When it comes to kids, most parents will do anything to keep them happy and healthy. That means ensuring they eat as many fruits, veggies, and other wholesome foods as possible and cutting back on things like soda and candy. However, one food that most parents tend to shy away from is rice. Parents are often concerned about the effects of rice on their child’s growth, especially since many kids prefer white rice over brown or red varieties. But is there any truth behind the old belief that rice stunts growth? Let’s find out.
Does Rice Stunt Growth?
There is no scientific evidence that suggests white rice consumption stunts growth. However, there are studies that suggest refined carbohydrates (like those found in white rice) can have a negative impact on health when consumed in excess. Consuming refined carbs can lead to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. So, while rice itself does not stunt growth, overconsumption of refined carbs could have negative consequences for health.
What Is The Truth About Rice Stunts Growth?
1. Rice is Very High in Sugar
One of the biggest problems with white rice is that it’s extremely high in sugar. A serving of regular white rice has nearly 50 grams of sugar, while a serving of brown rice has only around 20 grams. This means that white rice can have more than twice as much sugar as brown!
2. Rice Is Low in Fiber and Folate
While some types of beans are a fantastic source of fiber, the fiber in most types of rice is very low and may even be absent. This means that when you eat a serving or two of white rice per day, you’re not getting any extra fiber, which can help keep your digestive system running smoothly and your blood sugar levels steady. In addition, most people don’t consume enough folate (vitamin B9) through diet to prevent issues like anemia or neurological damage without taking supplements. That’s why it’s so important to get your daily intake of folate through food sources like leafy greens, beans, and dark green vegetables.
3. White Rice Does Not Cause Weight Gain
One of the most common concerns that parents have about rice is that it causes weight gain. However, the truth is that white rice has very little effect on your body’s ability to burn off calories. It’s only when you eat a serving of brown or red rice that your body will begin to break it down for energy, which can lead to weight gain or weight loss.
4. Rice Is Very Low in Protein and Iron
While brown rice does contain a little bit more protein than white rice, the amount is still pretty small and doesn’t make much difference as far as overall nutrition goes. Also, iron levels are much lower in white rice than they are in other types of grains like quinoa or oats. You can get all the iron you need from foods like vegetables and lean meats.
5. White Rice Can Lead to Health Issues
Besides causing issues with weight gain and poor digestion, white rice can also increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes. These health issues can be caused by the high levels of sugar in white rice, which can lead to insulin resistance and other issues that make it harder for your body to break down food properly.
6. Brown Rice is a Better Option than White Rice for Many People
Many people have heard that brown rice is healthier than white rice, but they’re not sure why. The truth is that most people are just fine with brown rice because it has more fiber and nutrients than white rice does. However, if you’re concerned about the effects of too much sugar on your health or you want to limit your intake of refined carbohydrates, then switching over to brown rice may be a great choice for you!
How Much Rice Should Children Eat Per Day?
- When it comes to rice, there is no set amount of rice children should eat. Many parents will say that brown or red rice is better for growth and that white rice has been linked to a lower IQ. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually supports the consumption of all types of rice, which include white, brown, and even wild-caught varieties.
- According to the AAP, children should eat at least one cup per day of whole grains such as cornmeal, whole wheat flour, oats, barley, and brown or wild-caught rice.
- If you want to include more grains in your child’s diet then you can add up to two cups per day of whole-grain bread or cereals. You can also add up to two cups per day of cooked beans or legumes such as black beans or lentils.
- The AAP also recommends that children eat three cups per day of fruit and vegetables.
- If your child likes rice then you can start encouraging him or her to eat brown rice by including a cup of brown rice per day. By adding in some other grains such as oats, barley, and cornmeal you can add up to two additional cups per day of whole grains. You can also give your child some fruit and vegetables to help keep him or her healthy and happy!
- The AAP recommends that children between the ages of 1-3 years old should consume no more than one cup of sugar-sweetened drinks (including sodas) each day. For kids between 4-8 years old, the recommendation is two cups each day. For kids between 9-18 years old, the recommendation is three cups each day.
Are There Other Foods You Should Be Worrying About Instead?
Sugar is a sweet treat that kids love, but it can also be a dangerous food for them. Excess sugar can lead to obesity, which is not only unhealthy for their health but also puts them at risk of developing diabetes and heart disease later in life. A study published in the journal of Endocrinology found that the more sugary foods kids were exposed to, the higher their risk of becoming overweight by the time they turned six. This means that limiting your child’s sugar intake will go a long way toward helping your little one develop healthy habits, like exercising and eating healthy foods.
Soda is another popular drink among kids that parents often steer clear of due to concerns about its impact on developing bones and teeth. But soda is actually very bad for young bodies in many other ways as well. In particular, it has been linked to brain damage, which can cause developmental delays, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and even autism. As a result, children who drink soda are more likely to have lower IQs as well as problems with reading, writing, and memorization.
3. Sugary Breakfast Cereals
Kids often like to have a bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast, but if you’re worried about their teeth, you may want to avoid this altogether. Sugary cereal is not only bad for their teeth, but it can also be bad for their health as well. A study published in the journal of Public Health Nutrition found that kids who consumed sugary breakfast cereals were more likely to be overweight than those who didn’t. The researchers theorized that since sugary cereals are high in calories and low in nutrients, they are more likely to cause weight gain over time.
4. Processed Meats
Processed meats include bacon, hot dogs, salami, and many other processed types of meat that come from animals raised on feedlots with no access to pasture or fresh water. Processed meats are high in fat and sodium – especially sodium nitrite – which leads to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. These meats contain no nutritional value, and they may contain harmful preservatives, such as nitrates, which can lead to cancer.
5. Fast Food
Fast food has gotten a bad rap in recent years, but it’s still a popular choice among kids. And while fast food is generally considered unhealthy, it is especially so for young kids. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), children ages 2-11 should consume no more than 200 milligrams of sodium per day – less than half the amount of sodium found in one fast-food meal. The AHA also recommends that children eat their fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods like French fries and soda pop.
As you can see, the old belief that rice stunts growth is false. However, there are some other foods that might be more concerning than rice. One of these is sugar, which is in many more foods than just soda. Arsenic is another concern, especially in white rice. While it’s important to include rice in your child’s diet, you may want to try some of the other varieties. This will ensure your child is getting the most nutrients from their rice and is less likely to develop health issues in the future.