If your bundle of joy has reached the point where experimenting with solid foods is a go, single-grain cereals such as baby rice cereals are an expert-recommended starting point. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should be exclusively breast or bottle fed for six months before complementary solid foods are introduced. At this point, rice cereals have been widely accepted as an ideal first taste of solids as they’re easy to digest and add volume to a baby’s diet, which (hopefully) means less middle-of-the-night feedings.
But just because your little one hits the six-month mark doesn’t automatically mean they’re ready to digest anything other than liquids. Keep your eye out for behavioral clues — including if your child is able to keep his or her head up when sitting upright, their tongue thrust reflex has subsided and they’re able to chew — as these are key indicators that your child is ready to advance past purees.
Once you’ve established that your baby is ready for some added flavor in their diet, the next step is to choose what that first solid food will be. These are the best baby rice cereals to add to your pantry for when your baby reaches this exciting developmental milestone.
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1. Gerber DHA & Probiotic Rice Single Grain Cereal
Gerber’s rice cereal is a single-grain snack loaded with vitamins and nutrients that are essential for baby’s development. It contains DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid that supports brain and eye development in infants, and probiotics to help sustain a healthy gut and digestive tract. It also contains iron; vitamins A, B, C and E; zinc; and calcium to grow strong bones and teeth. And if the name doesn’t already pop out as a popular and beloved brand across the board, Gerber is the number one recommended brand among pediatricians when it comes to infant cereal, so you can feel confident that this pick is an excellent choice for your baby.
2. Beech-Nut Complete Rice Cereal
Beech-Nut Complete Rice Cereal is an especially great pick for mamas who prefer a very minimal ingredients list. This brand’s baby rice cereal is made only of rice flour and sunflower lecithin, which is a natural source of choline and other essential fatty acids in sunflower seeds that supports a healthy brain and nervous system. The cereal also contains vitamin D, zinc and calcium, all of which contribute to the healthy development of your baby’s bones and immune system.
3. Healthy Times Organic Brown Rice Baby Cereal
If an all-organic ingredients list is a top priority when deciding which baby rice cereal to feed your bundle of joy, Health Times ranks high on the totem pole. This single-grain cereal is easily digestible, boasts a smooth texture babies love, and is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium to aid in their healthy development. It’s also USDA organic certified, non-GMO verified, and is free of preservatives and artificial additives.