24 answers

Baby's First Time Eating Solids (Rice Cereal)

Hi moms,

I need some advice. I started to try giving my son some rice cereal mixed with formula but he does not want to eat it. Would any moms recommend mixing a little apple sauce or something else in it to make it taste better? He is a formula fed baby and LOVES his formula. Please let me know of any tricks you may know that would make it easier. Maybe I just need to be patient and keep trying since this is his first experience eating from a spoon. Thanks!!! =)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would try everyday. Don't start him out on the sweet stuff first because then he won't take to veggies very well. I started my son on cereal at 4 months because he was always watching us eat. He loved it but I only gave him a couple of bites in the beginning. I breastfeed and try to supplement with formula. I mix his cereal with formula and it has gotten him too take a bottle of formula more than just the breast, because I don't pump.

I know you have tons of suggestions to read through and this might be a reapeat of advice you'll get. My daughter didn't like the plain rice- still doesn't. I mixed it with everything we had. Sweet potatoes worked best for us. She's 8 mos now. I finally tried the oatmeal with banana a couple of months ago and she likes it a lot. She'll eat a whole bowl in the morning. We tried to give her a variety of the first fruits but it was hit and miss. She still would rather eat what I have instead.

my 2nd son is 6mo now & at 5mo he became a full time bottle fed baby at the same time i started him on rice cereal. so he became constipated quickly & often & so i had to introduce fruid much sooner. all his Drs said it was fine. so apple sauce or prune/apples mixed with the ceral should taste great!

More Answers

My daughter wouldn't eat the rice cereal from the box but liked the homemade kind. Here's a recipe (and we added all sorts of things like apple sauce or yogurt or pureed vegetables). We'd make a big pot of rice cereal and keep some in the fridge and freeze others in ice cube trays and then pop them into a freezer bag to use later. It's easy to make:

Baby Food Recipe: Rice cereal

You simply grind 1/4 cup of brown rice in a grinder (I bought a coffee grinder for $10 for the sole purpose of grinding rice and other ingredients for baby food). My babies have only ever had brown rice. It is way healthier for them (and you!) because brown rice still contains bran and germ, which are removed from white rice. Grind the brown rice until it has turned into powder. In the meantime, boil one cup of water in a pot on the stove. When it's boiling, turn it down to a simmer and pour the powdered rice into the water and stir with a whisk. Then just pop a cover onto the pot and let it simmer on low for ten minutes. If you're anything like me, I would encourage you to turn on your timer on your stove, otherwise you'll get busy with your baby and forget all about it. You should also stir it every now and then to avoid it from clumping. When it's done, give it another good stir and let it cool. Take a few tablespoons out, add some breastmilk, water or formula to cool it down, and then feed it to the baby. The leftovers will keep in the fridge for two or three days.

1 mom found this helpful

This is a new experience for your son so be patient. It will take many tries before he figures it out. In a few weeks he will be ready to start other new foods. I recommend starting with the veggies first. Many moms are eager to get their kids to eat so they start with the fruits. Of course kids will like the fruits with their higher sugar content, but if you start with veggies you increase your chance of having a bigger kid who is willing to eat his veggies. My son hated the canned baby food meats. Once he got to that point he was old enough to eat meat that I cooked for the family. I just made sure it was cut up small enough.

1 mom found this helpful

If he doesn't like rice cereal, skip it. Just start working through the 1st foods fruits and vegetables one at a time, instead. There's no real reason rice cereal has to be the first food, and grains are not necessarily the best place to start a baby on food.

Hi D.,
Yes, mix in applesauce or maybe a smashed banana. The smashed banana has a sweet taste but no added sugar.And potasium!.
My grandson is just under 6months & my daughter in law has been giving him rice cereal mixed w/squash,bananas,applesauce etc.(just make sure you try one at a time for about a week,that way you will know if your baby has any food allergies) for about 2 months already.I was a little skeptical about feeding him so early but he's doin great....loves his food. We always feel bad to eat in front of him,and he will open his mouth & grunt to get us to feed him.
Also if you are feeding him rice cereal with the formula(in his bottle) make sure you have larger flow holes in the nipple of bottle or they will get frustrated because it wont suck thru.....
Good Luck, hope this helped

my 2nd son is 6mo now & at 5mo he became a full time bottle fed baby at the same time i started him on rice cereal. so he became constipated quickly & often & so i had to introduce fruid much sooner. all his Drs said it was fine. so apple sauce or prune/apples mixed with the ceral should taste great!

I would say to not worry about it - he is still young enough where his calories that matter come from milk. My kids (all 4 of them) did not start solid foods until 9 or 10 months old. Before that, it is just experimentation and getting used to the idea of solid food. If your son loves the food, great - if he doesn't - don't sweat it - try again in a few weeks. Also I would not suggest giving him grains as a first food. I would give him pureed vegetables as a first food. Followed by fruit, then followed by grains and meat. I would also suggest to avoid giving juice until your son is 2 or 3, and then as an occasional treat. Calories from juice (unless it is 100% vegetable juice) are usually empty, sugary (even natural sugars cause problems concentrated as they are in juice) and prevent children from being naturally hungry.
Good luck with your son!

