03 Feb 11 Does rice cereal make kids fat?
A Stanford University pediatrician is on a mission to eliminate white rice cereal from babies’ diets
A baby’s first bite into solid food is among the milestones every parent anticipates. And for 50 years many pediatricians have recommended that parents initially feed their solid food-ready babies white rice cereal. White rice cereal is a gluten-free, and an allergy-free option, that most babies find easy to digest.
But Dr Alan Greene, a pediatrician at Stanford University, who started a campaign called “White Out,” is out to turn that long-held belief on its head. “The problem is that it is basically like feeding kids a spoonful of sugar,” said Greene.
“I have been studying nutrition very carefully for more than a decade now and one of the things that I have become convinced of is that white rice cereal can predispose to childhood obesity,” said Greene. “In fact I think it is the tap root of the child obesity epidemic.”
Besides its touted digestion benefits, Greene said white rice cereal is also high in calories and made of processed white flour.
“The problem is that it is basically like feeding kids a spoonful of sugar,” said Greene.
Instead, Greene advises that whole grain solid foods, such as pureed fruits and vegetables combined with whole grain cereal instead of white rice is a healthier option for babies.