When caring for a new baby, there are so many milestones to look forward to. Out of all of the milestones, one of the most exciting is gearing up to give your child his or her first bites of real food. But what kind of food can you safely feed your child and when? In this post, we will explore the question of “When can babies have baby rice?” as well as when it is safe to feed your baby any type of solid foods, in general. 

Can Babies Eat Rice?

So, can babies have rice?

Well, it really just depends. Depending on the age of your child, he or she may or may not be able to handle rice. Moreover, the type of rice you are giving your baby will also matter.

Can Babies Have Normal Rice?

Older babies that have already been introduced to pureed fruits and veggies might be ready to venture out towards eating regular rice, but you’ll want to be careful not to introduce this too young.

Rice can have a gummy and sometimes grittier texture that may require chewing and if your baby hasn’t quite mastered this skill yet, he or she might not be too fond of it.

As long as your child is 6 months or older, thought, “regular” rice shouldn’t be a problem. 

Can Babies Eat Basmati Rice?

When it comes to Basmati rice, the same rules apply as for normal rice. Just be sure that you cook it thoroughly and that you only feed it to babies that are 6 months or older.

Also, bear in mind that Basmati rice has a unique aroma that some babies may love or be put off by. Have something else prepared in case your baby doesn’t love the flavour and doesn’t want to eat it.

Can Babies Have Rice? 

So, can babies have rice? In general, when it comes to young babies first learning to eat at 6 months, the ideal way to introduce rice is through rice cereal. 

Be careful though. 

There is naturally occuring arsenic found in many rice cereals for babies that could have adverse effects on your little one’s health. If you are worried about this, know that, though fortified, rice cereal isn’t a must, though it is often recommended. Many mums and dads choose to jump straight to pureed fruits and veggies instead.

When to Give Baby Rice

Can I Give My 3 Month Old Baby Rice?

Short answer: No.

When asking “When can babies have baby rice?” the answer is that, generally speaking, a baby isn’t ready for table foods until he or she has lost his or her tongue reflex and can sit up on their own. Baby rice at 3 months, therefore, is not a good idea.

And while we are on the topic, it is important to note that while many old-timers and well-meaning friends may suggest that you should try adding rice cereal to your baby’s bottle, it is important to note that we do NOT recommend you go this route. Doing so may prove harmful for your baby as he or she could choke in the process.

How Much Baby Rice at 4 Months

At 4 months, your baby may be ready to try rice cereal, but you should talk to a paediatrician before doing so.

In general, the recommendation is that all parents wait until their babies are at least 6 months before giving solids. Some parents venture out and give their babies solids before this age for a variety of reasons.

If you’ve talked to your paediatrician and feel it is necessary to add rice cereal to your little one’s diet, do so by giving your baby the cereal prepared as stated on the package only after his or her initial breastfeeding or formula feeding session. Do not replace your baby’s feedings with rice cereal. Then, only give your baby a teaspoon to start, once a day. Watch for adverse reactions such as rash, gas or constipation that may be a negative response to the rice cereal.

Can I Give Baby Rice at 5 Months?

At 5 months, the same rules apply as with 4 months.

In general, it is better to wait until your baby is at least 6 months before introducing a rice cereal, or any type of rice for that matter. Before this, babies generally do best with their regular formula or breast feedings.

When Can You Start Feeding a Baby Rice cereal?

Introducing Baby Rice

“When to start baby rice?” and “When can I give my baby baby rice?” are common questions. As previously stated, baby rice cereal is best attempted when your baby is 6 months old. 

Once your baby is this age, you will want to begin by introducing the rice as prepared per the package with your baby’s normal breast milk or formula milk as the liquid to get it to the desired consistency. Not only will this be easier on your little one’s tummy, but it will also provide more sustenance and nutrients. it will also provide a familiar taste for your little one as he or she gets used to eating something new.

How to Make Baby Rice

In addition to when can you give baby rice and when to introduce baby rice, many parents want to know how to prepare it.

How to make baby rice will depend largely on the kind you buy. There are several brands available each with different baby rice ingredients. There are also organic baby rice options. How much baby rice you prepare will depend greatly on the amount you think your baby will consume. 

If your little one is trying rice for the first time or is quite young, around 6 months, you’ll start with a teaspoon or two once a day and increase from there depending on the need and age of your child. You may also mix prepared baby rice with pureed fruit or vegetables to add more bulk to fruits and veggies.

If your child is a little older, above the age of one, however, simply serve the rice, wash your toddlers hands or give them a quick pump of baby safe hand sanitiser, and let them dig in! 

What Happens If You Give Baby Rice Too Early?

If you give baby solid foods too early, the baby may simply spit it out or experience digestive issues due to their premature digestive system. Your baby may also break out in a rash, experience gas or even become constipated from being unable to handle such foods.

For this reason, we recommend holding off on anything that isn’t milk until your baby is 6 months old.

If you’e raising your baby vegan, you may find holding off on rice cereal to be daunting, given that you don’t have many other options as alternatives to cow’s milk. Check out our posts Vegan Milk Baby Milk Alternatives and Vegan Snacks in the UK for other ways to supplement your infant or toddler’s diet without having to subject them to cow’s milk and dairy. 

For more information on your baby’s first solid foods and the signs that indicate that he or she is ready for them, see NHS’ article on Your Baby’s First Solid Foods.

What Time of Day to Give Baby Rice

The time of day that you should give baby rice is up to you, however, you should always aim to give the rice after a breast or bottle feed and not before.

This is because the majority of the nutrients your baby takes in will be from his or her milk, and thus, should not be replaced with rice cereal.

You may try giving your baby a teaspoon of rice cereal at night, separate from the bottle. At the proper age as mentioned above, it may keep the baby more full and satiated at night.

Should You Give Your Baby Rice?

So, when babies can eat rice, should you feed them rice? 

Remember, baby rice is not a mandated first food for any baby, even if people act like it is. If you aren’t comfortable with the possibility of arsenic being in your baby’s rice, you may wish to check out fresh fruit puree and vegetable puree recipes that can be made at home, or you may consider purchasing a brand of fortified and organic oatmeal instead. If you do choose to use baby rice, do so slowly as you would with any new food, and be sure to add breast milk or formula milk to the concoction for easier digestion of the new food.

For more information about rice and rice cereal safety, check out Healthline’s article on When to Feed Your Baby Rice Cereal.