Rice is the staple food of Indonesian people. Besides being cooked into the rice, rice boiled water turned out to have a lot of nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, protein, phosphorus, fiber, iron, calcium, folate, carbohydrates, and various vitamins B.
For a long time, many parents deliberately provided water boiled rice to wean or introduce babies to solid foods, such as porridge or rice. Although it has been applied from generation to generation, you should know the benefits of starch water before giving it to babies, including:
1. Treating diarrhea in infants
Diarrhea is very common in infants. This disease occurs due to excessive bowel movements and causes babies to continue to urinate more than 4 or 6 times a day. If not treated, diarrhea can cause the baby to become dehydrated and weak. Well, one of the natural remedies to treat diarrhea in infants is starch water.
This rice boiled water contains fiber, sodium, and carbohydrates that can reduce bowel movements. In addition, these nutrients can also replace lost body fluids to prevent dehydration. Decreased bowel movements and the change in baby’s body fluid intake is what makes the symptoms of diarrhea become lighter and the baby’s return to normal condition.
The benefits of starch water to treat diarrhea in infants are indeed approved and recommended by WHO around the 90s. However, this rice cooking water is not used as a single treatment. In addition, rice cooking water is also somewhat old-fashioned and more difficult to make than ORS which is proven to be more effective in treating diarrhea.
2. Keeping baby’s skin healthy
Even though the amount is not as much as rice, boiled water still contains vitamin B, such as thiamine and riboflavin. Both of these vitamins are also known for their antioxidant properties that can accelerate blood circulation in skin cells. This helps regenerate the skin and makes it look always fresh and young.
A study says that oil from rice contains ferulic acid, gamma-oryzanol, phytic acid which is often added to cosmetics and also some skin remedies. This content may also be present in rice cooking water so it is often used for the treatment of dry skin or eczema in infants. Unfortunately, until now there has been no deeper research on the benefits of starch water in reducing the symptoms of eczema.
Even so, you should not be easily tempted to use starch water as skincare for babies. Remember, a baby’s skin is very sensitive especially if the baby has eczema. Using certain ingredients whose effectiveness is not certain can make the baby’s skin condition worse. So, consult your pediatric dermatologist first before you try it.
3. Maintaining healthy hair
Although rare, hair problems can still occur in infants. So that the health of the hair is maintained, you can use starch water for baby hair care. The content of inositol in rice water can strengthen hair, prevent split ends, and other damage to hair.
Even though the benefits of starch water are abundant, do not provide or apply it if …
Starch water can indeed help you to wean your child. However, it is not used as a substitute for milk or breast milk for babies under 6 months of age. Because the nutritional content of breast milk is far more abundant and is needed by infants rather than boiled rice water.
Indeed, starch water is known as one of the alternative treatments for certain health problems in infants. However, unfortunately, there are not many studies that discuss the benefits of starch water for your child.
Besides, it is important to remember that not all babies can drink this boiled water. The reason is, there are some children who have allergies to the content of rice. So, consult your pediatrician first before giving starch water to the baby.