Gerber sitter baby food

What It Is, When to Start, and Options to Try

Accompanying your child through the different stages of learning how to eat real food is an exciting journey. Sometimes, along with the sense of pride — Look, they polished off the whole jar! — you can feel a little confused. How are you supposed to navigate the milestones?

Let’s start at the beginning: What do the stages of baby food mean, anyway?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your baby’s digestive system won’t make the leap from liquid to solid in one day either. That’s what the stages of baby food are for — to help your baby manage the mechanics of eating and to make the transition easier on your baby’s digestive system.

Defining the stages across the brands

While the different stages of baby food aren’t standardized (it would make your life easier if they were!), most popular brands more-or-less follow these four stages:

  • Stage 1: 4 to 6 months (watery puree of a single ingredient)
  • Stage 2: 6 to 9 months (thicker texture that is strained or mashed)
  • Stage 3: 10 to 12 months (mush that has soft, chewable, small chunks)
  • Stage 4: After 12 months (finger foods and small, soft pieces of foods you share from your own supper)

What is the difference between stage 1 and stage 2 food?

Stage 1 foods are pretty watery. They’re pureed into a smooth paste that can drip off a spoon easily, so stock up on your bibs. These foods are usually made of a single ingredient: oatmeal cereal, apple, carrots. Your baby will start off eating about half a teaspoon of this.

Stage 2 foods get more exciting. These are strained or mashed into a dense paste. They’re made with a combination of foods that can include legumes and even meats or fish. They may combine flavors, like fruit and veggie blends. Your baby’s appetite is growing and you’ll have to keep pace with bigger portions.

At around 6 to 9 months, your baby is probably ready to move on to stage 2 foods. Not every baby will stick to this schedule simply because every child is a world to their own.

Here are some signs that your child is ready to move on:

  • Tongue reflex: At around five months, your child will start losing their tongue thrust reflex and won’t immediately push out the food that you try to feed them.
  • More please: They’ll easily polish off the stage 1 foods and look hungry for more.
  • Variety: They’ll have eaten foods from all the food categories (vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, meat) and shown no allergy or intolerance.
  • Enjoyment: They’re managing spoonfuls of stage 1 foods easily, mouthing and swallowing happily.

At this exciting stage, feel free to give your baby most types of foods. By offering them a wide range of tastes and textures, you’re giving them a foundation for healthy eating habits — as well as making it easier for yourself. Keep in mind the following safety points:

  • Choking hazards: Avoid nuts, seeds, and popcorn at this stage. And make sure to slice round foods like grapes and hot dogs lengthwise.
  • No honey: Children younger than 12 months should not be given honey because it could lead to a botulism infection.
  • No juice: Follow AAP guidelines and stick with breast milk, formula or a little water and steer clear of juices.
  • Safe feeding: Always strap your child into their high chair and keep an eye on them while they’re eating.

And if you’re wondering about peanuts, here’s the scoop: A 2017 release from the National Institutes of Health suggests exposing children to peanut-containing foods as early as 4 months old. (Wait till 6 months for children with mild or moderate eczema.)

Surprised? Don’t be. A recent study suggested that Israeli kids rarely suffer from peanut allergies because they’re munching on Bamba, a peanut-based snack, from as early as 3 months. Talk to your doctor about suggested safe ways to incorporate peanut products into your little one’s diet.

What’s on the menu for stage 2 baby foods? Basically, you can go the store-bought or the homemade route. Or you can mix both depending on how much time you have. It’s up to you and your personal schedule.

Here are tasty ideas for both options.

Store-bought stage 2 baby food

  • Plum: These organic blends come in easy-to-transport pouches. Try pear, spinach, and pea, or banana and pumpkin.
  • Beech-Nut: Options are available in jars and pouches. Serve up some apples and bananas or pineapple, pear, and avocado.
  • Earth’s Best: Another organic option, in pouches or jars. Try sweet potato, barley, and garbanzo or pasta with tomato and white bean.
  • Gerber: A classic, whether served up from plastic tubs, jars, or pouches. Flavor combinations include peach mango and oatmeal or chicken noodle dinner.

Remember to monitor your little one while they’re eating. Pouches are handy, but the caps can be a choking hazard. Glass jars are at risk of breaking, so keep them out of baby’s reach. Your baby should always enjoy snacks and meals with attentive adult supervision.

