HappyBellies Organic Brown Rice Cereal – The Perfect First Meal for Baby

Stella can't get enough of the HappyBellies Organic Brown Rice Cereal. Photo: Katie Roche

When my little one was ready to add something more than breast milk to her belly, I felt very unprepared. Food suddenly seemed like a very daunting, complicated thing. I’d seen how different foods had affected her when transferred with varied results through my breast milk, so I started my search for the perfect first food. It was a no-brainer that any food entering my baby’s body had to be organic, and most of my research turned up rice formula as the best option. Rice is the easiest to digest and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Rice it would be.

With obvious relish, Stella helps herself to cereal. Photo: Katie Roche

As it turned out, there were really only a few organic rice cereals on the market, and HappyBellies was the only one to offer an organic cereal made of brown rice. Brown rice isn’t a different grain than white rice, it’s really just white rice with the brown cover removed. By definition, leaving the brown cover on the grain qualifies it as a whole grain.

For my own consumption, I tend to choose brown rice over white because it contains more fiber, keeps better form from stew to stir fry, and gets less congealed when fulfilling its destiny as a leftover in the fridge.

Brown rice also contains more nutrients — like magnesium, manganese, and zinc — that are slightly reduced in the process of removing the brown coating to get white rice. Removing nutrients just seems silly to me, especially when it requires more resources. Like peeling a potato, the “skin” of the rice is where the goods are. Alas, with HappyBellies Organic Brown Rice Cereal I had found my baby’s perfect first food.

A satisfied customer of HappyBellies cereal. Photo: Katie Roche

Mixed to a soupy consistency with breast milk, Stella loved her first “meal,” and I had the added happiness of knowing that HappyBellies had boosted the basic cereal with some Dr. Sears’ approved additions.

The label boasts that the cereal contains DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is also prevalent in fish oils and that has been shown to support eye and brain development. HappyBellies has also been fortified with essential vitamins and minerals and includes probiotic microorganisms, which aid in digestion help to keep the digestive system regular.

I’ve seen how probiotics do me well, and I love the idea that Stella’s little system can have the same natural and simple benefits. To this day, when my little one is backed up, I mix a little of this cereal with water, and she is back on track. If she’s really backed, up some prunes mixed with HappyBellies Organic Brown Rice Cereal is the powerhouse option.

From her first meal to where she now stands (or rather walks!) at 9 months, HappyBellies Organic Brown Rice Cereal is a staple in her diet. It thickens up runny baby food, mixes well with water, breast milk, or formula, and is a nice warm porridge for breakfast on a chilly day.

HappyBellies, made by HappyBaby. Photo: Courtesy HappyBaby

Heck, Stella likes it so much, I’ve even tried it. Not bad, though I’d prefer some real brown rice mixed into a nice curry; she’ll get there eventually. Baby steps…

Katie Roche
Contributing Writer
Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)