Stanford doctor says white rice bad for babies

January 31, 2011 11:31:03 AM PST
A Stanford pediatrician wants parents to change what they feed their babies when they first start eating solid foods.

For 50 years, doctors recommended white rice cereal for a baby's first bite. It is a gluten-free, allergy-free option that most babies can easily digest. However, Dr. Alan Greene says white rice cereal is like feeding your child a spoonful of sugar and can lead to childhood obesity.

Instead, he says parents should start their babies on pureed fruits and vegetables combined with a whole grain cereal.

"The difference between white rice and brown rice is huge. White rice is basically 94 percent starch. Brown rice is 25 percent other stuff, protein, essential fats, minerals, and vitamins and antioxidants," he says.

Greene started the "White Out Campaign." He wants to rid stores and baby bowls of white rice cereal entirely by Thanksgiving.

Gerber, the number one seller of white rice cereal says, they are not aware of any scientific studies that support the theory that white rice contributes to childhood obesity and welcome the opportunity to review any relevant scientific data.