Homemade stage 2 baby food

Cooking up a storm for your baby’s budding taste buds at this stage doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are a few recipes to get you going. (You can find even more baby food recipes here. )

Don’t shy away from spices and herbs: your baby will appreciate the added flavor, and the micronutrients in them will give their immune system a boost.

  • Apple, butternut, and carrot: Boil the ingredients until they test soft with a fork. Drain some of the water, but set it aside in case you need to thin the mixture. Sprinkle in a little curry and blend.
  • Blueberries and chickpeas: You can cook up your own chickpeas or use a prepared version to save time. Mix equal amounts of blueberries and chickpeas. Blend and add breastmilk, formula, or water to get the right consistency. You can also add in some rice for extra oomph and texture.
  • Salmon with roasted zucchini and fennel: Spray the salmon and vegetables with oil and broil for about 15 minutes. Add chopped parsley and blend. You can thin the mixture with breastmilk, formula, or water.

Enjoy this stage with your baby because it won’t be long before they move on to the next stages. And then, sooner than you think, you may be facing competition for that last slice of caramel-topped cheesecake.

Gerber Products, Baby Food & Snacks Recall


Did you know that exposure to toxic heavy metals can significantly affect your baby’s brain development? It could lead to a decrease in IQ and possible antisocial behavior in young children. (1)(2)

What’s alarming is that as much as 95% of baby food products from some of the most popular brands in the U.S. contain significant levels of mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. (3)

In tests commissioned by HBBF (Healthy Babies Bright Futures), toxic heavy metals were found in 95% of the 168 commercial baby foods tested. Many were at dangerous levels, higher than the limits set by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). (3)

In February and September 2021, the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the U.S. Congress released a detailed Congressional Report on toxic products prepared by seven popular baby food companies. (4)

What were the Subcommittee’s findings, and how did the companies respond? Which products contained high levels of toxic heavy metals?

Gerber Products Company was among the baby food manufacturers listed on the report. Over the years, Gerber had issued some baby food recalls. But did the new reports lead to a recall of the affected Gerber baby foods and snacks?

Continue reading to learn more.

Gerber Baby Food Recall

Despite being included in the Congressional Report, no Gerber baby food recall was issued afterward.

The rest of the baby food manufacturers mentioned in the report didn’t issue a recall either.

To date, only the following Gerber products have been recalled:

Gerber Cheese Ravioli Pasta Pick-Ups (2017)

Back in 2017, Gerber Cheese Ravioli Pasta Pick-Ups were recalled, but not because of heavy metals.

  • Date Recalled: March 08, 2017
  • Reasons For Recall: Undeclared egg components (allergens) on the product label. (5)
  • Affected Products: UPC (Universal Product Code) 159070
  • Return or Refund Processing: Call 1-800-510-7494

Gerber Organic 2ND FOODS Pouches (2016)

  • Date Recalled: March 24, 2016
  • Reasons For Recall: Packaging defects that may result in product spoilage during handling and transport. (6)
  • Return or Refund Processing: Call 1-800-706-0556

Affected Products: (6)

  • Carrots, Apples & Mangoes; with best before dates: July 13, 2016 (batch 51955335XX), and July 14, 2016 (batch 51965335XX)
  • Pears, Carrots & Peas; with best before dates: July 12, 2016 (batch 51945335XX), and July 13, 2016 (batch 51955335XX)

Gerber In Subcommittee Congressional Reports On Toxic Baby Foods

The Subcommittee asked the following baby food manufacturers to submit test results of the products that reportedly have high levels of toxic heavy metals: (4)

  • Nurture, Inc. (HappyBABY and Happy Family Organics)
  • Beech-Nut Nutrition Company (Beech-Nut)
  • Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Earth’s Best Organic)
  • Gerber Products Company
  • Campbell Soup Company (Plum Organics)
  • Walmart Inc. (Parent’s Choice)
  • Sprout Foods, Inc. (Sprout Organic Foods)

Of these seven companies, only Gerber, Nurture, Hain, and Beech-Nut submitted their test results and internal standards or testing policies to the Subcommittee. (4)

