Rice can be introduced to babies at 6 months of age or 4 months for the early starters. Note that World health organization recommends introducing solids to babies at 6 months and that recommendation 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).
Note! Remember to consult your pediatrician before introducing new foods to you baby.
As a 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. 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, breast fed 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
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.
Homemade baby rice cereal should not be used as a first food/solids if your baby is not getting iron supplementation. If your baby is already on solids and eats a balanced diet that also includes iron rich foods then homemade rice cereal can be incorporated into his diet.
Brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice. This is because brown rice is not as processed/milled as white rice is. To end up with white rice, the rice grain husks have to be milled off first and this results in what is we call brown rice. The brown is then processed again and then again before the white rice is born. Like that is not enough, the poor rice grains have to be polished with things such as 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 countries (USA and other countries) due to fears that talc can cause some serious 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.
Brown rice contains the most nutrients of all forms of rice. It contains more Iron, niacin, thiamin, fiber and good 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 rice will slow down the growth of the bacteria. Throw away rice that has been left at room temperature for hours.
Rice Baby Food - Apple and Cinnamon Rice Pudding (from 7 - 8 months)Ingredients:
1 Cup long grain rice
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Jona gold apple or any other sweet tasting apple of your choice
3 Cups water
500 ml Milk
Bring the water to a boil in a medium 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 apple sauce 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, mushed with the back of a fork
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
A knob of butter
Chicken, sweet corn and Rice Soup
1 Chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 Small onion, chopped finely
1 Large carrot, cut into small cubes
1 Clove of garlic, chopped finely
1/2 Cup sweet corn
1/2 Long grain rice
5 Cups Homemade chicken stock
4 Sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
Heat oil in a large saucepan; sauté the onion and garlic. Add the chicken and cook stirring for about 1 - 2 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat all the rice grains with oil. Add in 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