Gluten and rice cereal
I’ve had a few questions regarding why I don’t recommend most grains and gluten until baby is atleast 10 months, and why I am not a fan of rice cereal - and this is why:
Gluten can be very hard to digest (even for adults) so we want to wait until babies digestive system is a bit more matured - ie tolerating 3+ meals per day and has been on solids for a few months. Most diseases begin from bad gut health, so we want to focus on maturing the gut bacteria before adding something that’s hard to digest! Grains also contain phytic acid which is hard to break down, and inhibits micronutrient absorption - which is why we need to properly prepare grains prior to eating by soaking/sprouting - see my post on preparing grains for more information.
Unfortunately baby rice cereal is still one of the number one recommended ‘first foods’ for baby, however if you research into it you will see it is highly processed, refined, heat treated, stripped of all nutrients and then ‘fortified’ - so synthetic nutrients are added back in! Why not just eat whole foods?? 🤷🏿♀️
Grains and rice cereal also will act to ‘fill’ your babies stomach, but we shouldn’t focus on just filling our child so they aren’t hungry. My hope for you is to think of food as fuel, as medicine, think of what it is doing to our bodies and what nutrients we can get into our babies (and ourselves). Grains and rice cereal contain little nutrient value, so instead let’s try focus on filling our little ones stomachs with nutrient dense foods!
Good starters to grains include quinoa and lentils, then beans, then you can focus on low gluten grains such as spelt, barley and rye, then work up to sourdough and whole wheat!