Walmart, Sprout, and Campbell refused to cooperate, according to the Congressional Report. (4)

However, despite complying with the request, the four companies alarmed the Subcommittee over test results that showed heavy metal levels were several times the FDA’s maximum allowable levels. (4)

FDA maximum limits in ppb or parts per billion for infant rice cereal: (7)

  • 100 ppb inorganic arsenic

FDA maximum limits in ppb for bottled water:

  • 5 ppb cadmium
  • 5 ppb lead
  • 10 ppb inorganic arsenic

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) maximum limit in ppb for drinking water (also applies to food):

  • 2 ppb mercury

The Subcommittee was alarmed that the companies didn’t correct the heavy metal levels in their raw materials and finished products. Instead, these baby food companies created internal standards with increased limits. (4)

According to their new reports, these companies’ finished products passed because they have higher limits for their internal standards. Yet, the actual results are still several times higher than the FDA standards.

The state of Alaska independently tested Gerber baby food products and found dangerously high levels of inorganic arsenic in their infant rice cereals.

The second Congressional report on baby food revealed that despite Alaska’s test results Gerber failed to notify the public and also failed to pull those products from the market.

As head of the congressional subcommittee, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi states:

“My Subcommittee’s investigation has pulled back the curtain on the baby food industry, and each revelation has been more damning than the last.

I’ve released a new report on toxic metals in baby food, including popular brands such as Gerber’s Infant Rice Cereal products containing dangerous levels of inorganic arsenic.

We trust these companies with our babies, and they have failed us.”

The following are the affected baby food products, based on test results submitted by the companies or third party organizations: (4)

Gerber Products Company

The company declared to the Subcommittee that it doesn’t test the finished products for heavy metal content. Only the raw materials are tested. (4)


  • The company doesn’t test for mercury.

Inorganic Arsenic:

  • Up to 90 ppb in ingredients from rice flour (67 batches)


  • Up to 48 ppb in ingredients from sweet potatoes


  • Over 5 ppb in 75% of ingredients from carrots
  • Up to 87 ppb in some tested carrot batches
  • The company doesn’t test the other raw materials or ingredients for this heavy metal.

Nurture, Inc. (HappyBABY And Happy Family Organics)

Of all the baby food manufacturers in the Congressional Report, only Nurture regularly tests ingredients and finished products for heavy metals.

Despite the high levels of heavy metals in their finished products, Nurture admitted that the test results aren’t used as a basis for product release. (4)

In response to the investigation, the company wrote to Subcommittee Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi that heavy metal testing is only done for its internal monitoring program under the company policy. It sold all the tested items, whether they passed or failed. (4)


  • Up to 9.8 ppb in the finished product (Banana Sweet Potato)
  • Up to 10 ppb in the finished product (Brown Rice Cereal Canister)

Inorganic Arsenic:

  • Up to 100 ppb for over 25% of Nurture finished products
  • Up to 160 in Strawberry & Beet Puffs
  • Up to 160 in Banana & Pumpkin Puffs
  • Up to 180 ppb in Apple & Broccoli Puffs


  • Up to 10 ppb for close to 20% of Nurture vegetables and rice products
  • Up to 560 ppb in Multi-Grain Cereal Canister
  • Up to 641 ppb in Blueberry Purple Carrot


  • Up to 5 ppb in 65% of Nurture baby products
  • Up to 36 ppb in Strawberry Raspberry
  • Up to 49 ppb for Multi-Grain Cereal Canister

Beech-Nut Nutrition Company (Beech-Nut)

According to the Congressional Report, Beech-Nut declared that all its raw materials passed internal standards. But the company had set very high internal maximum levels, so the ingredients actually failed government regulations. (4)


  • The company doesn’t test for mercury.

Inorganic Arsenic:

  • More than 300 ppb in additives used in various products
  • Up to 913.4 ppb in raw materials


  • Up to 886.9 ppb in raw materials


  • Up to 344.55 ppb in raw materials

Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Earth’s Best Organic)

According to the Subcommittee report, Hain admitted that it’s only using “theoretical calculations,” not actual test results. (4)


  • The company doesn’t test for mercury

Inorganic Arsenic:

  • Up to 129 ppb in finished products
  • Up to 309 ppb in ingredients


  • Up to 352 ppb in a vitamin premix (raw materials)


  • Up to 260 ppb in ingredients

Campbell Soup Company (Plum Organics)

According to the Subcommittee, the company provided them with a report declaring that each of the finished products “meets criteria.

