Are Gerber Baby Foods Healthy for My 10 Mo Old? Suggestions on Healthy Meals?

Updated on August 24, 2010
K.E. asks from Monmouth Beach, NJ
16 answers

I am a working mom and constantly running around and am wondering what healthy snacks and meals I can make for my 10 month old daughter. She eats many of the 2nd and 3rd stage Gerber foods but I feel like they just aren't as nutritious as something I can make. I know I can make food ahead of time and freeze it but I would love some suggestions as to what will appeal to my baby. I feel like I give her the same things over and over again. She has oatmeal mixed with rice cereal and Gerber bananas almost every morning! She loves the bananas and it seems one of the few things she does love. She does like the green veggies also so it's not all sweet stuff... Also, can she learn to be a picky baby if she always eats the same items? Thanks so much!

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answers from Indianapolis on

I'd verify with your pediatrician as well as reading our advice.

Regarding comments on organic foods, please be aware that most organic crops have been treated with pesticides that are certified organic by OMRI such as B.T or spinosad.

Gerber baby foods are pretty close to being very healthy. They have minimal preservatives (if any) and are simply convenient. As a working mom through the infancies of both children (including receiving 5 months of chemo while my daughter was transitioning to solids), I had no concerns with using Gerber/Beech Nut foods.

At 10 months, however, she really can have anything you'd have as a snack with 2 stipulations from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
1. No known family food allergens
2. Items that could be a choking hazard - based upon her ability to chew/swallow (things like celery, raisins, steak)

When my kids were that age, we were giving them yogurt (regular, not light), lunch meats, small pieces of fruits, cooked vegetables, toast, cheese (white American from the deli or string cheese).

Here's what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends on their parenting website for a child her age:

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answers from Orlando on

try it gives great (mostly easy) recipies and ideas for little ones of all ages. I used it constantly when my daughter was younger and now that your question made me think about it I'm going to look at some of the older toddler ideas.

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answers from Sacramento on

I used to make greenbeans mixed with cauliflower. When cauliflower is cooked and mashed, it is actually quite sweet. I used to cut several green veggies with cauliflower.

Blend some chicken and rice (cooked, not the cereal) together.

Apple sauce

Cook up some peaches, and blend. They are in season right now.

Yams are really great.

Really, you can blend or mash or slice really tiny most anything...including what you are having for dinner...Of course, keep spice in mind. Just be sure to introduce things slowly at first, to make sure she tolerates it well.



answers from New York on

I highly recommend that you steer away from processed toddler foods. Baby foods are usually pretty straightforward like no sugar and no salt, etc, but I got my kids off those as soon as possible be they are super expensive per ounce.

I do several things for my kids, I make a veggie soup most weeks with whatever I have in the fridge, carrots, potatoes, green beans, spinach, corn, turnips, etc. You name it I have thrown it in the soup. I just boild them all in chicken broth. I also make meatballs with beef or turkey and boil the meatballs in the soup or in tomato sauce. My little guy doesn't like the grainier meats like piece of chicken or pork and so this is a good alternative. I also keep several avacados around to mash up. I love putting rice or chopped chicken into mashed avacados. My baby loves the creamy texture and won't feed himself rice or chicken but loves it when I mash it in avacado. And that one is no cooking too!

It is hard to keep things going and offered varied items. I work full time too and it is hard to balance. I use the crock pot alot to make big roasts or a pot of beans for tacos or rice and beans. And then reuse the leftovers for a couple days. That makes it easier. And there is nothing wrong with making grilled cheese sandwiches once a week, the kids love it. I used to when my big guy was little, keep a container of boiled veggies like broccoli and carrots around so I could microwave them when I get home. Frozen veggies are a good side dish too for babies that can chew heartier foods. My baby is 12 months and has like 7.5 teeth, but that is 4 more than he had a month ago, so she doesn't need teeth to chew soft foods properly.

Long story short, now is a good time to transition your little girl off baby food. Unless she has a sensitive gag reflex or some other feeding issue (which it doesn't sound like she has) you don't really need baby foods. And toddler foods have all kind of preservatives. Would you feed your kids lunchables all day long? That is essentially what those toddler foods are high in sugar and salt and most of their nutrients have been added in the form of supplements. I highly recommend staying off processed foods. I am writing a blog about the natural foods my family eats. I invite you to read--



answers from New York on

I would just make the food yourself. Its much better. I like to do a veggie and a fruit. Apples and carrots or spinach and mango, peas and pears. We also did rice and beans with veggies. That was a big hit.
I love love love this website. Its great at introducing new stuff to baby and has fabulous recipes:
I would also use a veggie and fruit wash on anything you use for baby. It helps get all the waxes and pesticides off.
If you have to use pre-made baby food (and sometimes you have to!), I highly recommend Ella's Kitchen baby food. I can get them at Babies R Us. They are organic and have wonderful flavors that mix veggies with fruit. They are also great on the fly because you can feed baby directly from the package. Even now that my baby eats real food, she loves Ella's because she can do it herself!
Enjoy! Its such a fun time when they eat food. We gave our baby EVERYTHING! And to this day she will eat EVERYTHING! Its soooo nice. Nothing worse than having a baby who only eats mac and cheese!



answers from New York on


You are absolutely right, canned baby food is not as nutritious as food you can make yourself. At 10 months your child should be able to eat almost everything you do, you just have to cut things into tiny pieces or mash up food with a fork.

