What Is Stage 2 Baby Food? & How To Get Started?
Is your baby old enough to eat solid foods? Here’s how to make sure by feeding them stage 2 foods for babies.
When your infant moves from an all-milk diet into pureed baby food and formula, it’s a cause for celebration.
This interest in new foods is a sure sign they’re growing up — and that one day, their feeding schedule will become less hectic — that needs a nurturing focus on the part of the parents. It also requires a little bit of patience to see the process through.
But did you know that different age ranges require different baby puree combinations? If your little one is between 6-9 months old, here’s everything you need to know about stage 2 foods for baby meals.
What is stage 2 baby food?
Stage 2 is what it sounds like: the second step of a baby’s food stages and ages.
This type of baby food is suitable for children 6-9 months old. When you open up a jar, you’ll find a thick purée of solid food mashed into a pulp. Combinations of foods, like sweet potato and apple, are common.
The main goal with baby food puree isn’t the taste but the texture. You’re trying to wean your baby away from their smoother breast milk diet so they can become used to the consistency of solid foods with this in-between consistency.
Every baby has a different pace for adapting to step 2 purées. Some will be ready for the next stage of baby foods earlier than others. If the dates don’t fall too far outside of the regular age bracket, there shouldn’t be cause for concern.
However, if you remain worried, it’s best to contact your pediatrician for dietary advice.
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What is the difference between stage 1 and stage 2 food?
Stage 1 baby food is made for infants 4-6 months old. It usually consists of smooth or watery purees made from a single-ingredient paste. In comparison, stage 2 baby food is designed for infants 6-9 months old, and is a thicker texture, between mashed and puréed. It may include combinations of meat and veggies or fish.
After stage 2, you need to reach several other feeding milestones:
Stage 3 baby food is for 10-12 months. Meals should have small pieces of food in them to encourage your baby to chew more.
Stage 4 baby food is for one year and over. This is a transitional stage for your little one, where they’re reliant on standard baby food recipes but will be experimenting with regular, healthy meal options — or “real food.” By stage 4, you’re usually just about finished weaning your baby.
Parenting tip: You’ll find no standardized metric for what constitutes the “right” type of food texture for your baby. You’ll see variation between baby food brands. Because of this, it’s best to view this description of baby food stages and ages as a general guideline rather than a hard-and-fast rule. Use common sense, and be attuned to your baby’s personal preferences.
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When do we start stage 2 baby food, and how?
How long do babies eat stage 1 food? Until they’re 6 months old. After that, you’ll switch over to stage 2.
Before you make the switch, you’ll need to ensure that your baby is equipped for this milestone. If they struggle with trying different foods, it can be a red flag for choking hazards.
Signs your baby is ready to start stage 2 food:
No allergic reactions or food intolerances to stage 1.
No automatic tongue reflex that pushes food away when you try to feed them.
Finishing off their food quickly and showing an interest in eating more.
Once you’re sure your little one will be OK with a new type of food, it’s time to make your shopping list. Focus on baby foods with an exciting texture or taste, and be diverse with your combinations. By picking out a wide variety of meals, you’re adjusting your child to a large selection of flavors, which will help avoid the pitfalls of picky eating.
Foods you should always avoid:
Nuts and seeds.
Whole blueberries or large chunks of food.
What baby food to start with:
Fruits, either puréed or paste.
Vegetables, either puréed or paste. If you include grapes in your homemade baby food diet at stage 2, they must be cut in half.
Meat and fish, puréed or as paste.
Premade organic baby food options.
Remember, always include formula or breastfeeding as part of your baby’s feeding schedule. Prioritize feeding on-demand or when your baby expresses hunger.
At the beginning of your baby’s transition to stage 2, make sure to stick to purees and pastes. Toward the 8-9 month mark, you can introduce finely mashed solid foods, as per American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. Read up on the 9-month-old feeding schedule to know more.
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What are some options for stage 2 baby food?
Looking for some store-bought baby food combinations that offer stage 2 purees? Try the following brands:
If you want to make a baby food puree on your own, try the following ingredients:
Here are a few more tips for the best baby food experience
Never leave your baby unattended in a high chair while they’re eating. They could be at risk of choking.
Let your baby be messy with their food! Learning the texture of the items in front of them and whether or not they’re edible is part of their growth. Holding the food lets them develop their pincer grasp.
If your baby looks upset when trying out a new piece of food, it doesn’t mean they dislike the food — they may just be thrown off by the texture. Try that food combo a few more times to see if they adjust or if you end up with the same result. If they dislike it after a few attempts, move on to another option.
Looking for other baby food supplies to make mealtime easier? Browse through Gopuff’s selection of easy-to-order goods that can be delivered right to your home.