Taking care of your baby is important to any parent and part of that is knowing what is in the foods you’re giving him. Gerber Rice cereal is vitamin and iron-fortified, containing vitamins B6, B12 and niacin. One of the most popular baby foods, it is found on most grocery store shelves. Knowing the ingredients of Gerber rice cereal can help you feel more informed about what your baby is eating.
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The main ingredient in Gerber rice cereal is rice flour. Since babies’ and infants’ stomachs are still developing, it’s important to give them foods that are easily digestible. Rice flour is made by removing the husk of the rice grain and grinding it up into a powdery consistency. This makes it easier for the food to pass through the baby’s digestive system. Rice flour is a good idea for babies because it is gluten-free, which can help those who may have gluten intolerance or other difficulties with digestion. Rice flour also acts as a thickening agent, making it useful for thickening pureed baby foods like fruits and vegetables, and making them more palatable for your baby.
Soy oil, or soy lethicin, is an oil extracted from soybeans by a special process that involves separating the bean from its hull and breaking it into smaller pieces. The soybean pieces are then heated and pressed into flakes as the oil is extracted through distillation, a type of boiling process. Parents may worry about soy allergies, but soy oil contains none of the proteins from the soybean, which is where almost all allergies derive from. In most cases, soy oil is safe for children with soy allergies. Soy oil is mainly used to give a smooth, creamy, consistent texture to the rice cereal when added with water or milk.
Although its name may sound like a harmful chemical, tricalcium phosphate actually has nutritional benefits for your baby. It is a food additive that gives rice cereal not only the calcium your baby needs for healthy bones and body, but it acts as an anti-coagulant that keeps the rice cereal from forming lumps. Tricalcium phosphate is odorless and tasteless and is found in many other food products, including dairy products, such as yogurt and sour cream, as well as in certain types of candy, fruit jams and spreads.
Mixed tocopherols, which are forms of vitamin E, are preservatives added to Gerber Rice Cereal in order to preserve freshness. They are used due to their ability to withstand the high temperature of the distillation process, keeping the product fresh from production to packaging to your kitchen table.