There is no scientific proof that rice cereal is better for a baby’s health than any other food out there.

Is there too much hype over rice cereal for babies?

“Pretty much,” begins Dr. Lisa Lewis, MD, a board certified pediatrician in Fort Worth, Texas, and author of “Feed the Baby Hummus, Pediatrician-Backed Secrets from Cultures Around the World.”

Dr. Lewis explains, “Starting solids with rice cereal is more of a habit of our society than a medical necessity.

“Many parents would like to use rice cereal to help their baby sleep at night. This is fine, and not harmful.

“However, when it’s time to start solids around six months, pureed fruits and vegetables will help a baby feel satisfied.

“I typically suggest oatmeal over rice cereal, since oats have more health benefits than rice. A baby eating oatmeal becomes an older child eating oatmeal, with the goal of enjoying a lifetime of healthy oats.”

The topic of rice cereal comes up a lot in baby-parenting forums, and this creates the illusion that it’s the “in” thing to feed a baby. Well actually, it IS the “in” thing…

But popularity doesn’t make it the best choice or even a healthful choice.

Pureed Fruits and Vegetables

Ever hear of the Nutribullet or Nutrininja? These devices will puree fruits and vegetables (with sufficient water added) in literally seconds.

You may also be able to do this with a good blender.

This is the best way to get your baby started on solids, along with adding oatmeal to the puree or serving up the oatmeal alone.

Just because everyone else seems to be on the rice cereal bandwagon doesn’t mean you should jump on.

Though pureeing fruits and vegetables takes more work than preparing rice cereal, your baby’s health is worth that extra time, effort and money.

Unlike pureed raw fruits and vegetables, rice cereal is NOT loaded with antioxidants and health-giving enzymes.

Having 25+ years’ experience, Dr. Lewis completed her pediatrics residency at Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Scott and White Memorial Hospital. For two years afterward she was assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Texas A&M University Health Science Center.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.