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Why Brown Rice Is an Ideal First Food for Babies 6 Months and UpYou might know brown rice only for its weight loss benefits among adults, but it's a nutrition powerhouse for babies, too.by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
One early milestone of babies that parents are really excited about is their transition from being breastfed or formula-fed to eating solid food. It’s a sign that baby is developing as expected as his nutritional needs grow. When your baby turns 6 months old, his milk feedings could already be supplemented with solid food, according to the World Health Organization.
Some of the top choices for baby’s first food include vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and potatoes, as well as fruits like apples and avocado (Here are some baby food recipes you can start with). Doctors also recommend giving your six-month-old baby rice cereals like quinoa, oats, or regular white rice, since these are packed with nutrients a growing baby needs. If you are to give rice to your baby when he starts to eat solid food, brown rice is said to be a better choice than white rice.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
White rice vs. brown rice
The difference between white rice and brown rice lies on how they are harvested and/or processed. Brown rice is what you get after the husk of the rice plant is removed. White rice, on the other hand, is processed further, removing the bran layer and the germ, which are known to be rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
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What is in brown rice?
Brown rice is milled only once, allowing it to retain as much as 50% of nutrients compared to white rice.
When rice is milled and polished, it loses 90% of Vitamin B6, 80% of Vitamin B1, 67% of Vitamin B3, 50% manganese, 50% phosphorus, 60% iron, and 100% of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.
Half a cup of cooked brown rice contains:ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
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Benefits of brown rice to baby
Brown rice is rarely a source of allergies for babies, so it’s the perfect way to introduce babies to grains. Its essential fatty acids aid in the development of your baby’s brain and vision. The fiber in brown rice may also prevent constipation or help loosen up the stool.
How to prepare brown rice for baby
Cook brown rice as you would your regular white rice, or, for a softer texture, soak it in water for a few hours (or overnight) before cooking. Remember to cook it in the same water it was soaked in to preserve the nutrients.
When preparing a meal for your baby who is just starting on solid food, it is best to puree brown rice before serving and mixing it with other fruits or vegetables (These baby food recipes use only local ingredients). You could also add a small amount of breastmilk or formula milk into the pureed brown rice.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Brown rice allergies
In rare cases, your baby may exhibit an allergic reaction to brown rice, which could be caused by gluten or wheat. If this happens, refrain from giving it again, and consult with your doctor.