10 May Should You Feed Your Baby Rice Cereal? You’ll Be Shocked
RIce cereal, purees, or baby led weaning?? In my life, I play some major roles. One of them being a mom. One of them being a holistic nutritionist. I love to be able to combine these two roles into helping mother’s create an optimal lifestyle for their family. Before I start on the topic of today’s post, I want to say something.
When I had my first, I was very uneducated about the concept of food is medicine. I didn’t understand that what we eat could truly impact us on a cellular level. I WISH someone had the courage to tell me what I was feeding my child wasn’t healthy. I would’ve done things much more different. The battle of mom wars is real. This can be from car seats, food, crying it out, schedules, and more. When I gave birth to my second child, I was invited into this wonderful Facebook group that really showed me another side of motherhood. It takes a team at this motherhood thing. It takes a village. It takes being open-minded & having a willingness to learn. So today, be open-minded. I’m not judging you for your past and what you’ve fed your kids (I’ve probably fed my kids that too.) I learned from some intelligent moms a saying that has stuck with me to this day, “KNOW BETTER. DO BETTER.”
So, what’s this food that pediatricians are recommending to feed our children that we should take a second look at? RICE CEREAL.
Let’s get one thing straight, most conventional doctors & nurses out there have LITTLE training about nutrition. Honestly, with the training that many medical professionals are given, they shouldn’t even be recommending anything nutrition related. Sorry, we just aren’t there. Now, you’ll hear me recommend finding yourself a functional medicine doctor, alternative medicine doctor, naturopathic doctor, etc. They have much more knowledge in the field of nutrition & how it relates to the body.
Rice cereal being one of the first foods recommended by pediatricians is one of the WORST foods you could be feeding your little one. Why would we be feeding our child something so processed, added lab-made nutrients, and tasteless? Let’s face it, we wouldn’t eat it. Here are some reasons why you should skip that rice cereal and start with nutrient-dense whole foods instead.
- Rice cereal is often recommended to start being used at FOUR months. This is a BIG no. Not even just rice cereal, but any food before six months should not be given. Babies naturally have ‘open’ guts. This is to make sure that the baby is absorbing all the nutrients and antibodies in breast milk. Before six months, a baby’s gut is still open. If you begin feeding your baby food before their guts close, you are risking them to get future food allergies, autoimmune conditions, leaky gut, etc. The food would be passing the gut barrier into the bloodstream and can wreck havoc. It can also cause gas, fussiness, and digestive upset. Even the America Academy of Pediatrics has ditched the idea of introducing solids at 4 months. Now it’s recommended to start at 6 months, no earlier. If your doctor is still recommending old advice, I would personally ditch them. Sorry, but think about what else they could be recommending.
- The grain is not properly prepared. Grains have to be prepared in a way that reduces the anti nutrients naturally found in grains and will enhance the bioavailability of nutrients in the grain. These grains used for rice cereal are completely processed & unhealthy. They do not go through the natural essential preparation for healthy food.
- Lab-made nutrients. This is a no-brainer. Our body doesn’t recognize these nutrients. They are foreign to us. A lab-made B vitamin doesn’t compare to a B vitamin that you get from spinach. These lab-made nutrients are also missing other vital phytochemicals that synergistically work together to make nutrient absorption at it’s highest. Brian Clement, Ph.D talks about why we can’t duplicate Mother Nature in this way. Have you heard that “rice cereal is a good source of iron”? The iron that is in the rice cereal is lab-made, it doesn’t mean that it’s bioavailable to our bodies. The best source of iron that you can give your baby at six months are grass-fed organic meats. Breastmilk has a little bit of iron and the baby naturally has iron stores that start to dwindle around the six month mark. Which is when the introduction of real food sources of iron can take over. See? Our bodies knows what its doing.
- Arsenic Exposure. A study done in the JAMA Pediatrics showed that the level of arsenic exposure is higher versus if you fed your baby whole-foods. During this time of development, environmental toxins exposure should be limited as much as possible.
- Most rice cereals are so processed & it’s not the whole source. It’s a fast absorption of glucose and can possibly create a lifelong yearn and craving for carbohydrate-rich foods. This could relate to an increase risk of diabetes and obesity. Remember, we are in charge of how we shape our child’s palate. Start off with real whole foods, so your baby can have a palate that sees fruit as candy & not the refined sugar rush that our society loves today. Don’t forget that our hormones are the communicators within our body. Starting off with blood sugar spikes from rice cereal is not the ideal way to create a hormonal balance in the long run.
- Feed your baby’s microbiome. The gut bacteria is busily making a foundation in that baby’s gut. Real whole foods helps give nutrients and food to your good gut bacteria. In the long run, this can help your baby fight chronic diseases. Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”
I encourage you to start your baby off with whole-food sources when they are six months. Nurture them into loving whole-foods. All foods are green light, except raw honey. It’s recommended to wait until they are a year old before introducing raw honey. Breastmilk/organic formula is recommended to still be the number one source of nutrition at least until they are 1 year old. Change the future generations mama, it starts with us being educated!