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There can be misinformation out there about baby rice cereal as a first food. Here are some of the most common myths about baby rice cereal and the truth behind each one.
Myth: Baby rice cereal is too processed and has no nutritional value
SunRice Baby Rice Cereal is iron fortified, which is important as your baby’s iron stores begin to deplete around 6 months of age and need to be replenished. Baby rice cereal provides a good level of carbohydrates and generally doesn’t have nasties like added sugar or artificial flavours. Remember that when you are starting solids, your baby is still getting all their nutritional needs from breast milk or formula. Introducing solids is about getting them used to foods through plain, smooth and soft food, to avoid baby rejecting solids. This is why the Ministry of Health recommends baby rice cereal as a first food for babies.
SunRice Baby Rice Cereal is made in Australia from Australian rice. It has no added sugar or artificial flavours and ingredients from our Australian neighbours just across the ditch.
Myth: Baby rice cereal tastes bad
To you as an adult, baby rice cereal may taste bland – but that’s okay! You are used to food that is more flavoursome, and your taste buds have adjusted to higher amounts of salt, sugar and seasoning. For a baby who has only ever had breast milk or formula, to start them on a food with a strong flavour would be overwhelming, and more likely to be rejected.
The Ministry of Health1 says baby’s first foods need to be plain, smooth and soft. Think of baby rice cereal as a bridge between breast milk or formula and fruit or vegetables. To start with, use a plain food that baby is more likely to accept and less likely to create adverse reactions, such as an upset tummy. Once your baby is happily eating two tablespoons of baby rice cereal, you can move on to slightly more complex flavours.
A great way to transition your baby is to mix the baby rice cereal with breast milk or formula so it tastes familiar. Once your baby is used to this flavour, you can add in a little bit of cooked and pureed fruit or vegetables to the baby rice cereal to ease your baby into new flavours. SunRice Baby Rice Cereal comes in both Original and Mixed Vegetable flavours. The Mixed Vegetable flavour is made with pureed carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin, to help introduce new flavours with minimal hassle for parents.
Myth: Baby rice cereal causes constipation
All babies are different and react to new foods in different ways. The move to including any kind of solid food in a baby’s diet may cause constipation, as it is something their gut hasn’t experienced before.
SunRice Baby Rice Cereal recommends preparing your baby’s meal as 10g (approximately 1.5 tablespoons) of dry cereal with milk, breast milk or formula. Ensuring your baby’s solid meal is predominantly made up of what their gut is used to will reduce the chance of your baby becoming constipated.
If you are concerned about constipation in your baby, always consult your doctor, Plunket nurse or WellChild provider.
We suggest looking at your schedule and deciding which time of day will work best for you and your baby to introduce a second meal.