share of iron from fortified formula.  On the other hand, the authors stated that breastfed babies need an additional source of iron after the age of 6 months.  Either way, it will be easy to meet those needs, as he will be eating a few more iron-rich solids in addition to breastfeeding. 



Thanks for your feedback!  I'm glad I asked...and moreover, I'm glad "mother nature" is taking care of it for me!

Elisa - posted on 02/18/2009

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I brought organic baby rice with added iron, that way it was organic and had the extra iron after a week i added half a tin of pureed apples or pears etc.. to the cereal and he still has the same thing every morning.

Chelsea - posted on 02/18/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

Thanks to all for your responses. I appreciate your ideas.

Shannyn--I am excited about your book suggestion. I ordered a used copy from Borders today.

Alicia--your response made me consider our son's iron intake. Do you know when an infant's iron suppliy begins to deplete? I assumed he would continue to get his fill of iron via breastmilk. We could supplement with an iron fortified vitamin, I suppose. Interestingly enough, iron can also cause constipation. Hmmm....more research to do. :)


I go to a breastfeeding support group run the way LLL meetings are run and the lactation consultant said that iron beings to deplete at 9 months of age.



 



 

Chelsea - posted on 02/18/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

Thanks to all for your responses. I appreciate your ideas.

Shannyn--I am excited about your book suggestion. I ordered a used copy from Borders today.

Alicia--your response made me consider our son's iron intake. Do you know when an infant's iron suppliy begins to deplete? I assumed he would continue to get his fill of iron via breastmilk. We could supplement with an iron fortified vitamin, I suppose. Interestingly enough, iron can also cause constipation. Hmmm....more research to do. :)


I go to a breastfeeding support group run the way LLL meetings are run and the lactation consultant said that iron beings to deplete at 9 months of age.



 



 

Jennifer - posted on 02/18/2009

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Our pediatrician told us to skip rice cereal because of constipation and go straight to oatmeal. My daughter liked oatmeal from the first bite, which was around 4 months.

Amanda - posted on 02/18/2009

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Thanks to all for your responses. I appreciate your ideas.



Shannyn--I am excited about your book suggestion. I ordered a used copy from Borders today.



Alicia--your response made me consider our son's iron intake. Do you know when an infant's iron suppliy begins to deplete? I assumed he would continue to get his fill of iron via breastmilk. We could supplement with an iron fortified vitamin, I suppose. Interestingly enough, iron can also cause constipation. Hmmm....more research to do. :)

Alicia - posted on 02/17/2009

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Our pediatrician said one of the main reasons that rice is suggested first is for the iron supplementation. However, I didn't want to start with grains for similar reasons as you, so we cooked some pears on an iron skillet (to pick up trace iron) and then blended with some water. He loves it. Next we'll try squash, carrots or sweet potato and see how that goes.

Christina - posted on 02/17/2009

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I started my 5 month old daughter on Mixed rice cereal because she has problems with constipation. She does great on it.

Taryn - posted on 02/17/2009

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I give my little one rice cereal one day then oatmeal the next, I too started her at 4 1/2 months. She has never had a problem with constipation by why chance it. I just figure that I wouldn't want to eat the same thing over and over again. You should, of course, try each seperatley for a few days to make sure there is no reaction. There are a bunch of different beginner foods to try out before the six month mark sweet potato, squash, peas, carrots, bananas (mashing them yourself tastes way better). Just remember to try one food at a time to make sure there are no allergies.

Che - posted on 02/17/2009

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rice tended to constipate her so we switched to oatmeal. now she loves her veggies. our pedi said oatmeal was a good first food.

Jennifer - posted on 02/17/2009

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My little guy has eaten all beginner heinz by foods and oat cereal....he is perfectly fine. he loves food and has not refused anything yet !

Shannyn - posted on 02/17/2009

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I've done banana, avacado and sweet potato for my son's first foods.  I did some rice cereal but it was organic and whole grain.  I'm actually reading a great book called "Super Baby Food"  that has really helped me and made me feel better about how I'm feeding him.  I figure if I'm spending all this time and energy breastfeeding I should really find out the best way to feed him solid food too.

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