There are a few important reasons for that:
- Popular rice products, including, rice cereal, contain arsenic, a potent carcinogen that can cause damage to a child’s developing brain. According to a study done by Consumer Reports Magazine, "Worrisome arsenic levels were detected in infant cereals, typically consumed between 4 and 12 months of age." The really disturbing part about this, is the notion that these baby foods are being labeled as "health foods".
- Babies stomachs cannot properly break down grains. In order for grains to be broken down properly, our bodies have to have adequate amounts of the proper enzyme, called amylase; and babies just don't have enough of these. Until molar teeth are fully developed, it can take up to 28 months for the arbohydrate enzymes (amylase) to fully start working.Thus, feeding rice cereal can cause inflammation due to improper digestion and later can contribute to allergies and the formation of auto-antibodies associated with diabetes.
- Baby cereals are often fortified with a list of supplemental vitamins and minerals including iron which can lead to serious health problems. The American Academy of Pediatricians makes recommendations that parents buy iron-fortified baby food, and especially be given to breastfed babies. The mainstream wisdom declares that iron deficiency leads to many health problems thus giving some extra to your baby will not do any harm. However, recent research showed that iron fortified foods promote the growth of intestinal pathogens and alter intestinal and systemic immune function. Additionally, another study on the effects of iron on the crucial skeletal developments in early life shows “iron supplementation in young children without iron deficiency may jeopardize optimal height and weight gains.”
Extensive research has proven the dangers of feeding cereal to your baby, so the choice is yours. Remember, there are much better alternatives for your baby than a box of cereal.