What is stage 2 food for baby
Baby Food: What's the Difference Between Stages 2 and 3?
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By Scott Harris
By Scott Harris
New parents don’t always have time to mind the details or read up on the latest parenting science especially as it relates to serving baby food. Most of the time, they’re just trying to make sure the diaper pail is still upright. This can sometimes be the case when it comes to your baby’s transition from milk or formula to solid baby food.
- The baby food stages
- Stage 2 baby food
- Stage 3 baby food
Pediatricians recommend a gradual approach. Current guidance outlines four distinct stages of solid food, which begin at around 4 months of age and progress forward over a roughly eight-month period. The change can feel like a slog, but it’s gradual for a reason. Your baby’s system needs time to safely acclimate to some pretty big changes to their tiny, vulnerable, and ever-changing systems.
During this transition, parental confusion or even impatience can understandably arise. This may be particularly true during the middle two baby food stages. Stage 2 and Stage 3 both call for special food preparations or products, which at first may seem similar or interchangeable. But there are key differences to baby food stages that every new parent should understand.Evgeny Atamanenko
Here, we’re taking a quick look at the four baby food stages, then examining the specific differences between stages 2 and 3. We will then offer some examples of products that are available on the market if you choose to purchase your baby food (and of course, you can always make your own if you desire).
As always, when in doubt contact your pediatrician or another healthcare provider who can answer questions and help you find the solution that best fits you and your child.
The baby food stages
Remember that the time frames listed here are general and approximate. The main measurement to remember before you move to a new stage is whether your baby has mastered the current one.
- Stage 1: 4 to 6 months (watery puree of a single ingredient)
- Stage 2: 6 to 9 months (thicker texture, but still pureed or strained)
- Stage 3: 10 to 12 months (mushy texture containing small, soft chunks)
- Stage 4: After 12 months (baby-sized chunks, no puree or mush necessary)
The first and fourth stages are the most self-explanatory of the bunch, but let’s now look at stages 2 and 3 in-depth and determine the differences between them — and what your baby can safely eat and when.
Stage 2 baby food
Stage 1 baby food is known for a texture so highly pureed that it almost reaches a liquid stage. Stage 2 essentially means the food has a thicker consistency, resembling just a bit more the “regular food” that adults and older children eat. It is still pureed or finely blended, though, so it is still easy for babies to eat and digest, but also contains soft chunks or is simply thicker.
The goal behind Stage 2 is largely physical or mechanical: It helps the baby gradually develop the ability to chew, swallow, and digest solid foods.
Stage 2 baby food can be bought at the store or made at home. Also, unlike Stage 1 food, Stage 2 can combine different foods — say, pureed chicken and broccoli.
Examples of Stage 2 baby food include:
- Earth’s Best Organic Stage 2 Baby Food, Apple Peach and Oatmeal
- Gerber 2nd Foods Sweet Potato & Turkey Pureed
- Plum Organics Baby Stage 2 Food, Hearty Veggie, Pumpkin, Spinach, Chickpea, and Broccoli
Stage 3 is when babies no longer need food to be so heavily pureed. If it’s nutritious and cut into a mushy consistency, it’s more or less fair game (though you may want to steer clear of the jalapeños for just a little while longer).
Mashup some ripe fruit or cut up some veggie or lean meat. Soft cheese is perfectly acceptable at this stage, as are scrambled eggs or tofu. Now’s the time to experiment (again, within reason) to find out what your baby likes or doesn’t.
Can a 6-month-old eat Stage 3 food? It’s a common question, and while that may be more convenient, skipping or jumping up a level is not considered safe unless your little one can chew and swallow at his or her current stage without difficulty. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the different food stages and — most importantly — your baby’s eating behaviors.
Examples of Stage 3 food include:
- Gerber Yogurt Melts, Strawberry and Mixed Berry
- Earth’s Best Organic Stage 3 Baby Food, Chicken Pot Pie Dinner
- Gerber Pick-Ups, Diced Apples in White Grape Juice
- Sprout Organic Baby Food Pouches, Stage 3, Root Vegetables and Apple with Beef
When it comes to feeding your baby, you’ll want to be sure to give them the most nutritious foods possible that are also appropriate for their age and eating behaviors. By paying attention to the different baby food stages, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
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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.
Stage 2 baby food: what is it, when to start and what options to try
- What is stage 2 baby food?
