Eat This: Rice Cereal


rice cerealThe list of ingredients is simple. It’s mostly rice, ground into a fine powder, and enhanced with vitamin E and iron. Mix it with a little warm milk or water, just enough to turn it into a slurry. Best served on a small spoon with enamel covering.

I’m sorry, I should have specified something from the get go. This particular episode of Eat This is aimed at the 4-6 month olds in my readership. I’ve been meaning to work on broadening my readership appeal. Look for my upcoming board book Mama’s Little Automaton.

We’ve started the little bird on her first bits of solid food. The first experiment was a mashed up banana thinned out with a little milk. We were later informed by our pediatrician that this is Not Recommended, as starting children on sweet foods like bananas can make it harder to introduce foods less interesting to eat. Like grains, vegetables, and basically anything else that isn’t actually sweet. So we backed off that, and started on a daily feeding of rice cereal. We started first at a 4-to-1 milk to powder ratio, and worked our way gradually to a more 1-to-1 mix, offered to her one meal a day just before we have dinner.

For three nights now we’ve offered her a dinner of rice cereal. And for three nights now she’s slept through the night. I’m probably jinxing it, but this is now her longest stretch of through the night sleeping, previously topping out at two nights. This isn’t even pediatric sleeping through the night, defined as midnight until 5am, this is our parental definition, from her bedtime of around 9pm until at least 7am the next morning. The kind of sleeping through the night that also lets us sleep through the night, and that’s a beautiful thing indeed.

I don’t know how much it’s a coincidence, whether offering her a meal of solid food at the end of the day is getting her through the nights. However, I cannot overlook the correlation and imply causation. It fills her up better, it’s slower to digest, there’s no reason to think the rice cereal isn’t directly tied to better sleep habits.

Some other highlights since last I spoke of the little bird on the blog:

We’ve found a rather foolproof way to get her to smile, and even laugh on command. It’s a little game called “P-U Stinky Baby!” It’s a rather simple game you can play at home, and really just involves saying “P-U STINKY BABY” in as high pitched a falsetto as you can manage. To mix it up, we’ll sometimes take her to see Other Baby (that weird backwards baby that lives in the mirror) and accuse her of being the “P-U stinky baby.” That makes both of them laugh.

She shows some awareness of her name. One of my favorite places to chart her progress are the milestone charts on babycenter.com. And I don’t mean to brag or anything, but at a week shy of 5 months the little bird has mastered all of the 5 month “most kids” listing, two of the “half of kids,” and is all over two of the “advanced skills.” If she keeps up with blowing these charts out of the water, we should in the next month see her crawling and jabbering. This is all exciting, as most Ivy League universities are now so competitive that a few weeks’ head start on jabbering can only help her future merit scholarship application.

It’s hard to reconcile the little person living in our house now compared to the pink lump we brought home back in September. Every day are new adventures, and clear progress as she moves towards being a fully aware and interactive toddler.

Next time I do “Eat This” I promise an actual Eat This post rather than using the feature to trick you into reading about my baby. As a hint, it involves something in this video:

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