Commercial manufacturers of food made for babies contained in jars are usually divided into 3 stages namely beginner, intermediate and toddler. It also comes with organic and traditional variants. Some parents prefer to buy baby food in jars because they know how convenient it is to have them, especially when travelling.
The good thing about choosing baby food is that the product labels them with a guide into which one should be fed according to the age of the baby.
Below is a guide of baby food types that you should consider as your baby grows.
The foods belonging to this stage are mostly cereal. They are made specifically for babies that are just starting on the solid food. It is also a way to introduce them to it. They are usually made only with a single ingredient and pureed to make it easy for babies to swallow. With vegetables, it includes carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes and squash. Fruits include bananas, applesauce, prunes, pears, and peaches. This stage employs the plainest and simplest formulations.
You will find no additional flavorings or sauces. You can find it under the ingredients list, and you will only see a single ingredient there.
Baby foods under this stage usually come with a smooth texture, but not as finely pureed like stage 1 foods have. The intermediate stage usually is given to more experienced eaters, between the age 6 to 8 months. During this point, the choices get more interesting since ingredients or two or more are combined to enhance the taste and even provide new textures, like apples and chicken. Some products provide a picture of ingredients that are combined in the product.
It is not the flavor of the product, but the actual ingredients that are used in it. There is no need to open two jars just to mix them. Just don’t forget to continue providing fluids to your baby in the form of baby formula or breast milk. Avoid giving your baby citrus juice as this can upset their stomach. Just wait for the go-ahead signal from your pediatrician, which they usually do it when the infant reaches 6 months.
At this stage, the food is designed for children between 7 and 9 months old. These are babies that are learning to chew and grind their food using their early teeth and their gums. Larger portions and chunkier textures are introduced into the food, like a blend of chicken and vegetables, which will help those with growing appetites.
At the time when the child gets old enough at this stage, you might want to introduce to them table food that is already cut up or mashed so that it will be easy for them to chew and swallow. Infant juices can be consumed at this stage but should be limited to half a standard cup a day.
Companies also make foods ready to eat meals for toddlers at the age of 12 months and older, such as turkey or lasagna. They are designed for easy to chew and that it provides the necessary nutrients. They have more texture and are made for children that are comfortable using the spoon or fork.