- Identification of stages by brand
- What is the difference between stage one and stage two meals?
- When and how should I start feeding my baby 2nd stage complementary foods?
- What are your baby food options for stage 2?
- Store-bought baby food stage 2.
- Homemade baby food stage 2
Accompanying your child through the different stages of learning how to eat real food is an exciting journey. Sometimes, along with a sense of pride - - you can feel a little confused. How should you navigate milestones?
What is stage 2 baby food?
Let's start from the beginning: what do the stages of baby food mean?
Rome wasn't built in a day, and your child's digestive system won't jump from liquid to solid in one day either. That's what baby feeding stages are for - to help your baby manage the mechanics of eating and ease the transition to your baby's digestive system.
Defining milestones by brand
Although the different baby food steps are not standardized (if they were, your life would be easier!), most popular brands more or less follow these four steps:
- Step 1: From 4 up to 6 months (single ingredient watery puree)
- Stage 2: 6 to 9 months (thicker texture, strained or puréed)
- Stage 3: 10 to 12 months (porridge with soft chewy small pieces )
- Stage 4: After 12 months (food that you can eat with your fingers and small soft pieces of food that you share with your dinner)
What is the difference between eating the first and second stages?
Stage 1 food is quite watery. They turn into a smooth paste that runs off a spoon easily, so stock up on bibs. These products usually consist of one ingredient: oatmeal, apples, carrots. Your child will start eating about half a teaspoon of this.
Stage 2 food becomes more exciting. They are strained or ground into a thick paste. They are made from a combination of foods that can include legumes and even meat or fish. They can combine flavors, such as fruit and vegetable blends. Your child's appetite is growing and you will have to keep up with larger portions.
When and how should I start feeding my baby 2nd stage complementary foods?
Around 6 to 9 months of age, your baby is probably ready to switch to stage 2 complementary foods. Not every child will stick to this schedule, simply because every child is a separate world.
Here are a few signs that your baby is ready to move on:
- Tongue reflex: At around five months, your baby will begin to lose the tongue thrust reflex and will not immediately push out the food you are trying to feed.
- More Please: They will easily eat the first stage foods and look hungry to eat more.
- Variety: They ate foods from all food categories (vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, meat) and showed no allergies or intolerances.
- Delight: They easily eat a spoonful of food in stage 1, swallow and swallow with pleasure.
At this exciting stage, feel free to give your child most of the foods. By offering them a wide range of flavors and textures, you give them the foundation for a healthy diet and also make it easier for you. Be aware of the following safety considerations:
- Choking Hazard: Avoid nuts, seeds, and popcorn at this stage. And don't forget to cut round foods like grapes and hot dogs lengthwise.
- No honey: Babies under 12 months old should not be given honey as it can lead to botulism.
- No Juice: Follow AAP guidelines and stick to breast milk, formula or a little water and stay away from juices.
- Safe Feeding: Always fasten your child to a high chair and supervise him while he eats.
And if you're curious about peanuts, here's the scoop: 2017 National Institutes of Health report suggests giving babies peanut-containing foods as early as 4 months of age. (Wait up to 6 months for children with mild to moderate eczema.)
Surprised? Do not be. A recent study showed that Israeli children rarely suffer from peanut allergies because they have been chewing bamba, a peanut-based snack, as early as 3 months old. Talk to your doctor about safe ways to include peanut products in your baby's diet.
What are your baby food options for stage 2?
What is included in the stage 2 baby food menu? Basically, you can go the store or home route. Or you can mix both depending on how much time you have. It depends on you and your personal schedule.
Here are some delicious ideas for both.
Store-bought baby food stage 2.
- Plum: These organic blends come in easy-to-carry bags. Try pear, spinach and peas, or banana and pumpkin.
- Beech-walnut: Available in tins and bags. Serve a few apples and bananas or pineapple, pear and avocado.
- Best in the world: Another organic option, in bags or jars. Try sweet potatoes, barley and chickpeas, or pasta with tomatoes and white beans.
- Gerber: A classic served in plastic jars, jars or bags. Flavor combinations include peach mango and dinner with oatmeal or chicken noodles.
Remember to keep an eye on your baby while he is eating. Bags are convenient, but caps can be a choking hazard. Glass jars can break, so keep them out of the reach of children. Your child should always enjoy snacks and meals under close adult supervision.
