Made this mistake with my first because I thought my pediatrician knew better than me, and didn’t do any research. I know better with my second now and I notice a world of difference between my children’s eating habits and appetite in general.
Have a look at this article by Dr. Joseph Mercola:
“Almost every childcare book offers the same advice about a baby’s first solid meal — start them first on rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. This has been received wisdom for 60 years.
But this is because in the 1950’s, baby food companies launched an advertising blitz trumpeting the benefits of white rice cereal.
But there is no scientific basis for this recommendation. None at all. And now, concerned about increasing childhood obesity, some pediatricians want to change how babies eat.
If babies are getting used to the taste of highly processed white rice and flour, it could set them up for a lifetime of bad habits.
USA Today reports:
“White rice — after processing strips away fiber, vitamins and other nutrients — is a ‘nutritional disaster’ … White rice and flour turn to sugar in the body ‘almost instantly,’ … raising blood sugar and insulin levels.”
If you want to give your baby the best start nutritionally, do not follow the advice in most baby books encouraging you to start feeding rice cereal. Other than breast milk or formula, rice is the number one source of calories for infants in the first year of life, according to Stanford University pediatrician Alan Greene, and this is a nutritional disaster.
Ideally, your baby should be breastfed exclusively — meaning no other food or water is supplemented — for at least the first 6 months. Then, at the age of 6 or 9 months, you can begin to supplement with solid foods (while still continuing to breastfeed as well).
Feeding infants cereal has been associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes and may prime your baby’s appetite for a lifetime of processed carbs in the form of white bread, cookies and cakes.
Insulin from excess carbohydrates promotes fat, and then wards off your body’s ability to lose that fat. Excess weight and obesity not only lead to heart disease but also a wide variety of other diseases later in life.”