Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Skipping the Rice Cereal

On her 6 month birthday, we started Blakey on solid food.  It's more of an experiment really.  Just an exploration of different flavors and textures.  Her very first food was sweet potatoes.  I was so excited to bust out my Beaba Baby Cook baby food maker.  It steams and blends all in one.  I made her sweet potatoes and blended them smooth and then I made them really thin by adding breast milk.  Well, I would hardly call this first feeding a success.  She was so confused and pretty much just turned her head away from the spoon.  I didn't force her.  The next day, I tried again but with a little thicker texture.  I tossed the spoon and used my finger and she would actually take some into her mouth, yay success!!  But...every time I got any in her mouth, she gagged.  I hate to say but she had me cracking up with all the gagging.

After sweet potatoes came avocados, then bananas.  She actually swallowed some of the bananas.  I know this because I saw it come out the other end :)

Then I hit a little breastfeeding hiccup.  I'm not sure if it was the solids or something else but she stopped nursing well and my supply dropped a ton.  I quit the food and focused on breastfeeding for a week straight.  I am 100% committed to breastfeeding for the first year and maybe beyond so I was not about to let this be the end.  Solids are for fun at this point but her milk is 100% of her nutrition.  One week later, we are all good again but it was pretty stressful (which of course only makes things worse).

WARNING: Controversial topic ahead.
I skipped the rice cereal.  In fact I will never be giving my daughter rice cereal and that's ok.  It's good in fact.
Modern thinking (although plenty of people and pediatricians still believe rice cereal is the only option for baby's first food) is that rice cereal is just not necessary.  It has been the standard in recent generations but it has literally no nutritional value and is just a bunch of carbs that taste like cardboard.  Your doctor might tell you it's the iron.  Breastfed babies need iron, especially after the first 6 months.  Although this fact is debatable, iron can be found naturally in many fresh foods.  They might also tell you that allergies or baby's immature digestive system are factors.  Well, if you wait to start solids until baby is 6 months, their systems are ready.  There is less incidence of allergies and the digestive system has matured enough to handle lots of types of food.  Plus, rice cereal can just cause constipation, which I'm sure we can all agree is no fun.
We are choosing to go with fresh, healthy, homemade baby food for Blake.  It's easy, cheap, and good for her.  If you're still not convinced, remember, it wasn't very long ago that we didn't have boxed, processed, baby cereal and all of those babies thrived just fine.  :)

Here are some links with info about the topic.  There are tons of articles about this but here are a few that popped up when I was searching.





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