How to add variety to your baby's diet at the Sitter stage

Uploaded by Gerber on 10.12.2010

My name's Francesca Barrett-and the subject today is feeding your little one when he's
starting to sit up on his own. The Sitter stage of baby development is part of the Gerber
Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ Nutrition System, a unique and innovative approach to feeding
and nutrition based on your child’s stage of development from Birth to Preschool.
If your baby's a Sitter, you'll notice a few physical signs...
your baby will be able to sit up on his own, and pick up and hold small objects in his
In the Sitter stage, your baby may also be eating solid foods. If so…
he's probably able to use his upper lip to help clear food off the spoon.
If your baby's showing the physical signs of a Sitter but isn't eating solids yet, that's
okay. If you're starting solids for the first time, it's recommended you begin with single
grain infant cereal, followed by single ingredient fruit and vegetable purees. It's always best
to introduce one food about every three days to make sure the new food doesn't cause intolerance
or sensitivity. If you suspect a reaction, stop feeding your baby the last food you introduced
and call your pediatrician.
If your baby's been successfully eating infant cereal and single ingredient fruit or vegetable
purees, he may be ready to try more advanced foods. Adding a variety to his diet is good
because it lets him learn about new tastes and textures.
Until now, your baby may have been eating single ingredient purees like this GERBER®
NATURESELECTTM 1ST FOODS® Apples. You can see that the texture is more of a liquid which
is better for beginners.
But your Sitter may be ready to try foods that are slightly thicker and have more than
can see that it has a thicker texture than the GERBER 1ST FOODS Apples, but it's not
too thick.
Thicker purees help teach your child to move food around with his tongue (and the better
he gets at eating, the less you'll see on his bib, later).
Breastmilk or formula will still be your baby's main source of nutrition at this stage, but
the wide variety of pureed meats and poultry, fruits, vegetables and grains he samples can
help provide key nutrients. For example, baby's natural iron stores may become depleted around
the middle of the first year. And breastmilk may not have enough iron—or zinc—to meet
your baby's growing needs. So you can feed him infant cereal and pureed meats, which
have both iron and zinc. After your baby is six months old, you can also introduce yogurt.
Yogurt can provide key nutrients important for your baby's growth and development including
calcium and protein. If you ever have questions about introducing new foods, talk to your
By now you’'e probably wondering how often your baby should eat. In general, babies have
small stomachs so they need to eat more often than you do. But to understand your baby's
individual needs, it's best to follow his hunger and fullness cues.
By introducing your baby to a wide variety of foods in his first two years, you may increase
the chances of him trying and accepting new foods later in childhood.
But it's safe to say that your baby will probably like some foods more than others. If he totally
rejects a new food, hang in there.
Some experts say it may take a minimum of 10 tries before a child accepts a new food.
Make mealtimes happy times for your baby. Sit so you have eye contact with him when
he's in his high chair. Smile and speak in an upbeat tone using simple words and short
sentences, like "Mmmm, yummy bananas" or "Here comes a bite." Let him eat at his own pace.
If he spits out the food, be patient. Just wait a few days and try it again.
Babies 6 months and older can also have 100% fruit juice. Start with 1 to 2 fluid ounces
a day. Be sure not to serve the juice out of a bottle. Children who drink juice from
a bottle tend to carry it around and sip from it all day, which can lead to tooth decay.
I hope this information has been as helpful to you as it was to me. My last bit of advice?
Check out the Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ Menu Planner online. It's a tool that creates
custom menus that are nutritionally-balanced.
You'll also discover all of Gerber's nutritious foods for your baby at the Sitter stage.
Sitting up without help is a major milestone and now he’s able to explore new tastes
and textures which sets the course for healthy (but occasionally messy) eating. So keep those
bibs close by!