He might not like cereal no matter what you mix in. Mine never warmed up to it. (Taste it and you'll understand why). I had better luck with bananas and avocados. Just make sure they are ripe enough. I wasn't able to get him to eat cereal even when it was mostly bananas and breastmilk. In retrospect, I should have just put a little sugar in it. (He was a little underweight from being sick). Once he is able to eat yogurt (8 mos?) I also recommend yo-baby yogurt or trader joe's baby yogurts (the sweet kind with so much sugar it makes you cringe), rather than trying to get him to eat plain yogurt.

You don't need to start with rice cereal. The reason it is often recommended is that it is one of the most hypo-allergenic foods. However, there is some wisdom in starting out with more nutrient dense foods. You will be replacing some of the nutrients in your formula for rice cereal which is basically all filler. Apple sauce can be binding and cause constipation, as can rice cereal for that matter. You are supposed to avoid wheat for the first 12 months so that rules out mixed grain cereal so we went with pears and oat meal. I introduced chicken pretty quickly as that is nutrient dense and high in protein which growing bodies need. Our first foods were, yams, butternut squash, pears, chicken and oat meal to thicken if necessary. I made all mine myself, super cheap and not really that time consuming as I made enough in ice cube trays to freeze for several weeks and it tastes so good, I eat whatever my daughter doesn't finish.

Keep in mind too that all babies mature at different rates and you don't have to start solids at any given time. If your child is really not that interested then wait. I started just before 6 months because my day care provider only had my daughter at that time for 2 weeks so it seemed like a good time to start as she had the time. however, in hindsight I probably would have waited until closer to 7 months. She is not 9 months old and has a much more obvious appetite. Initially it is more about a new texture and taste sensation than anything else so just take it slow and don't worry about it too much.

C.

Hi D.,
I'm a first time mommy to a 9mo old; she wasn't much into the rice either. My doctor suggested smashing up a banana into the mix. My daughter still loves this for breakfast, of course now we are on to the oatmeal, banana and formula.
Good luck,
S.

Are you making it nice and soupy at first? It might be too thick. Also, not every baby is ready for solids at six months, and it's really not a big deal if yours is not. My son never ate the babr cereals -- too bland. He needed stronger flavors for his brain to realize that his mouth needed to do something. He actually had a slight oral motor skill deficit. We had no idea because he spoke quite early. However, even around 18 months, he primarily ate only strongly flavored foods (e.g., smoked salmon, whitefish spread). We went to a feeding clinic at CPMC that helped. He had no other developmental issues and eats just fine now. The advice I was given about rice cereal was not to mix anything other than breastmilk/formula in unless I was mixing in something for which I had already ruled out allergies. If your son has already tolerated apple sauce well for at least a week, than mixing it in is fine. The docs (he had some digestive issues so had more than one doc) also said not to thicken his bottle with cereal. I don't recall why, but they were adamant about it. I know that lots of people do this, but it's not recommended (at least by my son's ped and the two ped gastroenterologists we saw -- one at CPMC and the other at UCSF).

Yeah, just keep at it. Took awhile for my second...as a matter of fact I think I had a couple of postings at the time, begging for advice! Keep on trying, and good luck!

How much formula are you mixing? When I first started I used mostly breast milk with a little cereal. There is also "flavored" cereal. My son is 8 months and well into eating solids. He prefers the Gerber rice and fruit medley. Maybe you could try that since the rice is still gentle for the tummy but it has some flavor to it.

if he's not eating, then he's not ready. many babies aren't ready to eat solid until 9 months and some even a year. don't push it. give him a break and wait a week and then try again. i think i had to try with DS 3 or 4 times before he was truly ready. he's eat like mad the first day or two, and then start spitting everything out, which meant his digestive system wasn't ready to process anything other than milk.

also, please, please consider not giving your baby rice cereal as a starter food. babies' digestive systems don't have the enzymes to process grains until they have molars. this sounds strange because everyone feeds their babies rice cereal, but it's really just empty calories that take up space in their bellies. this is such an important time for development, consider giving something that more nutritionally dense. we started with avocado and sweet potato. don't worry about the iron that's in the cereal because you can give it to baby through egg yolk, greens, spinach and other greens. DS LOVED apples mixed with collards greens. i vote skip the rice cereal all together and go straight for the apple sauce. beets, babies love beets and carrots and fruit. check out the website Wise Traditions for more information. this is an amazing resource, i think you'll be glad that you found out about it.

have fun!

D. -

Congratultions on becoming a Mom! There are so many fun things that you're going to experience.

My kids are 21 and 18 but in my Gymboree classes, I always talk about the advice that our pediatrician gave us when my oldest first starting eating solids. He said when you introduce solid food, put on a raincoat and have a good time! It's not about the food at this age - it's about the social experience of eating.

