Rice cereal or meat as first food?

Joy - posted on 01/01/2012 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have done some extensive research and am still left with questions. I have found articles that say that a baby's first food besides formula should be rice cereal and then I find other research articles that state it should be a meat. I am on the fence with this one and have done both because I can't get a straight answer from doctors. What do you think?

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Rice cereal is the WORST first food for a baby. Its high calorie low nutritional value. The most popular baby cereals are WHITE GRAIN. Everyone knows how bad and empty white grains are for us.
Heres a nice article giving more reasons not to feed your baby rice cereal.
http://www.foodrenegade.com/should-feed-...

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2012

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Why do they recommend rice cereal? Because the companies that manufacture it spend millions on marketing to ensure it is the recommended first food, and give out free samples for you to try?



Don't get me wrong, I chose it as a first food for both my kids because I knew no better and my local health nurse had samples to give me to try out first. But my kids hated the stuff, so I didn't end up using it. They were happier with fresh foods. But all these years later, I have more information, and realise that it's really just cardboard. I mean, come on, have you tasted that crap?

Threenorns - posted on 10/23/2012

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rice cereal is crap. when i reluctantly presented it, mixed with breast milk, to my youngest, she resisted fiercely and then about 10min later, spewed up all the rice and none of the breast milk.



i never gave her any cereal after that.



veggies, fruit, and meat - when she was 6mo old, she *loved* to suck on a piece of roast beef (large enough she couldn't get enough grip to gum a piece off and choke and always under close supervision).

Medic - posted on 01/01/2012

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Neither, there is a ton of fresh fruits and veggies you can just mash for them. Save the meat for when they have teeth and can chew/gum them and rice cereal is just wasted calories.

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Threenorns - posted on 10/24/2012

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yeah - just sucking and gnawing at it but definitely at 6mo she was eating meat, too - i just pureed it. APA is now recommending meat as first food, since the iron and protein is far more valuable than the starchy carbs in rice. as far as "digesting well", if the baby is having trouble digesting food, the baby is not ready to eat it. when the baby's ready, the GI system is ready.

Cassandra - posted on 10/24/2012

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To Threenorns: So, she wasn't swallowing pieces of meat at 6 months, just sucking on the juices? My pediatrician said she would look into it but that she was worried that meat would not digest well at 6 months and might cause gastrointestinal problems. She was right on board with the avocado and egg yolk and seemed open to the idea that grains may not be the best starter foods but was worried about grinding up meat to feed the baby.

Cecillia - posted on 10/23/2012

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I'd also avoid rice cereal...not nutritious at all! I'd stick with fruits and vegetables with some meat, such as chicken :)

Cassandra - posted on 10/21/2012

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Joy,



Could you point me in the direction of some of the articles that you found about meat? I have been reading some of the "Primal Blueprint" information and, intuitively, it makes sense but I am still searching for the actual research that advocates against grains and for other foods being first.

Joy - posted on 01/02/2012

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I think that sounds right. I was kind of worried about how his tummy would react. I was ready to pull back and be safe if his tummy didn't like the meat and anything else. But, he adapted well and he is happier. He still sleeps his normal patterns. And he doesn't cry when he sees me eat anymore because he knows he will get something to eat soon too. lol.

Bonnie - posted on 01/02/2012

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I could be wrong, but I think rice cereal is offered because it is the easiest on the tummy and since babies are just starting out with solids, it is suggested to start with that.

Joy - posted on 01/02/2012

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ok yeah I understand the meat thing now. I don't know why I didn't before. I am anemic and need to eat meat high in iron so it should be the same for babies. Duh! I feel a little stupid now. Lol. And all this really helps, even if it has been years for you. ;) I find first food meats to be very dry so I do add a couple of drops of water, not a lot just enough to rehydrate it, to make it palatable for the baby. And I have heard that about cereal alot, that it is just empty calories. Now, I believe that. If that is the case, why is it offered? Not criticizing anyone, I just want to know that if cereal is fully of useless calories and the doctors know this, why is it available and recommended as a first food? I believe that rice cereal is crap and that I wouldn't eat it, why make him? I would want real food something that has good taste.

Bonnie - posted on 01/02/2012

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Rice cereal first. If not, then green vegetables such as green beans or peas.

Jodi - posted on 01/01/2012

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BIG reason meat is recommended is because by the time a baby is being introduced to solids, they are needing foods rich in iron, and the best source of iron is red meat (in particular liver). So by just introducing fruit and vegetables, you are often not introducing iron rich foods (sure, plenty of vegetables have iron in them, but you have to eat cupfuls of them to get what a small amount of meat can give you). You CAN puree meats into a form that baby doesn't have to *gum*.

Rice cereal, on the other hand, is a processed food, and is only high in iron because it has been added in during the processing. It is preferable to stick with fresh foods in their original form. Rice cereal is crap.

Jane - posted on 01/01/2012

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Both my kids had as their first food rice cereal. My daughter hated meat and would not eat it, although she loved all the fruits and vegetables. She still won't eat meat except a small amount of chicken or fish. My son, OTOH, prefers meat and starches to all other foods. Both of my kids are healthy and growing well.

[deleted account]

What I think is that I haven't started a baby on food in over 3 years, so I have no stinking clue (real helpful, huh? lol).

I will say that almost 10 years ago I started my twin girls on rice cereal at 3.5 months. The first bite of anything my son (3.75 years now) actually ate was avocado at 6 months. He pretty much NEVER had rice cereal except on rare occasion to thicken up some of the soupier baby foods, but he wasn't even eating any food on a daily basis til around a year.

As for meat... at 8 months old any baby food meat would've been my girls favorite food. My son wouldn't touch ANY baby food meat and hardly ate any meat at all til over 2.

All 3 of my kids are pretty equal as far as health and growth are concerned.

Not sure if any of that rambling actually HELPS you though.

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