Different Ways to Prepare Rice Cereal for a Baby

Feeding a cute Lovely Baby Girl
A baby being fed rice cereal. (Image: OcusFocus/iStock/Getty Images)

When your baby is around six months old, you can start feeding him solid food. Most parents start with rice cereal. This cereal is his first taste of food, and is fortified with vitamins and minerals that he needs for his rapidly growing body. Rice cereal is the first food introduced because it is not likely to cause an allergic reaction. Make the rice cereal thin at the beginning by adding breast milk or formula to it. As your baby gets older and gets used to eating from a spoon, you can add fruit, yogurt or other ingredients.

Breast Milk or Formula

When your infant is between four and six months old, your pediatrician will give you clearance to begin feeding him rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Mix 1 teaspoon of the rice cereal with 4 to 5 teaspoons of breast milk or formula twice a day. The cereal should be very thin and soupy, just thick enough to spoon up from the bowl. Your infant needs to master pushing the food back with his tongue and swallowing this semi-solid food before you can begin to make it thicker or add other foods.

Pureed Fruit

When your infant is at least six months old and he is used to eating the cereal from a spoon, you can mix the rice cereal with pureed fruit. Combine a small jar labeled "stage 1" that is meant for young babies with enough rice cereal to make a porridge. Use the fruit your pediatrician recommends. If she doesn't give you a list of fruits to start with, apples and pears are usually tolerated well by babies.

Yogurt

When your infant is eight to 10 months old, your pediatrician may direct you to start introducing yogurt to his diet. Purchase a yogurt made for babies. Baby yogurt comes in a variety of fruit flavors, and it usually has few artificial ingredients. Adult yogurts often have added sugar or chunks of fruit that are inappropriate for babies. Mix one small sealed cup of baby yogurt with enough rice cereal to form a paste-like porridge. If it is too thick, add a little water to make it easier to spoon.

Fresh Fruit

When your infant turns 1, he is ready for small chunks of fresh fruit. Make the rice cereal into a porridge with fruit juice, yogurt or pureed fruit, and mix in 1/8 cup of soft diced fruit such as banana, strawberry, or baked apples or pears. At this stage, your infant can have any fruit that you can have, but make sure you cut the pieces small and that they are soft enough for him to consume safely.

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