The World Health Organization recommends that little babies be breastfed exclusively for six months. After that, you can gradually introduce them to solid food.
When the baby is ready for solid food, you will probably start talking parents in your circle on what they fed theirs. Everyone will have different views, but cereal will come up more than once.
We recommend that you start them off with cereal, and not just any cereal, but the best rice cereal for babies that you can find on the market. Why is that?
Because rice cereals contain valuable nutrients that will nourish the baby without overwhelming their still-developing digestive system. They like the taste too.
How Soon Is Too Soon to Introduce Solid Food?
Again, WHO recommends that you breastfeed for at least four months before you even think of introducing solid food to them. Note that solid food will only supplement breast milk or formula, not take it off the table.
You will know that your baby is ready for solid food when they can sit up unassisted and even attempt at reaching forth for things, they will show interest in your food by following your fork from the plate to the mouth with their little eyes.
They will even try to reach out for your food. At this point, you notice that breast milk is probably not satiating and they could use a dose of something different.
Sad that they are leaving the nest already, no? Let’s make your day by listing the best options for rice cereals.
3 Best Rice Cereal for Babies Reviews 2017
Rice Flour, Calcium Carbonate and ...
Earth's Best Organic, Whole Grain Rice Cereal
Organic Brown Rice, Organic Rice Bran Extract, ...
Happy Family happy bellies Baby Cereal
Organic Whole Grains
1 – Gerber DHA and Probiotic Single-Grain Rice Baby Cereal
Gerber is a leader in baby food, and so each product they bring to the market becomes an instant hit with parents. However, we will take a close look at this package to see whether it is any good for your baby.
First, an 8-ounce container, which is your standard size, contains 15 servings. This package contains 6 of them, and so this is good value for money.
The ingredients include:
- Rice flour. It is a good source of B-complex vitamins, energy, and protein. When you add breast milk to it, it becomes easy to digest.
- Calcium Carbonate, which is credited for strong, healthy bones, babies will need this as they develop. There are a few warnings about calcium carbonate, though. Too much of it causes indigestion and stomach upsets, which is why you should stick with the recommended amounts.
Other components include less than 2% tuna oil, which is the source of DHA recommended for brain development, fish gelatin, ascorbic acid, and B lactic cultures amongst others. Tuna and gelatin have raised debates amongst health providers as t their benefits to children, but Gerber only includes them in quantities of 2% or less in their cereals.
As far a taste goes, it is a bit bland, and your baby might be fussy until they grow into it. You can make a fruit puree (just a little fruit) to flavor it without adding too many unnecessary sugars. Over time, they will get accustomed to it and eat without flinching.
Things We Liked
- DHA supports brain & eye development.
- Provides the baby with up to 45% of their iron requirement.
- Easy to mix.
- Very good price.
Things We Didn't Like
- Some of the ingredients raise debates.
- It has an acquired taste.
2 – Earth’s Best Organic, Whole Grain Rice Cereal
Earth’s Best claim not to add any salt, sugar, or preservatives in their cereal and it says so on the labels too. Want to give it a try?
The ingredients list has:
Organic Brown Rice-for energy, allowed levels of protein for infants, and a host of B Vitamins. It is easy to digest.
Organic Rice Bran Extract-It strengthens the immune system and even helps with the absorption of calcium.
Tocopherols (Vitamin E)-It not only helps in the development of the immune system, but it also keeps the vessels open so that blood flows freely.
This brand also contains Alpha-amylase (Enzyme) and Electrolytic Iron.
We like the fact that this ingredients list is precise, and that it only has the contents vital for a baby’s growth.
To prepare the cereal, you will only need to mix your desired amount in a bowl and mix with breast milk or formula. After whipping it for consistency, you can then serve it warm.
Things We Liked
- Organic ingredients grown without harmful pesticides.
- Whole, FDA-approved ingredients.
- Easy to prepare.
- Good flavor.
Things We Didn't Like
- Quite expensive.
- It has a short shelf life.
3 – Happy Family happy bellies Baby Cereal
The manufacturer, Happy Family, labels it to contain no additives, sugar, or salt, and they also say the ingredients are organic.
Happy Bellies Baby Cereal contains no soy or dairy products both of which can be a little too heavy for a baby’s digestive system. It contains brown rice for protein and energy, and it has choline credited for brain development and memory.
This baby cereal also contains DHA, which is good for eye and brain development among infants, and probiotics. Probiotics are not only useful for the development of a baby’s immunity, but they are also perfect for their guts.
It has other ingredients, which mostly consist of Vitamins, but they appear in small contents.
You must have noted that it is not flavored and we can bet you the little one is going to fuss about before they eat it. You can mix a little fruit for flavor, being careful not to add too many unnecessary sugars.
Things We Liked
- USDA organic, non-GMO ingredients.
- No added sugar, preservatives, flavors or colors.
- DHA + choline for healthy eye & brain development.
Things We Didn't Like
- Expensive price.
- Quite unflavored (bitter to some).
Types Of Cereals For Babies
Pediatricians recommend getting a brand that contains at least 1 gram of protein and 6-10 milligrams of iron per serving. The market has a wide variety of cereal for babies. We break down the various types.
1 – Rice-Based Baby Cereals
Rice is naturally bland, and so is cereal made from it. When you mix breast milk or formula to it, the baby will still feel the subtle undertones of milk in it, and they will eat without a fuss. Rice contains protein and fiber, and it is easy to digest. Find a brand that is fortified with iron, minerals, and essential vitamins, and your baby will be set.
2 – Oatmeal-Based Baby Cereals
Like rice, oatmeal is packed with fiber that we all know is great for digestion. Again, you will need a brand that contains required daily levels of iron and essential nutrients for it t be good enough for the little one.
Oatmeal is bland but not so bad, and if you add milk, it actually is delicious. It is easily digestible and so ideal for your little one.
3 – Wheat Based Infant Cereals
Wheat is a controversial grain, socially given the level of gluten. Although the general fear of introducing it to the child at an early age is the risk of sparking allergic reactions later in life, no study has been able to prove that it poses any danger.
If you choose to take this route, go for whole grain cereal since it is high in dietary fiber. Additionally, consult with your pedestrian before you go all in.
4 – Barley-Based Infant Cereals
Barley, a good source of dietary fiber, is quite uncommon and mostly preferred as an option when your baby is allergic to the other grains.
5 – Mixed Infant Cereals
Take the benefits in these individual grains and then put them all together. They make a kickass combination! Their unique flavors and nutritional value would be great for a child. However, this combo is only recommended for when they are grown and have shown tolerance to each of these grains.
Rice And Oatmeal Rock!
As much as all these cereals are great and contain lots of benefits to a baby, rice and oatmeal are the best to start them off. These grains are easy to digest, something that is important for their developing digestive systems. They are also high in dietary fiber.
As they grow, you can introduce the other cereals for variety.
As your munchkin grows, their bodies will need more iron than mom’s breast milk contains. For this reason, rice cereal for babies is fortified with just the right amount that the baby need for proper blood production and other essential functions.
Besides, as they develop, they will require more food than you can produce. They will need a more solid substance to keep them fuller for longer. Again, keep breastfeeding if you can even as you feed them solid food because they could use the extra iron from your milk.
You know us; we only recommend the best, but even every teacher has their pet. The ingredients in Gerber DHA and Probiotic Single-Grain Cereal including rice flour and DHA make this a winning combo. We like that the meal is not sweet, meaning it has no artificial flavors. The price is not bad at all, seeing that the package has six standard containers. Start them off right with this meal.