Last Tuesday my mom took Lucie to her four month checkup. Upon returning she told me the pediatrician approved her to begin eating rice cereal. Here was my response: What? Really?! I don’t know how I feel about that – Ryan and I avoid processed foods so why would I give it to Lucie?
From birth Lucie has been fed only breast milk with an occasional bottle of organic formula.
I am by nature a researcher, whether for work or personal purposes. As a new parent research has become a full-time job. How often should I feed Lucie? Should I vaccinate? Can I let her cry? Am I safely strapping Lucie into her car seat? And the list goes on.
The challenge is that most topics have research supporting both sides. For example there is strong research that supports co-sleeping, yet there is also strong research supporting baby sleeping in their own bed. So what’s a parent to do? I believe every parent should do their own due diligence instead of taking the advice of parents, doctors and the media.
For the last 60 years doctors have been recommending rice cereal as baby’s first food. Can you believe there is NO scientific evidence that this is good for babies?!I have two questions 1) How do doctors sleep at night and 2) When will we wake up, open a book and ensure we are doing the best for our babies?
After days of reading the research was conclusive.
Here’s what Dr. Mercola had to say: “ White rice is a refined carbohydrate, a group of highly processed, nutritionally devoid foods that have been linked to increased rates of heart disease, insulin resistance, eye damage and cancer in adults, and are worthless nutritionally for infants as well.
Feeding infants cereal has been associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes and may prime your baby’s appetite for a lifetime of processed carbs in the form of white bread, cookies and cakes.
A diet based on these types of refined carbs is responsible for many bulging stomachs and fat rolls in thighs and chins, and even worse, high insulin levels that lead to diabetes and suppress two other important hormones — glucagons and growth hormones — that are responsible for burning fat and sugar and promoting muscle development, respectively.
Insulin from excess carbohydrates promotes fat, and then wards off your body’s ability to lose that fat. Excess weight and obesity not only lead to heart disease but also a wide variety of other diseases later in life.”
Whether breastfed or formula fed, babies are used to taking in a constant flow of nutrients, which their bodies desperately need to grow and develop. When rice cereal is introduced babies natural drink less milk, thus significantly decreasing the amount of nutrients they take in.
USA Today reports: “White rice — after processing strips away fiber, vitamins and other nutrients — is a ‘nutritional disaster’ … White rice and flour turn to sugar in the body ‘almost instantly,’ … raising blood sugar and insulin levels.”
Best first foods
Although Lucie may be mature enough to begin eating soon, I will wait till she’s six months old to introduce any kind of food so that she can take full advantage of all that my breast milk has to offer. At that point her first food will be egg yolk, then avocado, sweet potato and banana.
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, egg yolk should be your baby’s first solid food, starting as early as 4 months, whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed. Egg yolks from free-range hens will contain the special long-chain fatty acids so critical for the optimal development of your child’s brain and nervous system. Click here to learn how to prepare the egg for baby.
As Lucie grows I’ll write more baby food articles. I’d love to hear what your baby’s favorit healthy first foods were.