For nearly 90 years, Gerber has been introducing babies to the exciting world of food. Gerber offers formula, purees, finger foods, and meals that focus on your child’s complete nutritional needs from birth through toddlerhood. Organic versions of many foods are also available. Here's a look at how Gerber is there for each stage of feeding.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies eat only formula and/or breast milk for the first six months. It should remain their main source of nutrition until age 1. You can rely on Gerber to provide the nutrition your newborn needs with its line of formula choices. Some parents find it challenging to find a formula that their newborn will tolerate. Gerber's Gentle formulas feature Comfort Proteins, which are partially hydrolyzed whey proteins that can be easier for baby’s developing tummy to digest. The formulas also feature probiotics, which are good bacteria that help develop a healthy digestive tract, and DHA and ARA, fatty acids that promote brain and eye development.
When your baby can sit with help and has more neck control, they are considered to be supported sitter. They have also developed the ability to swallow, which opens up a whole new world: solid food. You can enjoy those first tastes (and the accompanying faces—have the video rolling) with Gerber cereals and purees. When you introduce foods, feed your baby formula or milk first, then offer the solid food. Try single-ingredient cereals and purees for three days before moving on to a new food. This lets you watch for any food sensitivity or reaction, such as a rash.
Cereals are a common introduction to solids. Mix single-grain cereal with formula or breast milk, giving it a familiar flavor. Since your baby’s natural iron stores begin to decrease around six months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding your baby iron-rich cereal or meat to support brain development.
Your baby is sitting on their own now and building those self-feeding skills. They're learning to move their lips and may even mash food with their gums. Persistence is the name of the game now; research shows you may have to offer a new food 10 to 15 times before they'll take to it. They will be taste testing meats, dairy, and blended foods, opening up a new world of flavors and textures. Set a good example for your baby by eating a variety of nutritious foods with her.
Encourage your tot’s independence and fine-motor development by providing finger foods, like Gerber Pick-ups or softly cooked veggies, fruits, and pastas. Pieces should be the size of the tip of his pinky finger. Gerber’s puffs, Lil’ Crunchies, and yogurt melts dissolve in their mouth and encourage them to exercise their pincer grip. Once they are really chewing, Wagon Wheels and Arrowroot Cookies are appropriate, nutritious snacks, too.
As your toddler really gets into (and we mean into) feeding themselves, help develop their palate with Gerber Lil’ Meals and Lil’ Entrees, Pick-ups, and snacks. They're asserting their independence more every day and mealtime is no exception. Use easy-grip spoons at meals to show them how to feed themselves. Expect a mess, but know that their confidence will grow with their self-feeding abilities.
Your toddler loves routine and spending time with you. Create a calm and comforting family mealtime by turning off the TV and using familiar utensils, bowls, and bibs. Eat healthy meals together and include them in the conversation. Encourage eating by keeping portions small and offering one food you know they like at every meal.