Thursday, May 17, 2012

Can I skip the rice cereal?

At Jake’s four month doctor appointment, our family physician asked a question that caught me off guard: “have you started feeding him solids yet?”

Uh…what? I was operating under the assumption that exclusively feeding breast milk for six months was okay, even recommended. (Turns out it’s anytime between four and six months of age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics).

My doctor said we could start trying to introduce solid foods any time after four months of age, starting with rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula.

Fast forward to today: Jake’s exactly six months old and has been perfectly happy with just breast milk thus far, but we know that won’t be the case for much longer and we’re ready to get him started on solid food. But when it comes to first foods, how do you  know what to pick? I’d much rather go straight to pureed fresh food like bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes instead of the boxed rice cereal with hardly any fiber. I don’t want to constipate the poor kid!

I'm just going off of my gut feelings and advice from the Guides at the Montessori school where my husband works. But I’d love to hear from other Moms: did you skip the rice cereal? What was your baby’s first food?

Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom, and Mom who is ready for mealtimes to get a whole lot messier.


  1. We did rice cereal (there are other grain first cereals, too, that you can check out) first, but not for long at all. Sam wasn't interested in it, no matter what we mixed it with. He enjoyed fruits and veggies much more, so we pretty quickly moved to them!

  2. We tried rice cereal a few times with Aubrey without much success. She just didn't want anything to do with it. Then we tried bananas and sweet potatoes and they were a hit! We did this at about five months. Go with your gut feeling, it's usually right!

  3. We went through a couple of cereals before fruits and veggies but made it thicker than the box recommended. After a couple of weeks of our daughter taking that well, we started with veggies. Our doctor recommended a veggie, veggie, fruit routine with the appropriate wait period between each. We started with peas. Good luck!

  4. We used cereal to help with our twins' reflux and it certainly helped with them. Our youngest daughter though wanted nothing to do with cereal. We started at six months with veggies and feed the same thing only for 3-5 days to make sure there were no allergies before moving onto the next thing.

  5. Bethany EricksonMay 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    We never used rice cereal. I love, love, Dr. Alan Greene, who is a major supporter of skipping rice cereal - at least the traditional white rice cereal - in favor of avocado, sweet potatoes, bananas and even brown rice cereal.
    John's first food was avocado. If you're really looking for some reliable guidance, I suggest, the book "Feeding Baby Green," by Alan Greene, and