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No rice cereal for baby | Baby Led Weaning

This is a blog about nutrition and fitness. And, now, since I have FITbaby, her nutrition is extremely important to me.  I had no idea that so much of what we feed our children is based on tradition versus research.  In general, I’ve found that the statement “Infant research is in it’s infancy” is an accurate one! I think I found that quote here. And, that statement is so disappointing to me. Why isn’t more research on our babies?!

Anyway, when I started hearing discussions about “rice cereal” as my daughter’s first food, my first thought was to give her “brown rice cereal”…of course. But, then, I started doing more research and wondered…why rice cereal at all?  Should her first food be cereal? Grains? Carbs? Is that adding any nutrition to her diet? Is iron fortification the best way to get iron into her diet? I have decided….I do not think so. [Regarding iron, the best source is MEAT!]

I made the following conclusions…for myself and my baby….after doing my research on baby nutrition:

  • Breastmilk is the most important “food” for my baby until 6 months…really until 9 months, with some fun experimentation into food starting at 6 months.
  • Rice cereal is empty carbs and not worth filling up my baby’s tummy and therefore taking the place of breastmilk.
  • Spoon-feeding my baby is no fun for anyone!
  • Baby-led weaning is tons of fun for everyone!
  • The fact that my baby’s digestive system may not be ready for solids before 6 months was enough for me to wait until 6 months old.

So, we started last week [6 months old] and baby led weaning is a blast!!! We started with bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, egg yolks etc. We’ve been steaming veggies that we cut into 2 inch pieces. She is having sooo much fun! We [FITori & FIThubby & FITdog Toby] are having sooo much fun! We are enjoying meal times as a family. We are all eating and enjoying our meals together. No one is taking turns spoon-feeding the baby and then eating our own meals.  There is a ton of mess and oh what fun to make a mess! Toby is loving helping with clean up!

A few fun iPhone pics from last week…

And another fun pic from over the weekend.  Loving egg yolks for breakfast!

If you’re interested in our research, we read and *followed* the advice in these three books.

  1. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
  2. Baby Led Weaning
  3. Real Food for Mother & Baby

I also found this FANTASTIC website recently that helps explain different foods for baby. It’s fabulous! I’m learning SO much about individual foods! Why didn’t I know this before?!  – Check out this example on peaches! SO much important information!

As always, tell me what you think, your research and what you did or are doing with your kiddos!



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Samantha - looking at your pics- chunks of food that size totally would make me nervous. are they to big for her to shove in her mouth and try to swallow or do you just watch her closely?
i’m a first time mom of a 3 month old- so i know this stage is coming up and i’m so glad you made this post! thanks for putting out some great resources. i’ll definitely do more research then i was going to- we are waiting til six months, but were going to do the rice cereal. i’ll research if that is what’s really best for our family!

tori - Once I read the books, no I wasn’t nervous. The books say some kids “choke” or “gag” more than others so if you have a kid like that Baby Led Weaning may not work for you. We entered with an open mind…that it may not work. But it does. She loves it. I love it. It’s easy. It’s fun.

The books tell you how to prepare the foods for safety. Basically you make them w/ handles so she can hold part and eat part. She just sucks on it or chews little pieces off. You make sure they are the right texture, etc. And, at that age they have a reflex to spit things out to prevent them from choking. So, she’s fine. I do know how to Heimlich her if needed but that’s just good to know no matter what. She’s never come close w/ food. She comes closer to choking w/ her spitting up! 🙂

Definitely do the research! Let me know if you find anything new! I love to research 🙂 I think we need to research every topic and then decide what is right for us!

Jenny - LOVE this post! And LOVE LOVE LOVE the eating pictures… looks like so much fun! I am reading Baby Led Weaning right now and am itching to get started! Two questions…. 1) what is in the sippy cup? Water? breastmilk? something else? Molly is fascinated by our water bottles/cups/ect but I wasn’t sure if we should introduce something else besides BM yet… 2) what steamer do you have/could you recommend one? Thanks!! Keep the posts coming, so informative. 🙂

l - is another good site although they do have a food list starting at 4 months – it does say that the AAP doesn’t recommend it but since pediatricians start at 4 months . . . then here’s some foods to try. It also lists grains but suggests starting with avacado instead.

