When first starting your baby on more solid foods, oatmeal and rice cereal are great starters which both provide a great source of nutrients. A baby can start to eat either at as early as 4 months, so the question of which one to feed them can be an important one. Each choice has its benefits, and as a aren’t one may have concerns such as the baby’s health and digestion. Both options have pros and cons, however, with the proper knowledge, one can make an informed choice on the best option for their child.
When it comes to oatmeal vs rice cereal for your baby, there are many factors to consider. To begin, we will delve into the pros and cons of oatmeal as an option.
For your baby’s happiness, oatmeal tends to have a lot more taste than rice cereal, and your baby will enjoy it a lot more. It tends to have a nutty flavor than the plain taste of rice cereal. It also produces a thick consistency, and when mixed with water will keep your baby feeling full and satisfied for longer. In addition, oats mix great with fruits such as mashed bananas that infants can eat.
On the nutritional end, oatmeal contains a higher fiber content, which helps to prevent constipation. This is definitely a positive aspect to feeding your child plenty of oats! Oats provide iron, as well as an array of other nutrients that aid in a baby’s development. The only true downside to oatmeal comes with the possibility of your child having a gluten allergy, which would rule out this option for babies who show symptoms such as nausea after eating it.
Rice cereal, on the other hand, also has its benefits and drawbacks. It does have a very plain taste that babies may not enjoy as much, but the smooth texture of rice cereal makes it a great transition from formula. It can also be easily mixed with breast milk or formula, as it is not gritty. This texture also makes it very easy to digest, and fruits and veggies can still be added to the mixture for taste.
Rice cereal also has a great nutritional value, being even higher in iron content than oatmeal, and providing protein and energy to aid in your baby’s growth. Rice cereal is gluten free for more sensitive babies, however, rice cereal contains arsenic which is a lot easier for adult bodies to handle than infants and children. Rice cereal can also cause constipation for some babies.
Regardless of the option you choose as a parent to feed your baby, do keep in mind that you should wait 4-6 months before introducing solid foods into your baby’s diet, and no more than 3-4 tablespoons of cereal per meal. Although oatmeal tends to be the preferred option when it comes to oatmeal vs rice cereal for a baby, the best choice for your child is ultimately up to their unique needs.