As a parent, your first concern would be your baby’s safety. After all, their digestive system is still developing, and you don’t want to feed them anything that can potentially compromise their health.
Generally, am or rice water is safe when prepared properly; that is, no toxic substances are transferred from the rice grains to the water. However, you also have to consider whether or not your child has a rice allergy. At least one study noted that some protein bands in rice “appeared to be major allergens.”
But just because you prepared it properly and your baby doesn’t have a rice allergy doesn’t mean that you can give it to your child.
For instance, babies under 6 months old shouldn’t have anything other than breast milk or doctor-recommended formula milk. This is because other liquids (including water) leave them with less room for the more nutritious milk; moreover, their little tummies might not handle the substances in am.
History: Am for Baby
The history of giving am to babies stems from the 1950s when many children experienced vitamin B deficiency. Since supplements were not yet popular at that time and rice water contains vitamin B, doctors advised parents to give am to their little ones. There’s also the fact that rice water is an inexpensive oral rehydration solution after bouts of diarrhea.
These benefits spread among parents and perhaps evolved into the concept that rice water is good for babies.