12 answers

Feeding Baby Jarred Applesauce

I'd like to give my newly solid food eating baby (4 months) regular jarred applesauce instead of baby applesauce. The ingredients are organic apples and water. My question is, should I put the applesauce in a blender to smooth it out? How long does it stay good in the fridge? Should I freeze it (I've heard ice cube trays work well)?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you everybody for your advice and concern. My pediatrician told me to go ahead and start on solids. She went from drinking 6 oz of formula to about 2-3 oz at a sitting. I think it hurts her stomach. She absolutely loves cereal and fruits and she's still drinking formula primarily, just in small doses at frequent intervals. I have to say, since starting solids, she's had much less gas and stomach pain, and she's starting sleeping 8 hours straight through.

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I agree with the others - on all parts I think. 4 months is definitely on the young side even with a full-term baby. I exclusively breastfed both of mine until 6 months and then we started on cereal followed by fruits & veggies. In terms of using only babyfood - some of them definitely had way more ingredients than I was interested (mostly as they get to the older foods) in giving my child. Plus some of the babyfoods just don't seem to remotely smell or taste like the actual food - bananas and peaches stand out. My family is also vegetarian so we don't have too many choices once they start doing the little meals. So I primarily made my own babyfood. It's REALLY simple and I did freeze it in the ice trays which works really well. Once frozen, I transferred the food cubes to zippy bags and had them all labeled. Another bonus was being able to offer even more variety. For example mine loved avacado. Babies need plenty of fat for brain development and avacados are full of the super healthy variety. But you can't find it on the baby food shelves.

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Did your pediatrician recommend you start solids so early? It is now generally agreed upon that 6 months is when you should start these. Starting foods too early makes it more likely for your child to develop allergies.

2 moms found this helpful

P.,

As a first foods option, pear is a much better choice than apple. You can puree the pear and freeze it in the ice cube trays and defrost a cube at a time for feeding.

I'm not sure if you're formula feeding or breastmilk feeding, but you should absolutely consider waiting until at least 6-8 months (the longer the better) before introducing solids. Is there a reason you feel you need to start him/her on other foods now? If so, there are far better options to consider besides apple sauce or even pears for that matter.

I'd be happy to provide you with some information, if you'd like.

Blessings,

Rolinda
Wife, Mother, Friend

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the others - on all parts I think. 4 months is definitely on the young side even with a full-term baby. I exclusively breastfed both of mine until 6 months and then we started on cereal followed by fruits & veggies. In terms of using only babyfood - some of them definitely had way more ingredients than I was interested (mostly as they get to the older foods) in giving my child. Plus some of the babyfoods just don't seem to remotely smell or taste like the actual food - bananas and peaches stand out. My family is also vegetarian so we don't have too many choices once they start doing the little meals. So I primarily made my own babyfood. It's REALLY simple and I did freeze it in the ice trays which works really well. Once frozen, I transferred the food cubes to zippy bags and had them all labeled. Another bonus was being able to offer even more variety. For example mine loved avacado. Babies need plenty of fat for brain development and avacados are full of the super healthy variety. But you can't find it on the baby food shelves.

1 mom found this helpful

When i started my daughter on fruits and vegetables at six months, i made a lot of the food myself with a food processor. however the apple sauce i bought in the large jars. i didn't use the baby applesauce. i just made sure that it wasn't chunky style and that there was no sugar added. I think that the baby applesauce might have some added nutrients, but at this point most of her nutrition should still be coming from formula or breast milk. i would consult with her pediatrician since she was a preemie and is still on the young side for starting solids.
applesauce freezes well in ice cube trays and then you can store the cubes in a ziploc bag or plastic container.

I did this with my daughter. I used the Mott's organic. I fed it to her as is. The reason she liked it more was because of the texture. It did go bad pretty fast in the fridge, compared to other jarred foods I've bought. The general rule is to use it within three days of opening (baby food is 2-3 days, and other food is 3-5 days). I would imagine you could freeze it. i with I would have thought of doing that.

applesauce does go bad fast i always would by those little self serve cups of the applesause but i also have two other kids and they all love it i can take one of those servings and feed my five month old and my 3 year old and since you don't open them they can last longer....i never heard of freezing applesauce so i don't know about that.

Hi P.,
Check with your baby's doctor before starting any new foods. She is very young to be jumping in to sold foods and being a preemie you may have to wait a bit longer than a full term baby. Be on the safe side and check with her doctor first.
T.

