I did it. I think most moms do it. If not most, a lot. I mixed rice cereal with formula...
I did it. I think most moms do it. If not most, a lot. I mixed rice cereal with formula for my daughter. I thickened her formula with it, put it in a bottle with a bigger nipple and prayed that she'd drink it. If you read my post yesterday, you know that she was underweight. I used whole grain rice cereal, though, because I really didn't think filling her with white rice cereal was going to help her gain any weigh...at least not the kind of weight I was hoping she'd gain. White rice cereal is essentially pretty nutritionally empty. Interestingly to me, given that the concern in our country is keeping everyone from putting on weight -- with some parents even going so far as to put babies on diets -- the new subject of concern is rice cereal for babies. A USA Today article shares the worry about white rice cereal for babies:
But David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children's Hospital Boston, says "there's no scientific basis for this recommendation [that white cereal is better for babies and easier to digest]. That's a myth." Concerned about increasing childhood obesity and growing rates of diabetes, some pediatricians want to change how babies eat. Greene is encouraging parents to abandon white rice cereal in favor of more nutritious brown rice cereals or even a homemade brown rice mash or vegetable purée. "They won't mind," says Greene, who launched a "WhiteOut" campaign last week. "They'll thank you for it."
I can see the reason for the concern. As I often say, our children are growing up in a country where being overweight is a true health concern. Are we setting them up for failure by giving them processed, nutrition-less filler as their first solid food? Is white rice cereal contributing to the problem?
He is concerned that babies are getting hooked on the taste of highly processed white rice and flour, which could set them up for a lifetime of bad habits, such as a weakness for cakes and cookies. White rice — after processing strips away fiber, vitamins and other nutrients — is a "nutritional disaster," Ludwig says. It's "as processed as anything in the food supply" and "the nutritional equivalent of table sugar." White rice and flour turn to sugar in the body "almost instantly," Ludwig says, raising blood sugar and insulin levels "while providing virtually no other nutrients."
My mom always said, "Rice cereal is just a filler...but it keeps some kids asleep longer!" I think she's right. Maybe back when I was a baby (geez, I feel old), feeding us white rice cereal wasn't that big of a deal. But now? When so many children are overweight or obese, maybe it is a big deal. I'm actually surprised it has taken this long for someone to make an issue of it. What do you think? Do you believe feeding babies white rice cereals is a bad idea?

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