Homemade Baby Food Stage 2
Cooking up a storm for your baby's nascent taste buds doesn't have to be a daunting task at this stage. Here are some recipes to help you. (You can find more baby food recipes here.)
Don't skimp on spices and herbs: your little one will appreciate the extra flavor and the micronutrients they contain will boost their immune system.
- Apple, walnut and carrot: Cook the ingredients until they are soft when checked with a fork. Drain off some of the water, but set it aside in case you need to dilute the mixture. Sprinkle with a little curry and stir.
- Blueberries and chickpeas: You can make your own chickpeas or use ready-made ones to save time. Mix equal amounts of blueberries and chickpeas. Mix and add breast milk, formula, or water to get the right consistency. You can also add some rice for added appeal and texture.
- Salmon with fried zucchini and fennel: Drizzle salmon and vegetables with oil and roast for about 15 minutes. Add chopped parsley and stir. You can dilute formula with breast milk, formula, or water.
Enjoy this stage with your child because he will soon move on to the next stages. And then, sooner than you think, you may face competition for the last slice of caramel cheesecake.
Stages of child development and nutrition
Stages of child development, their sequence and duration...
Your baby is growing, changing every day. In the first years of life, the growth of a child is so intense that it seems simply impossible to keep track of its development. Based on the characteristics of the formation of the child's sense organs, the development of psychomotor functions, physiological changes in the body and its digestive system, the process of child development from birth to 3 years of age is divided into 5 main stages. At each of these stages, the child changes markedly.
First months (months 1 to 4)
In the first month of life, the growth of the baby increases by 3 cm, and the weight by 600 grams. If this intensity of growth were maintained throughout life, a person would reach the size of an average skyscraper.
Already by the age of one month, the baby’s mother clearly sees how he has changed since birth. Now the baby looks at his mother carefully and stops crying when he sees her face. From the second month, the little one begins to smile, hearing the sounds of a familiar voice, and from about 9weeks, the smile of the child is clearly addressed to the mother.
A three-month-old baby is no longer just smiling at the sight of his native faces, his communication with adults is now accompanied by sounds, he “hums”, happily talking to mom and dad, who listen to his speeches with pleasure.
The little one holds his head and slightly raises it, lying on his stomach. Now he carefully examines his hands for a long time and repeats some movements several times.
Obviously, as the baby grows, most of his needs change, and, first of all, the need for nutrition.
In the first 4 months, the ideal food for a baby is, of course, breast milk, which contains all the nutrients a newborn needs.
During this period, breastfeeding for a baby is not only nutrition, but also precious moments of communication with his beloved mother, and the importance of such communication can hardly be overestimated.
An attentive mother already in the first month of a baby’s life learns to distinguish between the many shades of his crying. After all, it is crying that the baby signals that something is bothering him. Sensitively reacting to the crying of the crumbs and gently talking to the child, the mother involves the baby in the process of communication, showing how benevolent the world around is.
It is not recommended to introduce complementary foods into the baby's diet at this stage. The opportunity to get acquainted with new food will be presented to him in the period from 4 to 6 months.
Stage 1 (months 4 to 6)
At this stage, at the age of 4 to 6 months, the child learns to roll over on his side, begins to recognize his relatives. Now communication with mom and dad is necessary for the crumbs, perhaps no less than food. The kid reaches for objects, touches them, and, holding them in the pen, pulls them into his mouth. It was at this time that the child discovers the properties of objects, his favorite toys are rattles that make such interesting loud sounds.
The kid unmistakably distinguishes the voices of his relatives and, first of all, of course, his mother, and reacts to him with a happy smile.
The child can already sit with support, learns to crawl, mastering the surrounding space. Now he sleeps noticeably less, eager to get acquainted with the many amazingly interesting things that he encounters everywhere. The little one seeks to study everything that his hands can reach, to examine and try by heart everything that he manages to grab. At this age, the child is able to rearrange the object he likes, taking it with both hands.
Listening attentively to the baby’s “walking”, the mother clearly distinguishes sounds expressing the joy or, on the contrary, the displeasure of her beloved child.
Now the baby needs much more energy, and he can get it from the new food offered by his mother. Such food can be porridge or mashed potatoes. By the way, along the way, the baby will begin to master the skills of handling a spoon.