But the company reportedly refused to provide their actual test results or internal standards and criteria.

The following results are based on data from the Healthy Babies Bright Futures report, instead: (3)


  • Less than 0.142 ppb in Just Sweet Potato Organic Baby Food

Inorganic Arsenic:

  • Up to 3.1 ppb in Just Sweet Potato Organic Baby Food


  • Up to 5.6 ppb in Just Sweet Potato Organic Baby Food


  • Up to 2.3 ppb in Just Sweet Potato Organic Baby Food

Walmart Inc. (Parent’s Choice)

Walmart didn’t submit any test results to the Subcommittee. The following results are also from the Healthy Babies Bright Futures report, too: (3)


  • Up to 0.941 ppb in Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snack
  • Up to 2.05 ppb in Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks

Inorganic Arsenic:

  • Up to 56. 1 ppb in Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snack
  • Up to 108 ppb in Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks


  • Up to 5.2 ppb in Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snack
  • Up to 26.9 ppb in Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks


  • Up to 26.1 ppb in Little Hearts Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Snack
  • Up to 2.4 ppb in Organic Strawberry Rice Rusks

Sprout Foods, Inc. (Sprout Organic Foods)

According to the Congressional Report, the company never responded to the Subcommittee. The following results also come from the Healthy Babies Bright Futures report: (3)


  • Up to 1.31 ppb in Organic Quinoa Puffs Baby Cereal Snack – Apple Kale.

Inorganic Arsenic:

  • Up to 107 ppb in Organic Quinoa Puffs Baby Cereal Snack – Apple Kale.


  • Up to 39.3 ppb in Organic Quinoa Puffs Baby Cereal Snack – Apple Kale.


  • Up to 41.5 ppb in Organic Quinoa Puffs Baby Cereal Snack – Apple Kale.

Healthy Baby Food Products

There are so many possible contaminants and harmful ingredients in our food supply. Some of these are from pesticides.

Because heavy metals and other contaminants could greatly affect babies’ body and brain development, Consumer Reports and the US PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) call for the passing of the Baby Food Safety Act of 2021. (8)

If this passes into law, baby food manufacturers will be required to test and disclose their test results to regulators and parents.

The law will also direct the FDA to adopt and implement stricter limits for baby foods.

Consumer Reports and the AAP (American Academy for Pediatrics) call for further changes: (4)

  • Lowering inorganic arsenic maximum levels to 3 ppb in all baby foods; the current FDA and EPA limit is 10 ppb.
  • Lowering maximum cadmium limits to 1 ppb in fruit juices; the current FDA limit is 5 ppb.
  • Lowering maximum lead limits to 1 ppb in all baby foods; the current FDA limit is 5 ppb.

Healthy Babies Bright Futures also calls for baby food companies to set a goal of zero inorganic arsenic and lead levels in all baby food products.

The following are some healthy alternatives to the unsafe products in the report:

  • Little Spoon (subscription-based organic baby food)
  • Yumi (subscription-based organic baby food)
  • Little Journey Organics
  • Once Upon A Farm
  • Serenity Kids

Preparing Healthier Alternatives At Home

Instead of worrying about food recalls, preparing fresh and organic baby foods at home might be a good idea.

You can buy a baby food maker set such as the Baby Brezza Small Baby Food Maker Set – Cooker and Blender in One or use the appliances you already have in your kitchen in preparing your baby’s food.

Note that rice and rice flour may have high levels of cadmium, lead, and arsenic. It’s best to avoid preparing these foods for your baby.

Healthier alternatives include:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Peaches
  • Barley with diced vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Whole or pureed fruits

Sweet potatoes and carrots can also have high levels of lead and cadmium. But they are important sources of vitamin A and other nutrients.

You’ll still need to include these foods in your child’s diet, but make sure they aren’t taken in excess. (3)







(6) http://news.