I’ve heard this is a good site but haven’t really checked it out yet so can’t comment on its content

happy eating!

tori - I read that it’s ok to give her water at 6 mo old. I don’t EVER want to interfere w/ BF nutrition though and with her spitting up anyway from being overfull, I don’t give her but an ounce or two to “play” with at a time. She has fun trying to figure out how to get it to work. We went to Buy Buy Baby here…it ROCKS! And, I let her hold all the cups. She liked the Nuk the best. It has two great handles. It came w/ a cap to cover when I clean it at night or for on the go. I like it a lot. Honestly, I’d put BM in it if I wasn’t too lazy to thaw it or pump it thesedays! I could thaw some and give it to her cold, I suppose. She probably wouldn’t mind it! For the steamer, we have a steamer for the stove that we got as a gift years As Seen on TV one that we never used…til now. it’s awesome. Just has a basket on top and water in the bottom and a lid. I got a steamer basket thing at walmart today though for 5.50 that you can put in any pot with a lid. It folds up tiny and you can put water in the bottom of the pan, then the steamer basket w/ the veggies or fruits and then the lid. Brilliant! 🙂 I just steam them and keep going back w/ a fork to check and see how “done” they are. I’m finding that she likes bigger chunks. We did raw cucumber tonight due to the BLW book suggestion…she LOVE LOVE LOVED it. Took right to it and just loved it. So I’ll be keeping cold cucumber slices on hand for a while during teething! let me know how it goes and what you learn!

tori - Yes! I like – I got some of my first food ideas from there while in the grocery store on my iphone! 🙂 And, I’ll check out weelicious too! Thanks for the suggestions!

Margie - With our son, we started him on cereals and pureed “real” food like sweet potatoes and bananas. This encourages me to try a new way with the next one. I even have a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, but clearly I didn’t read it thoroughly!

tori - let me know what you think if you try it. the book say that many moms do this w/ their 2nd and don’t even know it…they just do it b/c it’s easier! 🙂

Val - I did the whole baby food thing with the first kids, the rice cereal, etc. etc. the little jars, whee.

But then after a few more kids, I didn’t bother. When they were old enough to be interested, we’d sit them in the high chair at meals and give them bits of whatever we were eating that they wouldn’t choke on.

One kid ate very little food until he was well over a year old. I think he had a texture thing going on. Whatever. He’s 6’5″ now.

I do know for sure we didn’t miss that pureed baby food AT ALL.

Some weaned at 2 years, a couple at 3. Everybody healthy. It’s all good. love, Val

Jenn (GH) - That’s awesome! My kids are so big now but I remember how fun it was to watch them discover new foods. I think it’s wonderful that you are not starting her on processed junk. Good for you for questioning conventional practices.

Jenny - Thank you for the steamer suggestion! We found the same one at Walmart… looks great and we’re trying it out for the first time tonight. (We JUST started solids yesterday since we’ve been out of town. She’s had banana and played with some spaghetti strings so far, the spaghetti just beccause we were eating it for supper). It’s so fun to watch her play and taste. That makes sense on the BM versus water in the sippy cup. Molly has played with her cup but not actually gotten anything out of it yet (that we can tell) so I think we’re going to stick with a bit of water in hers initially as well, at least until she’s getting a fair amount… like you said, alot of effort to pump or thaw. BTW, I SO wish there was a Buy Buy Baby in Shreveport- LOVED it whenever we visited it in Dallas. I’m a tad jealous.

Jo @ mostlyfitmom - It’s been a while since my kids were babies, but it seems to me we started with veggies with my son, and then with my daughter, it was rice cereal – based on what was recommended by public health where we are. Since then, I’ve done more reading, and if I were to do it over again, I would start with veggies with both kids, just so that they get a “taste” for food that’s not so sweet off the bat. We moved quickly from pureed food to small, soft chunks of fruit and veggies and meat. Neither of my kids ever really liked egg yolks, but they’re egg lovers now, so no biggie. One website I love is They have suggestions for lots of different age groups, including babies.

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Michelle Ernst - Tori I found your blog from your mom. I work with her and she had mentioned that you were doing BLW. This is something I’m interested in doing with my little bug. Thanks for all the resources you have giving me a great starting point.

tori - I’m so glad to hear this!!! Let me know if you have any questions! I’ll try to answer them or find someone who can! Great to “meet” you!

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