For decades, iron rice cereal has been the best first food for children. This meal can be introduced in liquefied paste, ensuring an easy transition from the formula, and you can thicken it as the baby develops. Iron rice cereal is considered safe for children, and babies do not have any reactions after taking it.
Recent research has shown high arsenic levels in rice, and many parents are questioning whether they should still give it to their children. Let us dive right into the best alternatives to rice cereal for babies.
Oats are an excellent alternative to rice cereal because they contain 3.5mg of iron per scoop. Baby oatmeal is also available, and you can cook them up easily before thinning it out by adding milk.
Rolled oats are exceptional for toddlers because they easily mix with any flavors or fruits and digest slower.
There is a vast collection of lentils to pick from, but red lentils are the best option. They are smoother, cook faster than other, and have massive nutrients. These features make them a perfect option for baby food and purées.
Red lentils have a low fiber, meaning they do not cause gas for babies like other lentils.
- Dark Greens
Leafy greens like kale or broccoli are also good iron sources for your child. These greens can be sautéed or steamed easily with other meats or vegetables to improve the taste. The dark greens are also great additions to purées or fruit smoothies, and make great cereal replacements.
Quinoa is not a grain but a packed seed that entails different elements like iron, protein, and calcium. Quinoa is round and small, and you can administer it alone or blend it easily into the baby’s mashed vegetables or fruits.
However, you should rinse it thoroughly before you make it as a saponin to prevent a bitter taste.
- Red Meat
Babies do not have developed molars yet, meaning the meat should be soft to enable easy chewing. Ground beef is a perfect solution because it exists in small pieces. It is also advisable to puree lamb or beef using breastmilk or formula to enhance its effectiveness.
- Egg Yolks
Some children hate hard yolks, so you should try mixing it with yogurt or puréed vegetables. It is also possible to make the egg salad by mixing a boiled egg with avocado or plain yogurt. Egg yolks comprise non-heme iron, and additionally, a product with vitamin C can enhance absorption, for example, if we mix egg with melon.
Beans and chickpeas contain non-heme iron and are an excellent protein source. When buying canned beans, pick no-salt-added options, since they are ideal for blending. You can serve them with a spoon or as finger foods.
Iron rice cereal has been administered to children for decades, but mothers are looking for other, healthier alternatives. The top options include; beans, lentils, and oats, among others. The above article has discussed every option in detail, and you can reach out for more information.