It's usually recommended that preemies wait until at least 6 months adjusted age for solids, if not later. The intestinal walls are still very open in young babies, leaving them vulnerable to food allergies. Signs that a baby is ready for solids include: to be able to sit up unassisted, lose the tongue-thrust reflex, have at least 1 tooth, and show an interest in food. Ideally babies should self-feed, rather than be spoon fed by someone. That lets them set the pace and learn how to interact with the food.

No reason to use the little baby jars instead of regular adult applesauce. Applesauce does go off pretty quick when you open it so I'd do the ice cube tray thing. I've done cubes of various things, cooked chopped veggies, meat, etc. It's very convenient, healthy, and cost effective! Baby jars are such a waste, and once you get into the older more complex foods they're loaded with chemicals and sugar and other junk. Check out the bookstore or library for books about starting solids and making homemade baby food. There's lots of good info out there.

As far as the texture goes, see what she likes. The regular texture of applesauce should be fine for a baby old enough to be eating solids. Textures are an important part of learning to eat. :)

Hi P.,
My peds recommend starting solids at 4 months. I started at 5 months because my daughter wasn't interested at 4 months. Once your baby is comfortable with cereal, I think introducing fruits should be fine around 6 months of age. Just make sure what you buy has no added sugar. I use Motts Natural applesauce and she loves it.

-C.

I do not think 4 months is to young. Each baby is different and thus has different needs. I have had my pediatrician recommend starting solids anywhere from 4-6 months. On the other hand, my mother had to feed my oldest brother liquidy cereal at two months old because he was such a ravenous eater.

In regards to the applesauce, if it is chunky, then perhaps I would puree it in the clean blender for a minute or two and then put it back into the jar and store it in the fridge for a week. I'm sure it would last longer, but I would probably only store it that long for freshness.

The current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics are for exclusive breastfeeding or formula until six months. We have learned that before 6 months, a baby’s gut is not ready to handle anything else. Starting a baby on jar food too soon puts him at risk for developing many digestive problems later in life. Only under the specific advice from her baby’s physician should a mother start solids before six months.

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/t032000.asp

STARTING SOLID FOODS: WHEN? WHAT? AND HOW?
Ready to open your baby's mouth to a whole new world of textures and tastes? Is baby ready to open her mouth? Get ready for the joys – and the mess – of eating solid foods. When you begin feeding your baby solid foods you want to progress in a way that sets baby up for healthy eating habits. You are not only putting food into your baby's tummy, you are introducing lifelong attitudes about nutrition. Consider for a moment that during the first year or two you will spend more time feeding your baby than in any other interaction. You both might as well enjoy it.

WHY WAIT? 6 REASONS
Gone are the days when pressured mothers stuffed globs of cereal into the tight mouths of reluctant six-week-olds. Nowadays parents feed their baby on the timetable that is developmentally and nutritionally correct -- as determined by their baby. Don't be in a rush to start solids. Here are some good reasons for waiting.

1. Baby's intestines need to mature. The intestines are the body's filtering system, screening out potentially harmful substances and letting in healthy nutrients. In the early months, this filtering system is immature. Between four and seven months a baby's intestinal lining goes through a developmental growth spurt called closure, meaning the intestinal lining becomes more selective about what to let through. To prevent potentially-allergenic foods from entering the bloodstream, the maturing intestines secrete IgA , a protein immunoglobulin that acts like a protective paint, coating the intestines and preventing the passage of harmful allergens. In the early months, infant IgA production is low (although there is lots of IgA in human milk), and it is easier for potentially-allergenic food molecules to enter the baby's system. Once food molecules are in the blood, the immune system may produce antibodies to that food, creating a food allergy . By six to seven months of age the intestines are more mature and able to filter out more of the offending allergens. This is why it's particularly important to delay solids if there is a family history of food allergy, and especially to delay the introduction of foods to which other family members are allergic.

2. Young babies have a tongue-thrust reflex . In the first four months the tongue thrust reflex protects the infant against choking. When any unusual substance is placed on the tongue, it automatically protrudes outward rather than back. Between four and six months this reflex gradually diminishes, giving the glob of cereal a fighting chance of making it from the tongue to the tummy. Not only is the mouth-end of baby's digestive tract not ready for early solids, neither is the lower end.

