Just to show how new I am to the parenting thing, I had no idea that there were options outside of rice cereal to give to infants. I had heard about the problems with arsenic present in infants who were given rice cereal but was unfamiliar with alternatives. As discussed in this CNN article Arsenic, Rice, and Your Baby's Diet, “a growing amount of scientific evidence is pointing to an alarming connection between inorganic arsenic in brown and white rice and harm to children's immune systems and intellectual development.”
The article goes onto state that, “Rice cereal is a common first food for infants. Concentrations of arsenic were twice as high in the urine of infants who ate white or brown rice than those who ate no rice, according to research published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. Arsenic levels were highest in babies who ate rice cereal, often given several times a day to introduce babies to solids.”
The solution for us was to give my son infant oatmeal, which he loves. We mix it with his fruit and vegetable purees and make sure to mix with bottled or filtered water. We use Earth’s Best whole grain oatmeal cereal because it has no sugar or sodium. Although many children are given rice cereal and are perfectly healthy, as a new parent, it is helpful to know that there are alternatives.