Brown Rice: Nutrition Information for Baby's First Year

Why You Should Choose Brown Rice Over White Rice for Baby

Child is having lunch with help from mother
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Brown rice is a nutritious whole-grain food with a mild, somewhat nutty flavor. It is an inexpensive staple and one that has long been a recommended single-grain ingredient for children beginning to transition to solid foods. Comparatively speaking, you'll get much more for your money if you prepare your own rice cereal than if you purchase manufactured infant cereals.

Brown Rice vs. White Rice

Ever wonder what the difference is between brown rice and white rice?

The short answer is processing and nutritional value.

Brown rice is harvested when the husk is removed from the rice plant. White rice is further processed by taking the brown rice grain and removing the bran layer and the germ. This step also removes some vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and fiber as well.

Nutritional Value in Brown Rice

Brown rice is rich in nutrients and is a wonderful grain to offer your baby. 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cooked brown rice contains:

Carbohydrates77.24 grams 
Sugars0.85 grams 
Dietary Fiber3.5 grams 
Fat2.92 grams 
Protein7.94 grams 
Water10.37 grams 
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)0.401 miligrams31% Daily Value
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)0.093 mg6% Daily Value
Niacin (Vitamin B3)5.091 miligrams34% Daily Value
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)1.493 miligrams30% Daily Value
Vitamin B60.509 miligrams39% Daily Value
Folate (Vitamin B9)20 μg5% Daily Value
Calcium 23 miligrams2% Daily Value
Iron1.47 miligrams12% Daily Value
Magensium143 miligrams39% Daily Value
Manganese3.743 miligrams187% Daily Value
Phosphorus333 miligrams48% Daily Value
Potassium223 miligrams5% Daily Value
Sodium7 miligrams 
Zinc2.02 miligrams20% Daily Value

When to Introduce Baby Cereal

Contemporary research makes it clear that starting healthy babies on solid foods, like infant cereals, before the age of 4 months is an unwise choice. Rather than looking to the calendar to time when you will begin solid foods, you should be watching your baby closely for signs that he is ready for solids.

This will likely be around 6 months of age. They include:

  • Absence of tongue thrust, a reflex that when something is placed in her mouth she pushes her tongue out. If she's going to swallow food, it is essential that this reflex is gone.
  • Solid head and neck control. She needs to be able to turn her head away so that she can communicate with you that she is full. She also needs to be strong enough to support the weight of her own head.
  • Can sit up independently fairly well.
  • Has doubled her birth weight (though this is not a "magic" moment either that indicates that she is ready for solids).

Making Your Own Cereal

You can easily make your own rice cereal. Simply grind the grains into a fine rice powder using a clean coffee grinder or food processor. Be sure to follow basic tips for starting solids.

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