3. Baby's swallowing mechanism is immature. Another reason not to rush solids is that the tongue and the swallowing mechanisms may not yet be ready to work together. Give a spoonful of food to an infant less than four months, and she will move it around randomly in her mouth, pushing some of it back into the pharynx where it is swallowed, some of it into the large spaces between the cheeks and gums, and some forward between the lips and out onto her chin. Between four and six months of age, most infants develop the ability to move the food from the front of the mouth to the back instead of letting it wallow around in the mouth and get spit out. Prior to four months of age, a baby's swallowing mechanism is designed to work with sucking, but not with chewing.

4. Baby needs to be able to sit up. In the early months, babies associate feeding with cuddling. Feeding is an intimate interaction, and babies often associate the feeding ritual with falling asleep in arms or at the breast. The change from a soft, warm breast to a cold, hard spoon may not be welcomed with an open mouth. Feeding solid foods is a less intimate and more mechanical way of delivering food. It requires baby to sit up in a highchair – a skill which most babies develop between five and seven months. Holding a breastfed baby in the usual breastfeeding position may not be the best way to start introducing solids, as your baby expects to be breastfed and clicks into a "what's wrong with this picture?" mode of food rejection.

5. Young infants are not equipped to chew. Teeth seldom appear until six or seven months, giving further evidence that the young infant is designed to suck rather than to chew. In the pre-teething stage, between four and six months, babies tend to drool, and the drool that you are always wiping off baby's face is rich in enzymes, which will help digest the solid foods that are soon to come.

6. Older babies like to imitate caregivers. Around six months of age, babies like to imitate what they see. They see you spear a veggie and enjoy chewing it. They want to grab a fork and do likewise.

Back to topFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SOLID FOODS
Ready for Solids?

Which Foods First?

How to Start

How Much?

What Time of Day?

What Foods Next?

Vegetables or Fruits First?

Upsetting Foods?

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Foods?

Messy Feedings?

Back to topHow will I know when my baby is ready for solids?
As with all aspects of parenting, watch your child and not the calendar. Besides the developmental milestones above, watch for these ready-to-eat cues in your baby:

Able to sit with support, reaches and grabs, and mouths hands and toys

Watches you eat, following your fork as it moves from plate to mouth

"Mooches," reaching for food on your plate

Mimicks your eating behaviors, such as opening her mouth wide when you open your mouth to eat. Grabbing your spoon is not a reliable sign of feeding readiness, since baby may be more interested in the noise, shape, and feel of your utensils rather than the food stuff on them.

Baby can show and tell. Around six months of age babies have the ability to say "yes" to wanting food by reaching or leaning toward the food and "no" by pushing or turning away.
Expect mixed messages as your baby learns to communicate. When in doubt, offer, but don't force.

Does baby seem hungry for additional food? If your baby is content with breastmilk or formula, no need to complicate his life with solids. If, on the other hand, your baby seems unsatisfied after a feeding, is shortening the intervals between feedings, and several days of more frequent feedings don't change this, it may be time to begin.

I'm not sure if my baby is ready. Should I try offering solids anyway?Is your baby both ready and willing to try solid foods? Here's how to tell. If your baby eagerly opens his mouth when he sees a spoonful of food coming toward him, he is probably both ready and willing. If he turns away, he's not. Or, give him a spoon to play with to see if it quickly ends up in his mouth. (Feeding tip: use plastic spoons with smooth, rounded edges. They do not get too cold or hot, and they are quiet when banged or dropped.) Remember, your immediate goal is to introduce your baby to solid foods, not fill him up on solids. Milk feedings will continue to be a major part of his diet for the next several months. Gradually introduce baby to a different texture, taste, and way of swallowing. Overwhelming your child with big globs of too many new foods all at once invites rejection. At this point, solids are add-ons, not substitutes for the breast or bottle. However, if you have a six- to nine-month-old formula-fed baby who is taking forty ounces a day, you may consider substituting a solid food feeding for a bottle.

DEAR P.,

I WOULD USE THE LITTLE JARS OF BABY FOOD, THEY HAVE THE SMALL JARS, WITH COULD BE USE IN ONE FEEDING THIS WAY THEY ALWAYS HAVE IT FRESH. AS FAR AS STARTING THE BABY NOW MY CHILDREN THAT ARE GROWN, I STARTED THEM WHEN THEY WERE 4 MOS , BECAUSE THE MILK WASN'T ENOUGH. AND NONE OF THEM HAVE ALLEGERY TO FOOD, THEY STARTED CEREAL AT 10 DAYS OLD THE DOCTOR SAID IT WAS FINE AS LONG AS THEY ATE FROM A SPOON, WHICH THEY DID, I MADE IT WATERY SO THEY COULD DIGEST IT.

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