I'm sure you could mix in some applesauce or other fruit, but alot of what is going on is that your baby is just learning how to eat from a spoon (and honestly rice cereal doesn't taste that great!). One thing about mixing in other foods is that pediatricians usually recommend that you stick with one new food at a time for about 5 days in case there are any allergies. If there are allergies, it will be easier to isolate the problem if only one new food has been introduced.

I hope that helps.

J. F.
____@____.com

Absolutely!! Apple sauce goes and so does sweet potato, steamed and pureed pears and almost any other food he can start eating. I would just try various things to see what he likes.

I wouldn't add applesauce to the cereal yet, as apples aren't a great first food (too acidic) and most docs recommend giving only one food at a time when starting solids, in case of allergy. It may be that the cereal is too thick, first time rice cereal should only be a little bit thicker than the formula your baby is already drinking. If that isn't the problem, you might want to try a different food, like a very well smashed raw banana (mixed with formula), another great first food. If that goes well, you can always add that to cereal, since you'll already know there isn't a problem with the fruit.

I know you have tons of suggestions to read through and this might be a reapeat of advice you'll get. My daughter didn't like the plain rice- still doesn't. I mixed it with everything we had. Sweet potatoes worked best for us. She's 8 mos now. I finally tried the oatmeal with banana a couple of months ago and she likes it a lot. She'll eat a whole bowl in the morning. We tried to give her a variety of the first fruits but it was hit and miss. She still would rather eat what I have instead.

I would try everyday. Don't start him out on the sweet stuff first because then he won't take to veggies very well. I started my son on cereal at 4 months because he was always watching us eat. He loved it but I only gave him a couple of bites in the beginning. I breastfeed and try to supplement with formula. I mix his cereal with formula and it has gotten him too take a bottle of formula more than just the breast, because I don't pump.

We mixed with a combination of apple juice and formula which improves the taste. My pediatrician recommended the juice but said to be sure we were buying the clear juice and not the cloudy juice; I think the clear is pasteurized while the cloudy is not. Additionally, we mixed in whatever fruit or vegetable they were eating with that meal (carrots, pears, whatever). The variety of taste kept them from rejecting the cereal. Also, initially, the girls took it better if the cereal was on the runnier side. A thicker texture threw them off so add extra juice / formula.

My son LOVES it mixed with Applesauce or bananas! I'd try that.

I tasted cereal made with formula once. Only once. I also tasted it with breast milk. YUK!!! try it with water only. Sometimes you have to try it several times before he realizes it's good, so dont give up. I ended up mixing with banana too. I later read that you shouldn't teach them to sweeten food, but it was too late for me and he always ate it that way.

Hi D., my daughter HATED rice cereal as well but loved the Earth's Best whole grain cereal. It can be mixed with anything and tastes much better - we mix it with pears, applesauce, bananas, etc. AND it doesn't cause as much gas :) You can mix the cereal with the formula to make it so it also tastes like the formula.

We started feeding my daughter solids at 3.5 months and she didn't want to eat off a spoon at all. More of it was all over her face than in her mouth. So we put in her bottle with formula for about a month. We changed the nipple and the type of bottle a) so the cereal went through the nipple easier and b) so she knew the difference between a "food" bottle and a regular bottle. Then at about 4.5 months I just tried the formula with a spoon and it worked. After a while you won't have to mix it with a lot of formula. And try serving it couple of different ways runny, thick etc. Babies have their preferred consistency you just have to let them tell you. My baby prefers thick --if its runny she won't eat it. The one thing I am learning is that babies have to learn to eat solids (texture, taste and how it gets in their mouths are all an experience).

I don't recommend mixing it with fruit to start. Food is about learning for them you want them to taste the purity of foods before you start mixing. We introduced food in the following order a) cereals (rice, barley, oatmeal) b) vegis, squashes, carrots, sweet potatoes first, then green beans, broccoli etc. c) fruit was last hoping to "seed" a taste for vegis. And we serve fruit on a limted basis and only with breakfast or as dessert.

And if your baby doesn't like spoons then alternate between a spoon and your fingers until they get the hang of it.

I hope this helps. Feel free email me with any questions.

I am also just starting my 6 month old on rice cereal. She is a breastfeed baby which is her primary source of food. I was having the same concerns and asked some other mom friends about mixing in applesauce or fruit. I was thinking it's not very tasty. I was adviced not to introduce fruit before veges because it sets up their taste buds for sweet things and they'll have a harder time eating the vegetables. Also for allergies you really want to be careful about introducing one thing at a time and certain foods are supposed to come first. I didn't know this but you can actually cause food allergies by introducing something to soon. I am sticking with the 3 cereals for the first foods introducing them 1 at a time for 1 week each this way I'll know if there are any allergies . I am not really expecting her to be gaining much more than experience out of it. I let her grab the spoon and figure we are just exposing her to the taste and texture but Breastfeeding is her primary source of nutrition. After cereals I'll move on to veges and then fruit. You can also ask the Doctor and they have a flyer that explains the steps to first foods and they can tell you why. Have fun, it gets messy from here.

Explore Mamapedia

baby sets rice cereal
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.