What Are the Risks of Feeding Children Rice Puree

Can I feed my children rice puree or Cerelac? What are other healthy alternatives?

Over the decades, mothers have used rice puree as the baby's first food. Why wouldn’t they? It has a light flavour, filled with iron, easy to digest and takes just a few seconds to prepare.

Many mothers turn to ready-made food, such as baby rice, which is considered a supplement used with mother's milk or formula milk. But these products are no longer preferred by nutritionists and pediatricians. 

According to global recommendations, the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant's life, and the introduction of solid foods when the infant is six months old. However, do these solid foods include Cérelac, and what are the recommendations regarding that?

Mirna Sabbagh: Cerelac for babies


What are the downsides of Cerelac for babies?

Even though Cerelac is filled with nutrients that may push you to feed it to your baby, it has one of the biggest red flags: sugar.

These sugars include glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, grape sugar, caramel, corn syrup, barley—and many other sugars that infiltrate your child’s diet.

In addition, Cerelac may contain concentrated fruit juice by reducing the amount of water in it, thus concentrating the juice. This process can lead to the loss of water-soluble vitamins and minerals.

What does it result in?

  • High rates of obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, and sugar addiction.
  • Kids running away from homemade food.
  • Allergic reactions to many foods.
  • Low level of red blood cells.

So is it actually good to give Cerelac to children as their first solid food?

What is the alternative?

The ideal solution to serve healthy foods replacement for Cerelac is to give children homemade pureed foods consisting of fruits and vegetables, which are 100% organic and free of any kind of preservative, such as salt and sugar.

In addition to that, try serving him the following foods:

  • Cooked vegetables: like potatoes (with a bit of cinnamon and a bit of butter), zucchini, green beans and potatoes, and custard-like mashed carrots and so on.
  • Rice and wheat: Grind the ingredients together to make a smooth powder. Store it.
  • Yoghurt: It helps children to digest food better and builds the right balance of bacteria in the intestine. You can even mix it with delicious fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, mangoes and so on.
  • Sweet potatoes: It is rich in vitamin A and helps develop the immune system in children.
  • Oats: which helps improve the baby's digestive system.

Mirna Sabbagh: Cerelac for babies


Parenting is your choice, but I recommend fresh, uncooked, and sugar-free food.

We hope this information was helpful!

Mirna Sabbagh, an adult and child dietitian, nutritionist, and lactation consultant. She also has several digital courses: Pregnancy Nutrition Coursebreastfeeding course,  starting solids 6-12 months course, and also the Feed with Confidence course, that you can sign up for from the comfort of your home.

The courses are pre-recorded. As soon as you make the course purchase, you will receive a link to watch the course from your phone or laptop.

You can also e-mail Mirna for questions on info@mirnaelsabbagh.com

Mirna is no longer doing consultations. Her online courses cover 95% of parents common concerns.