What would the world be like without rice? I use rice in my household at three times a week. Rice has been around for centuries and is a common commodity and staple in a lot of homes around the world. For your homemade rice baby food recipes and depending on what you would like to make, you can choose between long grain, short grain or medium grain rice respectively.
When Can Rice Baby Food Be Introduced?
You can add rice to a baby’s diet at 6 months of age (or 4 months for the early starters). Note that the World Health Organization recommends introducing solids to babies at 6 months and that recommendations may vary from country to country.
Breast milk/formula contain all of the nutrients that your baby needs for development for the first 6 months of her life after that solid foods can be introduce (one new food at a time). Also, remember to consult your pediatrician before adding new foods to your baby.
Is Homemade Rice Baby Cereal Good for Babies?
As a staple first food? Then no, not a good idea. Is your baby getting daily iron supplements or eating iron-rich complementary foods yet? If not then homemade rice baby cereal is not such a good idea. Here’s why:
Full term healthy babies are born with stores of iron ( high HB levels). Unfortunately, these iron stores are depleted by the time the baby is between 4 to 6 months of age. A report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics states:
“at 4 months of age, breastfed infants should be supplemented with 1 mg/kg per day of oral iron beginning at 4 months of age until appropriate iron-containing complementary foods (including iron-fortified cereals) are introduced in the diet “
Furthermore, providing your baby with iron-rich complementary foods (for example watercress, meat and other iron-rich foods) is vital in preventing anemia. Use iron-rich homemade baby foods as first foods for your baby. Homemade rice baby cereal does not contain enough iron for a baby who is only starting out on solids and has no other iron sources.
Shop Bought Rice Cereal
Good-quality organic shop bought baby rice cereals make an excellent alternative to homemade baby rice cereal. These cereals are usually fortified with iron. Homemade baby rice cereal should not be used as a first food if your baby is not getting iron supplementation. However, if your baby is already on solids and eats a balanced diet that also includes iron-rich foods, then homemade rice cereal can be introduced into his diet.
Brown Vs. White Rice
Brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice. And that’s because brown rice is not as processed/milled as white rice is. For white rice, first, rice grain husks have to be peeled off. This results in what is we call brown rice.
Then the brown is then processed again and then again before the white rice is born. Like that’s not enough, the rice grains have to go through polishing using talc or starch to make them more appealing to our eyes.
The use of talc in polishing rice grains has been banned in a lot of countries (including the USA and some European countries) due to fears that talc can cause some severe health problems including cancer of the stomach.
Polishing rice is now done using safer alternatives. But, the quality of the processed rice is still lower than that of the brown rice making brown rice a healthier choice.
The More Nutritious Rice
Brown rice contains the most nutrients of all forms of rice. It contains more Iron, niacin, thiamin, fiber and proper amounts of magnesium. White rice, on the other hand, is stripped off a lot these nutrients. However, some countries will fortify white rice with the nutrients lost during processing.
Storing Rice Safely
Cooked rice should be served or put in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible after cooking to avoid a build of the bacteria known as Bacillus Cereus. Freezing or refrigerating your baby’s rice will slow down the growth of the bacteria. Store your baby food in safe BPA free airtight baby food storage containers.
Rice Baby Food Recipes
Rice Baby Food – Apple and Cinnamon Rice Pudding (from 7 – 8 months)
- 1 Cup long grain rice
- 3 Cups water
- 1 Jona gold apple or any other sweet tasting apple of your choice
- 500 ml Milk
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium chemical-free saucepan.
- Add rice and cinnamon; cover and cook for 8 minutes.
- Pour in the milk, cover and cook on low heat for 40 minutes.
- Stir in the diced apple pieces and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve You can serve the pudding with homemade applesauce or pureed blueberries.
- Rice Baby Food – Leek and Mushroom Risotto (From 10 – 11 months)
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 30 g Button mushrooms, diced
- 80 g Leeks, chopped finely
- 1 Clove garlic
- 5 Cups Homemade chicken stock
- 30 g cheddar cheese
- 1/2 Cup cooked carrots, mashed with the back of a fork
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- A knob of butter
- Heat the chicken stock up and leave to simmer.
- Heat oil in another saucepan; saute onion until fragrant; add garlic, mushrooms, and leeks; stir for about 1 minute.
- Add rice and mix to coat the grains with oil and follow with 1 cup of chicken stock. Stir for about 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed; add a ladleful of chicken stock continually stirring until liquid is absorbed; Keep adding ladlefuls of chicken stock stirring allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding in another ladleful.
- Stir in the butter, cheese, and cooked carrots; mix well until all the cheese has melted. Remove from heat. Serve
Chicken Rice Soup
- 1 Chicken fillets (chicken thighs), cut into small pieces
- 1 Small onion, chopped finely
- 4 Sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 Large carrot, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 Long grain rice
- 1 Clove of garlic, chopped finely
- 1/2 Cup sweet corn
- 5 Cups Homemade chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
Heat oil in a large saucepan; saute the onion and garlic. Add the chicken and cook stirring for about 1 – 2 minutes before adding the rice. Stir to coat all the rice grains with oil. Add the carrots, sweet corn, thyme and the chicken stock; cook on medium heat (uncovered) for 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve
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