I made steel cut oats for breakfast often, I would puree it and mash in some fresh banana, organic, unsweeted apple sauce, or whatever fresh fruit I had on hand. Avacados are also great, they can be mashed smooth or lumpy depending on what your baby likes.

I would encourage you to make fresh food as often as possible, both for yourself and your child. No need to make your baby anything different, usually.
Good luck.



answers from New York on

We did babyled introduction to solids. We never made separate meals for my daughter, just gave her what she could eat from our plates. Some of the more difficult foods we would mash or crush for her, but mostly just let her have at it. The only purees the baby ate were things that are normally pureed (guacamole, pate, etc)



answers from Philadelphia on

Stick with what you're doing, but you can also try frozen pancakes (they do make organic and/or whole grain ones that are really good!). 30 seconds in the microwave and they are ready. I usually put baby food fruit on them instead of syrup, so it's healthier all around. Cream of Wheat is a big hit with my son also, as well as cheerios with milk, toast with jelly, fruit, etc. (although my guy is 2.5, so some of this may not work with a 10 month old. Is it terrible that I can't even remember when he started eating chunkier food??).
Good luck and don't be afraid to try some new things! :) I think you are doing really well, there is no junk involved on any of your menus!


answers from Houston on

I have this book and I love it. Lots of suggestions on homemade snacks and baby food that are natural and very healthy ,both for babies and toddlers:

Simply Natural Baby Food by Cathe Olsen



answers from Eugene on

I'm not sure why you would give her Gerber bananas rather than just giving her a lovely, organic FRESH banana! One thing to make absolutely sure of when you are giving your baby her first solid foods is that they are certified organic, meaning they were not grown with the usual agribusiness corporate farming practices--petrochemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers ALL are known carcinogens, and ALL leave traces either in the soil, on the food, or systemically in the food. Another reason to buy organic is that most plants grown commercially for food production these days are also genetically modified. Look up Monsanto and genetically modified seed on Google for just a tiny taste of what that means to you and your baby. Bananas, by the way, are one of the worst because they have a systemic pesticide in them that does not wash off.

Organic bananas at my grocery store are frequently the same price or just a tiny bit more per pound than commercial--very worth it. Avocados are another wonderful natural baby food--easy to mash up with almost anything, or alone.

Organic baby foods are very popular and very available also.

As far as learning to be a picky eater--hard to say what causes that, but if you regularly try out different foods with her, and as she grows into a solid food eater, you give her foods from your own diet on a regular basis (including at restaurants--skip the "children's menu" which my own children always comment is made of "brown food" only), then she will learn to eat a wide variety of foods.


answers from Provo on

Oo I'm wondering this myself. Cant wait to hear the replies.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Does she have some teeth? How does she do with table food?
I have a 7 yo son that eats literally--anything I put in front of him.

Let me tell you compared to some of his buddies--it makes my life a walk in the park! Other moms are always telling me how lucky I am to have such a good eater. I can drop him off at a friend's house and I know he will eat whatever is given to him. People always ask me why he is not at all picky.

Here's what I always did--once he was kind of "done" with baby foods, I gave him whatever we had for lunch/dinner. I didn't make him mac & cheese, hot dogs and pizza only. He ate what we ate so it was "normal" for him. To this day, when he tries a new food, he just take a BIG bite/taste and usually likes it. He was eating mussels at the shore this year!

So I guess my advice would be to give her what you have for a meal--just make sure it's small enough/soft enough for her to safely handle.



answers from Columbus on

You're right--you can definitely make more nutritious and more flavorful meals for your daughter, and save $$$, too. :)

Make your own purees. I did some reading at these sites:

And then dove in. If you have a saucepan & a blender or food processer, you're ready to go. I made my own organics (using organic fresh or frozen fruits & veggies) at a fraction of the cost.

At her stage, your baby may be able to gum the cut up pieces of banana, instead of the puree--banana is pretty darn soft. Soft, cooked fruits & veggies should be good at this stage, I believe. A lot of times, we just nuked a couple of pieces of veggie or fruit in a little water (or broth, for the veggies) until soft, and then gave it to our LO to chew on.

Definitely keep trying new things... the more new foods they are exposed to the better.

In addition to fruits/veggies, we gave our LO low-sodium cottage cheese, cream cheese on toast, and we also gave him the no-sugar added applesauce cups (they have a variety of fruit varieties now).

A lot of great suggestions! Good luck! :)



answers from Washington DC on

No they are not. Take whatever you make for yourself an dportion out some for your baby. Cut food to appropriate sizes,steam veggies to be extra tender, puree whtever makes sense to puree or mash, and don't season or reduce seasoning.. Simple! Also, if she likes ceral mix it with everything. Also, white potatoes and sweet potatoes go well with everything - fruit, meat,other veggies. Bake and puree to keep on heand an dthen mix in food from your meals.



answers from New York on

At 10 months, "snacks" should really just be healthy foods not served at mealtimes, like cheese, fruit, yogurt. These quick foods, along with some veggies, make a healthy lunch. At nearly a year, dinner can be a version of what you're eating, without sauces or much spice. If you're having chicken breasts, potatoes, string beans and squash, you can shred these foods up for her too. It's good for them to be used to eating "grownup" food and what is served at the table each night. Don't fall into the trap of making special "kid meals"



answers from New York on

Buy a bunch of veggies and fruits. Cook them up separately, puree them in your blender or cuisinart and freeze the mush in ice cube trays. Then pop them out and put the cubes in labeled ziploc bags. Then you can take out a few cubes at a time and defrost - no sugar, no preservatives, no additives.

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