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Let's talk about prepared baby food

Eating & Nutrition   |   Age: 4 months


Let's talk about prepared baby food

A lot of the time, early baby food is a soft, pureed version of whatever fruits and vegetables the rest of the family is eating, but just like how you might pick up something prepared - or order takeout - for yourself, once in a while, it can be nice to pick up jarred, prepared baby food from the store that's ready to serve without much, or any, work. Unlike adult on-the-go foods, though, prepared baby foods are often coded into "stages" that correspond roughly with the your baby's age and experience with food.

Stage 1:

The simplest form of baby food is designed for babies transitioning away from breastfeeding. Inside the average jar, you’ll find a single ingredient food, smoothly pureed. A few Stage 1 staples include bananas, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Stage 1 is the easiest for babies to handle.

Stage 2:

After mastering the softer foods that correspond with of Stage 1 foods, your baby should be ready to start mixing and matching food groups. Stage 2 baby food offers combinations such as veggie medleys and two to three ingredient fruit salads. The other distinction here is that Stage 2 baby food isn’t pureed, it's strained. This gentle escalation in food texture will allow your baby to become familiar with variations in texture, and begin to experiment with chewing.

Stage 3:

Once your baby has passed the average teething age, it’s time to adjust her diet accordingly. Stage 3 baby food takes infant edibles to the next level by combining strained foods and small chunks of solids. Jars of Stage 3 tend to be slightly larger than earlier stages to compliment the average baby’s increased appetite, and you’ll also notice several options in the baby food aisle that contain meat ingredients.


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