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Looking for a baby rice recipe? It couldn’t be easier to make. All you need are a few grains of white or wholegrain brown rice, a spice mill or similar implement, and some milk or water.
First grind the rice into a fine powder.
Then mix it with some of baby’s milk or water, and cook gently on the stove for about 10 minutes, until it forms a creamy paste and is soft enough for baby.
Baby rice is the ideal first food to introduce to baby, as it is completely tasteless and smooth in texture, making it easy for tiny tummies to adjust to eating solid foods. Rice, whether white or wholegrain, is also gluten-free, which is an important consideration, if you have any doubts about potential allergic reactions in baby.
As you are probably aware of the benefits for adults of eating whole grains, there are also benefits to baby of eating wholegrain baby rice. White rice is nearly all starch, whereas brown rice has significantly more health benefits – about 25% of it is comprised of other nutrients, including protein, essential fats and minerals.
A baby rice recipe using wholegrain rice is therefore healthier than one using white rice, and there is even a movement to ban white rice and move babies onto wholegrain cereals.
Commercially prepared rice for babies comes in packets of dry flakes or pre-mixed in baby food jars or pouches. It has the benefit of being fortified with additional nutrients such as thiamine (vitamin B1) and sometimes iron, but there are also drawbacks to this convenience.
Thiamine is an important vitamin, as it helps in the conversion of the rice carbohydrates into energy that baby can use, and from the age of 6 months, baby needs iron from solid food sources, as his own reserves begin to deplete.
Commercial preparations often contains added sugar, which should not be given to babies before the age of 1. And if the pre-mixed jars and pouches do not contain sugar, then they are mixed with fruit - which we all agree is good for baby - but in such large quantities that there is hardly any rice in the mixture!
If you have any concerns about baby becoming constipated from eating rice cereal, then mix in a small amount of his favourite fruit puree – pear is a good one to try. The fruit fibre should help baby’s digestion.
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