Sometimes I get so caught up in looking towards the future that I forget how important it is to Be Happy Now 💕 I am thankful for another day that I get to do what I love for a living and spend time with my #beautiful sister @the_crabbey_planner and my #HandsomeRansom.

How to Introduce Solids to Your Baby: Part 3 - Why I Chose to Skip Rice Cereal

Ransom is now six months old and trying all sorts of new foods! It is a fun new learning experience, and I am open to him trying many, many different types of things. I do not plan to be overly opinionated on what he eats, pretty much anything goes. Except rice cereal.

If your pediatrician is recommending rice cereal as a first food, you have the right to question their reasoning and ask if they are up to date on the latest research. *The exception is for babies with reflux. If your baby suffers from reflux please discuss your options with your pediatrician.

A wise quote I recently read, “The most dangerous phrase in language is ‘we’ve always done it this way’”. Health care is progressive – times and recommendations change. Change is good, change is healthy.

Rice cereal was originally recommended as a first food because it is bland, thought to be easily digested, and is fortified with iron which was thought to be a necessity at the time.

I am not going to rewrite the book – I found an excellent article that outlines all of the reasons why I choose not to feed rice cereal. I will list the headlines below, but to read the full article click here!

    1. The sweet, bland, and tastelessness of rice cereal may program babies food choices later in life.
    2. It is outdated – Like I said previously, times have changed, along with cereal recommendations.
    3. It is highly refined – I don’t like to eat plain white rice myself because it contains literally no nutritionally value until it is fortified with artificial vitamins and minerals. Why would I give that to my baby?
    4. It can cause deficiencies – Like I said above, rice contains little to no nutritional value. By replacing breastmilk or formula with rice cereal, you are taking away your babies ability to get the necessary nutrients required for proper growth and development.
    5. It is high in sugar – White rice, whether it be in the form adults eat or in the form of rice cereal, is a simple carbohydrate. All simple carbohydrates are easily broken down into their most simple form – Sugar.
    6. It could be linked to diabetes. Really. I am sure you do not want to set up your baby for diabetes with their first meal.
    7. It can contain arsenic. ARSENIC! It is actually found in all rice and has become the center of quite the media controversy. For this reason I avoid rice or only eat it on occasion. I certainly would not feed it to my baby on a daily basis. Babies are so tiny, their bodies have little to no ability to filter out such toxins.
    8. It can contain other toxic metals. See above.
    9. It is pointless. There are so many other perfect first foods for baby that are healthful and nutritionally dense. Why give your baby something that has no nutritional value – and that could potentially cause your baby harm?

Some old school pediatricians argue that rice cereal is needed because rice cereal is fortified with iron and that babies need additional iron in their diets. New research refutes this idea and suggests that breastfeed babies are able to obtain all the iron they need from breastmilk well past the six month age mark. While some babies will suffer from iron-deficiency anemia at some point in their life, it is important to get babies iron levels checked at the pediatrician’s office to confirm this. It is not necessary to supplement with iron if your baby in fact does not have low iron levels. To read more about iron-deficiency anemia in infants click here.

As with everything, I urge you to do your own research, speak with your pediatrician, and make an educated decision that is best for your family.

For more information visit: www.RDNmommy.com

Stay tuned for next weeks article: Part 4: Where to start? I will be talking about great first foods for babies! (And that doesn’t include rice cereal!)

Xo, Emily Cope, MS, RDN

Dietitians eat cake too 😊 Looking forward to celebrating #HandsomeRansom First Birthday today with family and friends. I can’t wait to see the Nemo cake my mom is making!! Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!! 💕🍰🎂

Exactly one year ago today I gave birth to this perfect little baby boy, Mr. #HandsomeRansom 💕🍰🎂 This has been the happiest year of my life. I have so many kind & loving, supportive friends and family who helped me survive my first year of #motherhood. I am so full of love today, I can’t wait to see where next year takes us 💞 Thank you for the beautiful picture @ct_designandphoto

This is what made me happy today!! Picking pumpkins with my #HandsomeRansom 😊 How lucky are we to have this adorable pumpkin stand up the road!! I got 7 pumpkins, big ones, and a bunch of small ones and gourds all for only $20, and Ransom had so much fun 😄

Play with Your Food!


Just because Ransom is not ready to transition to solid food yet doesn’t mean he cant have fun playing with his food!!

Allowing your baby to play with fruits and vegetables in their natural state allows for exploration and discovery. Most importantly, this free play builds FAMILIARITY with the food, which is critical for food acceptance in the future.

By playing with the food your child can become familiar with the color, shape, texture, smell and potentially even flavor. After Ransom finished playing with the grapefruit, I could smell citrus on his breath! Repeated exposure over time will allow your little one to become more comfortable with the fruits and vegetables presented and in turn will make the introduction of these foods easier in the future.

Could Ransom grow up to hate grapefruit? Absolutely; but at least he will be more likely to try it and come to that conclusion on his own. So while you’re waiting for that (messy) day when you introduce solid foods, have some fun with your baby!

P.S. Always supervise your baby while playing with foods and I always like to wash everything with a Fruit & Vegetable wash before playtime!