No parents want their child to be devoid of nutrition. In fact, almost every parent wants to feed their child a healthy diet that includes whole grains. There are many grain choices suitable for babies, and rice tends to be at the top of everyone’s list.
We bet it would be on your list too — either in the form of rice porridge or cereals.
But before you start feeding rice to your baby, the foremost question that keeps bugging you is — in which form should you give it to your child — solid or liquid?
But before we answer that question, let’s take a look at the benefits that rice has to offer:
- Helpful in weaning
Rice water works as the perfect starter when a baby enters the weaning phase. In many Asian communities, parents start feeding their babies rice water before introducing solid food. Rice water is also easy to digest; hence, it prepares your little one's stomach for solid foods.
But as rice water isn’t the wholesome source of every nutrient, you shouldn’t use it as a complete replacement for breast milk.
- Rich in vitamin
Rice is rich in vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and vitamin B6. These crucial vitamins are responsible for developing the skin, nervous system, vision and converting the consumed food into energy.
As these vitamins are water-soluble, they dissolve into the water during the boiling process of the rice.
- Lowers the fever
When your baby is down with fever, you can consider giving them.
It is an excellent source of energy and nutrients when babies have a fever and eat poorly. Along with providing them strength, it can also help bring down the fever.
- Treats diarrhoea
Rice water works effectively with the ORS (oral rehydration solution) to treat diarrhoea in children. It acts successfully in reducing bowel movement and solidifies it.
Rice water releases carbohydrates slowly in the gut area that releases energy. You can use it with ORS and other solid foods to help the baby recover from diarrhoea. It also helps treat baby constipation.
- Soothes eczema
If your baby is suffering from eczema, you can use rice water to soothe the dry and scaly skin of the baby. Mix rice water with the bathwater to improve your baby's skin. So, if you don’t want to use tons of creams and chemicals, rice water is a great option.
But if your baby’s skin develops rashes, discontinue using rice water immediately.
- It’s economical
You can make rice water from all types of rice available in the market, such as brown rice, basmati rice, white rice, and more. The best thing about rice is that nothing of it goes to waste. For example, the mother can consume the cooked rice while the baby can be fed the rice water.
It is also affordable and goes easy on your pocket.
Easy rice recipes for your kids
You can make delicious rice recipes for your kids. You can add cheese, vegetables, pulses, or milk to make it more nutritious for your kids.
- Moong Dal Khichdi
The Indian rice khichdi is very delicious for your kids. You can prepare it by soaking rice and moong dal together for about fifty to sixty minutes.
In a cooker, heat a tablespoon of ghee. Add cumin seeds, and when it starts crackling, add a pinch of asafoetida and diced onion. Cook it until the onion turns brown. Now, add chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric, and sauté for a few minutes.
When the tomato becomes soft, add soaked rice and moong dal, along with water as required.
Now, cook it for 2 to 3 whistles, garnish it with coriander and serve.
Optional: You can add a spoonful of ghee to make it extra delicious.
- Curd Rice
Take any basmati rice or regular rice and soak it for about an hour. Cook it until it becomes fluffy. Once cooked, take it out in a bowl and mash it using a ladle.
Add curd to the mixture as required and mix well. Take a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil, add mustard seeds, asafetida, and curry leaves, and cook it until splattering.
Pour the mixture into the rice bowl, garnish with coriander, and serve it to your kid.
- Rice Kheer
Soak the required amount of rice for about 10 to 20 minutes. Next, take a bowl of warm water and soak almonds and dates in it for five minutes. Once it is absorbed, blend dry fruits properly.
Grind the soaked rice into a coarse paste.
Take a pan and boil some milk on medium heat. Now, add rice paste to it and keep stirring. Stir the mixture regularly to avoid lumps.
Now, add almond-dates puree and keep stirring. Serve the delicious Kheer!
- Cheesy Vegetable Rice
Boil and cook the rice first. Then, take a pan and heat butter. Add chopped vegetables such as carrot, beans, peas, etc. Now, sprinkle some salt, oregano, and pepper as per the taste.
Add rice and mix it well. Transfer it to the bowl, and garnish it with grated cheese. Your cheesy vegetable rice is ready!
- Fried Rice
Take some cooked rice and chopped vegetables. Take a pan and add one tablespoon of butter or oil. Then, add chopped vegetables and cook for a few minutes. Next, add salt, pepper, and tomato sauce. After the vegetables become soft, add cooked rice and mix well. Transfer it to a bowl, garnish with coriander, and serve it to your kid!
These kid-friendly recipes are sure to make your child want some more. But before cooking rice, make sure you wash it thoroughly to discard the arsenic it contains. Do not solely depend on rice for your kid’s overall health. Instead, give your child a balanced diet composed of different food items.