This post is sponsored by Gerber®, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
How, when, and what are the 3 main words I used when thinking about what is best for my babies. As a mother of 3, you would think it should be rocket science by the third. Nope! Those questions still pop up, no matter how many kids you have raised. Nutrition was one of the biggest concerns with all 3 of my kids. What was the best thing to feed them and when? Hopefully this checklist will help answer any of those questions you may be facing in regard to providing your growing baby essential nutrition.
You recently found out you were expecting, rather it be your 1st or 3rd. How you are going to feed this baby once it arrives is one of those top priorities that you will need to have a game plan for prior to arrival. I had planned on exclusively breastfeeding all 3 of my kids, but that didn’t go according to plan. Due to many issues with latching, etc, I was unable to breastfeed my first born. Instead of breastfeeding, I pumped for 1 month followed by switching to formula. I was able to breastfeed my last two kids without any problems.
With all of this being said, I made a point to have bottles washed and ready as well as essentials for breastfeeding. If you are planning on formula-feeding your baby, you will have your bottles as well as your formula picked out. These things are better to have prepped and ready before baby arrives. Most newborns will need and want to eat every 2-3 hours. So planning ahead and having everything ready to go before hand is huge!
It doesn’t matter which route you choose, formula-fed or breastfed, both provide your newborn with all the nutrients necessary at the very beginning of life.
I can’t tell you how much I stressed about my babies and their first solids. There is so much information out there that can confuse you on when and what to feed your baby first. It all comes down to what you believe is right for your child. I started introducing solids at around 4 months with all of my babies. The first solid for all of them was an infant cereal, Gerber® Cereal. Why? I knew that the infant cereal contained the essential nutrients that they needed and at the right amount. I didn’t have to stress about which vegetable or fruit I should feed right at first.
Fruits and vegetables are the normal first solid foods to be introduced to your baby, and oh how much fun it is to see what they will think about each and everyone of them. I started out with vegetables, adding fruits along the way.
Again, you know what is best for your child and when they are ready to be introduced to solids. The typical timeline for introducing solids to babies is any where between 4-12 months old, with formula or breast milk being the main component of their diet in those earlier months.
Best choice to serve your 6-12 month old.
By the time your baby has reached the 6-12 month range, you are beginning to consider solids if you haven’t done so by now. Experts like pediatricians and dieticians recommend a diet with a good source of iron. Iron helps support a baby’s learning abilities and healthy brain development.
So where do you find such a food that will provide the necessary amount of iron as well as other essential nutrients for your baby? Gerber® Cereal has been our go-to first solid food for all 3 of my kids. Gerber® Cereal provides 100% of your baby’s daily iron needs as well as Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin C, E and six B Vitamins for healthy development. The other great thing about Gerber® Cereal is that it is compatible with breast milk. For my 2nd and 3rd child, I mixed a little breast milk into the cereal!
Gerber® Cereal is a great introductory solid for those concerned about possible food sensitivities. It is also non-GMO, no artificial colors or flavors, and packaging made with no BPA. And you know what else?! You can pick it up at your local Target!
Who doesn’t love to have a reason to shop at Target? Target carries many options of the Gerber® Cereal and you can save on any Gerber Cereal at Target by using the Cartwheel app to redeem!
Recipe for making solids interesting.
Think your baby may be ready to experiment with different flavors? There are a lot of baby solids that come in interesting mixes, i.e. blueberry, banana and squash mix, but maybe you want to mix up something yourself!
My daughter’s favorite mix-up is avocado and Gerber® Cereal. All you need is 1/4 of a ripe avocado, smashed up or even sliced into pieces safe for your little one to eat. I mix the avocado into the prepared cereal and voila! If your child is practicing self feeding, place the avocado pieces on the very top or on the side for easy pick up. Easy peasy! The avocado in this recipe can be switched out for another vegetable puree or fruit puree as well!