Gerber, Pear Zucchini Corn, Sitter, 2 Pack, 4 oz (113 g) Each

0.0542701223 c

American vitamins with Iherb! Long awaited Purchase Baby and Infant Nutrition Collection

Gerber, Pear Zucchini Corn, Sitter, 2 Pack, 4 oz (113 g) Each

* Best before: ? January 31 2022 Best before date The duration of the expiration date or "best used by date" depends on the type of product and brand. Perishable foods (such as flaxseed oil or some probiotics) usually have a shorter shelf life. Despite the fact that n… Read more

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* Best before date: ? January 31 2022
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The duration of the expiration date or "best before date" depends on the type of product and brand.
Perishable foods (such as flaxseed oil or some probiotics) usually have a shorter shelf life. Although our warehouse is fully air conditioned, the most perishable goods are stored in a refrigerator (freezer or cold room) to maintain maximum freshness. nine0025 The receiving department of the company makes every effort to ensure that the expiration dates for all incoming products are correct and enter them into the system. However, discrepancies are sometimes possible. As stated, iHerb's exceptionally fast product turnover ensures that our inventory is among the freshest in the industry.
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* Non-GMO Project5 * Kosher
* 2nd Foods®
* No Artificial Flavors or Colors
* Packaging Made with No BPA
The Goodness inside:
* 1/2 Pear
* 4 tsp Zucchini
* 2 tsp Corn In Each Tub
Offering your little one a variety of wholesome fruits & veggies every day helps develop healthy eating habits. nine0025 Age-appropriate nutrition and texture Ingredients carefully selected to meet Gerber's high quality standards. Made with natural fruit & veggies unsalted, unsweetened, no artificial flavors or colors.
Supplement Information
Serving Size: 1 tub
Servings Per Container: 2
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 70
Total Fat 0 g 0%
Sodium 5 mg
Total Carb 16 g 17%
Fiber 2 g
Total Sugars 10 g
Incl 0 g Added Sugars

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About Our First Complementary Food with Gerber

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According to WHO recommendations, we started complementary foods at 6 months. First, vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, then gluten-free cereals on the water - buckwheat, rice. Closer to 7 months, they introduced turkey meat, sweet potato and let me try fruits: apple, plum, banana. nine0003

We are now wintering in Israel, and here, as it turned out, there is a very modest selection of ready-made baby food. From puree, only apple and apple + banana, and from cereals only rice and corn of some Israeli brand, but Polina didn’t really like them, she eats without appetite, unlike all other dishes :) There are no vegetable and meat cans here ...

Of course, I don’t mind cooking myself, which I do now :) but still, ready-made baby food very often helps out. Therefore, I studied the entire range on iHerb and decided to start with Gerber products. nine0003

I have been ordering from iHerb for more than 3 years and I am always sure of the quality of the products. This is a world-famous American online store where you can find vitamins, supplements, natural cosmetics, organic products, children's products and much more.

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Gerber, Organic, Rice Cereal, Supported Sitter, 8 oz (227 g)

Organic rice porridge, gluten free, no artificial colors or flavors. Preparing is very simple, you need to add breast milk, formula or water to the powder and stir. I also add a small piece of ghee (clarified butter). nine0003

Contains organic rice flour, organic soy lecithin and vitamins, including iron. 1 Serving - 60% DV Iron

Gerber, DHA & Probiotic, Single Grain Rice Cereal, Supported Sitter, 8 oz (227 g)

Another rice porridge, here, in addition to iron and other vitamins, omega-3 acid DHA is added, which is necessary for the child to develop the brain and nervous system, and a probiotic.

nine0152 Gerber, Single Grain Oatmeal, 8 oz (227 g)

It is better to introduce oatmeal into the child's diet a little later, after 8 months. It is prepared very simply, like rice, it is easily stirred.

Iron is also added here.

Up to 6 months, the child has enough iron, which he has accumulated during pregnancy and which comes with mother's milk, but after six months, the needs increase, the child's nervous system and brain are actively developing, so additional sources of iron are needed in addition to milk. nine0003

Therefore, it is better for kids to give just such porridges, with the addition of iron and other vitamins, and not the usual "adult" porridge.

Vegetable purees from sweet potatoes (yam) and nutmeg squash in small jars are very convenient when there is no time to cook dinner or while walking.

Contains no sugar, no artificial flavors or colors

Plum puree - this is a delicious dessert and prevention of constipation.

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