15 answers

Possible Allergy to Rice Cereal

I recently started my 6 month old on rice cereal (his first solid food) and on the second day he had a mild rash that covered his arms, legs and back. My pediatrician advised to wait a week and try the rice cereal again to make sure that is what caused the rash and if it happens again, try a different grain. After one day of not serving him rice cereal, the rash is almost gone. My baby is still exclusively breastfed, and in the beginning had an allergic reaction when I ate dairy. I was able to eat dairy at about 4 1/2 months without any symptoms in him. My question is... is there anybody who has had an experience with a rice allergy, and if so, was their baby allergic to many foods? I'm worried that my baby will be allergic to a lot of foods, since rice is considered to be a low-allergen food.

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When my daughter was one month old, we had to begin thickening everything that went into her mouth, due to reflux. We decided to use rice cereal, because it was the cheapest and the easiest to use. Well, long story short, she developed a sensitivity to it. She never was truely allergic to it, but was unable to eat it without profuse vomiting and a terrible stomach ache. We were able to feed her oatmeal instead. Maybe try that... Along the lines of allergies, when she was little, she had many sensitivities. At one point, she couldn't eat dairy, soy, apricots, prunes, rice cereal, bananas, and nuts. She is now 2 years and 3 months old and has grown out of most everything. She can pretty much have all of that stuff, with the exception of drinking milk and eating nuts. We have just chosen to keep her away from nuts until she is three, just to be on the safe side. Try to hang in there for now. It is rough for awhile, but hopefully, if he is sensitive to anything he will grow out of it. Most little ones do.

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I breastfed my baby and learned that he was very sensitive (not allergic) to dairy (he spit up a lot and had stomach issues). I completely changed my diet to exclude dairy. We took him to a chiropractic pediatrician who referred us to another chiropractor who did food testing (applied kinesiology). We found out my son was sensitive to many other foods in my diet,too, like rice, soy, coffee, chocolate, etc. When my son was about 10 or 12 months I slowly starting putting things back in my diet, like rice, and when he didn't have any problems I knew he was not sensitive to it anymore. (I breastfed until 16 months.) We've taken it slow with dairy. I was told to wait until 18 months to introduce milk and other straight dairy foods. By the way- grain cereals don't have to be a baby's first food. We started with something easier to digest- we started with vegetable baby food. Now my son (17 months) has grown out of and has next to no food sensitivities. Maybe your son will do the same! Hope this helps.

Hi, I just wanted to suggest double checking the brand of cereal you are using. I seem to recall being surprised at what was mixed in to some of the brands of baby cereals. My daughter had some food sensitivities, so we were careful about what we introduced. I remember being shocked at some of the common allergens mixed into foods meant for young kids. Just a thought.

I am in the process of trying to figure out if my daughter has a rice allergy as well. She is allergic to soy and dairy protein. When we tried rice cereal she had the same reaction with it that she did with soy and dairy. Come to find out that all rice cereals are made with soy! Be sure to figure out if the allergy is really to rice or another ingredient in the cereal like soy. Soy is a much more common allergy than rice. Rice certainly could be the problem, but don't overlook the soy.

Lots of great advice. I would add that it's not too early to do food testing. The discomfort from the testing is far less than the months of trial-and-error agony. I found out about my first son's tree nut allergy the hard way (severe reaction - 911). My second son is allergic to eggs. I had him tested before I began introduced any foods so he didn't have to suffer for weeks while I figured it out. Also educate yourself as best you can about the difference between "allergy" and "sensitivity".
Good luck.

Hi H.,
We dealt with a rice allergy/sensitivity in my son for several years, beginning with my breast milk due to my rice consumption. His case was unlike your son's (no rash but other symptoms) and he is now 6 and can eat anything - including rice.

My advice to you: wait! He doesn't need rice right now (or anything but mama milk). If allergies are a concern and you think he'll go for it, wait until he is closer to one. As to the rice cereal it is our standard first food, but that practice developed because of formula-fed babies. It is an inferior first food for a little one on mama milk. You can get some fabulous first-food advice from your local La Leche League leader or from their website. I'm thinking avocado, egg yolk and the like. I wouldn't worry about allergies across the board though. My son's rice allergy was because we ate rice often and he needed more rotation in his diet. Good luck to you!

i wouldnt worry too much, just take it day by day and food by food. if you felt like you wanted to wait longer to introduce any solids, that is fine too, as solids arent nutritionally necessary until after a year anyway. you are doing an awesome thing by breastfeeding, that will help!

2 things i want to make sure i mention to you: first of all, if he is breaking out over rice, he might just have sensitivities... and you might WANT to wait a much longer time before feeding more solids. breastfeeding will help his intestines and body "heal up" as some children take a longer time before their bodies will take solid foods.

also, you may want to consider using an alternate vaccination schedule, if you are choosing to vaccinate. you may run into problems with this with clinics, i did, but robert sears has written a book that goes deep into vaccinations, and he gives an alternate schedule.. its great. i just hope your cliic will go for it, but you as a parent have every right to tell your clinic NO to a vaccine at a certain time.. so fight for it if you have to. its starting to sound like kids with intestinal issues end up having vaccination reactions as well.

again, nothing to scare you about, and i wouldnt worry about it, but dont feel pressured to do anything that you dont have to do, and solids isnt nutritionally necessary! :D good luck, allergies are so frustrating.

allergies and food sensitivities are funny things! My friend's son was initially allergic to rice, but his reaction was that he would have literally projectile vomitting. He is about 3 years old now and has outgrown it. Just keep an eye on it, but it's not unheard of to be allergic to rice. Good luck!

Hi H.,
I breastfed my son until almost 14 months and introduce rice cereal first at 5 1/2 months. He had real trouble with the rice cereal. He had mucous covered poops every time I feed it too him. (the mucous is produced to help his body pass the food) I tried Oatmeal and no problems, even after I introduce other fruits and veggies I went back to rice cereal and he would get so consipated. I gave up on rice cereal and stuck with oatmeal until after he was 1 and I gave him real rice and no problems since. I don't know if he had a sensiivity to the rice cereal and out grew it or what. But I am pregnant with my second child and I will not be introducing rice cereal first. I have read pears are also very easy on the digestive system.
I would go slow with introducing food, there is no rush, in case he has allergies. I do believe breastfed babies need to go slower with solids, since breastmilk is so gentle on the GI versus formula.
Also, I started veegies before fruit because some believe fruits are too sweet and need to learn to like savory since they are born liking sweet. For my son this did not work. He loved pureed veggies and I could hardly get him to eat pureed fruit then when we swtiched to table food, he would eat fruit and almost no veggies. So I think every kid is different.
Go with your gut, every mother really does your their baby best, follow your instincts..

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