A 4-month-old baby's menu might look like this:
▪ Breast milk or, if necessary, milk formula - 130-140 ml 6-7 times a day
▪ Apple juice - 40–50 ml once a day
▪ Fruit puree - 40–50 g once a day
Stage 2 (from 6 to 8 months)
Behind the first 6 months. Now the child can sit without support, get up in the crib, holding on to the rails, and can stand for several minutes without the help of an adult. He freely moves around the apartment crawling, studying the surrounding space with interest.
The kid perfectly understands intonations, which means that he easily recognizes the prohibition in the firm “No” uttered by his mother, and learns to adequately respond to it. It is now also not difficult to convey your desires to adults for crumbs. Listening to the babbling of the baby, and talking to him, the mother helps the little one to start talking.
At this time, the child's first teeth erupt, which, of course, is reflected in his diet. The diet of the child is already quite diverse. The kid eats cereals with pleasure, loves different combinations of vegetables and fruits, tastes meat. Pediatricians advise adding to the child's weekly menu 2 times half an egg yolk, as well as olive and sunflower oil.
The 8-month-old baby's menu includes a variety of foods:
▪ Breast milk or, if necessary, formula - 180-200 ml
Second breakfast, 10:00
▪ Baby porridge - 150 g, fruit puree - 30 g, breast milk or, if necessary, infant formula - supplementary feeding, if the baby still asks for food
▪ Vegetables: injection from 20 g to 100-150 g, meat puree - injection from 5 g to 30 g, fruit juice - 30 ml
Afternoon snack, 18:00
▪ Breast milk or, if necessary, infant formula - 150 ml, fruit puree - 30 g, fruit juice - 25-30 ml, cottage cheese - 25-30 g
▪ Breast milk or, if necessary, infant formula - 180-200 ml
Stage 3 (from 8 to 12 months)
At the next stage of development (8 months - 1 year), the baby will take its first steps, holding on to the strong hand of mom or dad. The kid enthusiastically rolls the ball on the floor and loves to pick up and throw toys again, carefully watching their flight.
The child enjoys playing with adults. “Ladushki”, “Geese-Geese” and “Thieving Magpie” delight the little one just as they pleased his parents in childhood. Delighted with the game, the baby begins to repeat individual syllables or words, and then whole rhymes are just around the corner. In the meantime, the child enjoys listening to mom or dad reading and may say a demanding “more” in response to the parents’ feeble attempts to close the book.
It is at this time that the process of learning about the world around becomes of paramount importance for the baby. The little explorer moves at such a speed that keeping track of his movements is quite a challenge. The child enjoys communicating with new people, readily showing them his skills and abilities. Looking at a one-year-old child, holding him in your arms and throwing him into the sky, listening to the happy laughter of the baby is a real pleasure
Now breast milk (or infant formula) remains on the baby’s menu only in the morning and evening, while the main food becomes completely “adult” food. At this age, the baby already knows how to chew pieces of fruits and vegetables, eats fish and greens with pleasure.
Offer your eight month old baby the following menu:
▪ Breast milk or, if necessary, infant formula - 200 ml
Second breakfast, 10:00
▪ Porridge - 180 g, fruit puree - 40 g, fruit juice - 40 ml
▪ Vegetable puree - 180 g, meat puree - 50 g, egg yolk - ½, fruit juice - 40 ml
Afternoon snack, 18:00
▪ Yoghurt-fruit puree – 150 g, fruit puree – 40 g, cottage cheese – 40 g
▪ Breast milk or, if necessary, infant formula - 200 ml
Stage 4 (12 months and older)
Starting from the age of one, the child becomes a full-fledged member of the family, who, undoubtedly, has already mastered the entire space of the apartment and, as a full-fledged owner, welcomes guests.
At the age of one to two, the baby likes joint games with mom and dad, he can not only walk, but also climb stairs, have fun dancing to music, and master drawing skills, and the first masterpieces of the young artist will most likely be on wallpaper.
During this period, parents are required to be especially attentive to the child's nutrition in order to provide his intensively growing body with all the necessary substances, and a varied diet of the baby allows the mother to take into account all his tastes and preferences.
However, it should be remembered that it is not worth transferring a child to the "common table" before the age of 1.5 years, and this should be done gradually. Undoubtedly, the best example for the baby will be the diet of the whole family, based on the rules of healthy eating. It is in this case that the child from a very early age gets used to not only tasty, but also healthy food.
Incidentally, it has been noted that food preferences formed in the first years of life often persist into adulthood.