Rice is a staple food in many cultures, but is it okay to give to your baby? When our babies are ready to tackle solid foods, we often wonder what is safe for them to consume and when. Do we always have to give them pureed fruits and veggies? When can they start enjoying the same thing we are eating?
While life would be so much easier if our children came with instruction manuals, we have to suck it up and learn everything as parents on our own. One food parents often wonder about is rice.
When your child is ready for finger foods, rice is a great choice. But before you go adding rice to your child’s plate, you need to make sure your child is ready to consume rice. Most babies are ready for finger foods between eight and ten months of age.
In order to be ready, your child needs to be able to sit up with support and be able to pick small objects up with his or her fingers. Once he or she has mastered this, you can start giving rice to your child.
Can I Give My Baby Rice? Answer: Yes.
Rice is already very small in size. For this reason, you may want to only put a small amount on your child’s plate at one time. Too big of a scoop could result in your child trying to pick up the whole thing at once and shove it into their mouth. Due to its small size, one tiny grain could get stuck in your child’s throat, so make sure to have water, milk or juice on hand to wash it down.
Rice is also great because it can be added to other foods for additional health benefits. You can serve it plain, serve it with milk or serve it with meats or vegetables. Along with white rice, which is healthy, there are healthier versions of rice, such as brown.
Rice is also a great food for your baby because it is easy to make and serve. You can make a larger batch at once and re-heat the already cooked rice to serve to your child. Keep in mind though, that cooked rice does not last forever in the refrigerator, so unless someone else in the house will eat it, you may not want to make too much.
When giving rice to your child, you need to make sure it is fully cooked. When it is cooked, it becomes soft and very easy for your child to mash in their mouth. Feeding your child plain rice is perfectly fine, but serving them with sauce, milk or even with butter is also good too.
Though rice is not known to cause many allergic reactions, some people do have wheat allergies. When first introducing rice to your little one, it is always best to either serve it alone or with another food your child has already enjoyed. It is always best to wait three days in between feeding your child new foods. This way, if your child does have an allergic reaction, you will know which food caused it.
If your child is old enough to start using utensils, rice is a great food to toss in a bowl and have your child scoop out with a spoon. Its soft consistency is easy for them to spoon through, making it a great (and nutritious) learning tool.
Benefits of Rice
Remember, when your child is old enough to start eating finger foods, rice is a great addition to your child’s diet. It is very healthy and comes in many different varieties. It’s is easy to make, easy for your child to chew and easy for them to digest. It can be served alone or along with other foods your child enjoys. Just note that the small size of rice can make it get stuck in your child’s throat, so be sure that water, juice or milk is always on hand to wash down the small pebbles.
As always, if you have any questions about what to give your baby, when or how to feed it to your child, you should consult your child’s doctor. He or she will be able to better discuss your concerns and answer your questions in more thorough detail.