Introducing Infant Cereal/Step 1 Gerber Foods

Updated on April 18, 2007
L.M. asks from Chicago, IL
9 answers


I introduced rice cereal to my 5 month old daughter 2.5 weeks ago. She didn't really care for it. She seemed to swallow pretty well. I switched her to oatmeal cereal and she absolutely loves it. Now, my question is when to introduce Step 1 foods? I tested her with a couple spoons of apple sauce...she loved it! She gets cereal in the a.m. an hour after her morning bottle and an hour after her 6 p.m. bottle. Do I give her her bottle, cereal AND a fruit or veggie (my ped. says to give her veggies 1st) each time? What about the middle of the day feedings? Can I give her a bottle and her fruit or veggie?

She also seems a little constipated at times. Am I making her cereal too think? I'm afraid to give her Step 1 foods if she's having a problem.

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answers from Chicago on

My daughter is just about 7 months old and has been eating eating cereal, fruit and veges since she was 5 months. My pedetrician gave me the following schedule:
breakfast-cereal & fruit
lunch-fruit & vege
dinner-cereal & vege.
I give her a bottle when i put her down for naps and when she seems to want it. I don't have a set schedule for bottles. Hope that helps you.

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answers from Chicago on

My daughter got cereal and veggies/fruit 1x/day until she'd gone through the whole cycle of fruits and veggies. Then we increased to 2x/day. I always gave her the solids first and then nursed her if she still needed/wanted it. I was starting to substitute food for the milk at that point, but there were def. times she still wanted to nurse afterward. I think we did that based on the recommendation from our pediatrician.

The docs say to introduce veggies first because children are apt to like the sweetness of fruits, so you'd like them to be introduced to the less sweet veggies to learn to like those flavors before you move to sweeter fruits. Also, applesauce is constipating, as are bananas, so you want to be careful of those if your daughter is already constipated. I think we skipped bananas basically until my daughter was ready for eating them with her fingers b/c she had big constipation issues. Rice cereal is also constipating, so we never did that. The doc recommended sticking mainly with barley cereal to help with the constipation, and also to introduce prunes early on (after veggies and pears and peaches). The prunes helped a lot.


answers from Chicago on

HOw old is your daughter?

I would try rice cereal in a couple of weeks again. It's a really good source of iron. Mix it with the fruit. I do that and the kids really take to it. I would give bottle/nurse first and then give solids as my guess is that your daughter is at an age where milk/formula should be main source of calories - and that right now it's really to get them into the hang of eating. Remember to give only a few spoonfuls of each new food. Give it every day for 3-5 days to ensure no reaction and to give it in the AM so you can watch out for allergic reaction. My recommendation is to go through veggies first and then fruit. Once you go through veggie cycle which for us lasted probably at least a month then go through a few fruits and if she is up for it do breakfast and dinner. Then as you get through fruit cycle and if she is up for it go for B-L-D. We typically do bottle/nurse first. We went through all the possibilities of veggie/fruit first in Stage 1 and then went to Stage 2. We also wait 1/2-1 hour after milk and then do solids. But I am pretty new myself (9.5 month old twins). Good luck! :)



answers from Atlanta on

this is what we did and it works very well, Abbie would get solid food an hour and a halfish after every bottle except for her bedtime bottle. The solid food is not for nutrition, but for "practice". formula or breastmilk is the MOST important until a baby is a year old. when a baby eats solid food, it is digested slower than liquid, so they stay full longer and then she might not drink enough bottle. But visit this website it is great. they have printable charts that list the different foods to offer at what age for babies. Also it is much easier and more cost affective to make you own food. we made three months worth of pears for 6.00!!!!! Or a small jar is 50 cents a can and they will start to eat two of those. it is very easy, steam the fruit or veggie then put the food in a blender/food processor and use the water you just steamed it with to smooth out the mix. Then just add the food to ice cube trays, freeze, then put in a freezer bag. Thats it!!!!!! At walmart they have 4 ice cube trays for a dollar. they are nice because each tray has two different sizes, which is nice when you want just a little more food but not a whole cube!!!! her stomach is just getting use to difesting the food, but to be on the safe side, just do cereal until she is 6 months. and it does not matter if you start her in fruits or veggies. Actually anything with seeds is technically a fruit,Simple fruits include sunflower seeds, walnuts, peas, beans, wheat, tomatoes, apples, avocadoes, cherries, olives, and bananas, to name several. so it does not matter, just dont only give her SWEET tasting food all the time. also try the book, the secrets of the baby whisperer. everyone who reads it, loves it!!! good luck



answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,

I started giving my girls cereal and baby foods around 6 months or so. It is a good idea to introduce veggies first, since those don't take as good as the fruits do - naturally your baby will want to eat the fruits more than the veggies (I know I do :-) I didn't give them cereal, bottle and the fruit/veggie at one meal, but I always gave them a bottle and a baby food with each feeding -especially when they got a little older and their tummies grew. Eventually, around 9 or 10 months, (it all depends) I started giving them all 3 at one feeding. When they started cutting teeth and were able to masticate their food, I stopped the jarred baby food and switched to (really teeny tiny cut pieces of) adult food.

As far as the constipation goes - try a tsp or so of light Karo syrup in her bottle. My oldest daugther was born lactose intolerant (took us months to find that out) and was having trouble with bowel movements, the karo syrup helped immediately. If her stool starts getting too runny, just cut back on the syrup until she needs a little help again.

I hope that helps, those are just some ideas that worked for us- Good luck ~ R.



answers from Chicago on

Baby food prunes. I'm going through the same things with our 6 month old daughter (starting foods, she was getting constipated.) Our doc said plain baby oatmeal and baby food prunes. And the baby food prunes did, well, what prunes do to anyone. It took about a day. We had tried bananas which our daughter loved but our doc said bananas can cause constipation. We did prunes for a few days and now are moving on to applesauce and that seems to be going well too.



answers from Chicago on

Hi L.! I'm definitely not an expert, but this is what I'm doing with my 6-month old right now (and also did with my other two when they were babies):
Morning - bottle, then about half-hour later, oatmeal mixed with a step 1 fruit
After morning nap - bottle, then about an hour later one fruit and one veggie
After afternoon nap - bottle
When we eat dinner - rice cereal mixed with a veggie
Then one more bottle before bed.

It took a while to get to this point. We started with just mixing the veggie in at dinner time and then slowly started adding fruits and veggies at the other meals. She still doesn't eat much at lunch time.

She's also just started with finger foods - Cherrios, Gerber Puffs, biter biscuits.

I have one really big piece of advice: if she refuses a food, give it to her at least 12 more times before you decide to never give it to her again. I made the mistake of assuming one or two (or three or four!) rejections means they do not like that food and I should never give it to them again. Now both my older kids are horribly picky eaters. Since then I've done a lot of research and learned that children can sometimes require at least 10 to 12 exposures to a food before they will accept it! So keep at it!

Another bit of advice is to not worry if your baby doesn't seem hungry at any particular meal. Unless it goes on throughout a day or two, if the baby rejects the food, don't worry about it and definitely don't force it. Just try again at the next meal.

Like I said, I'm definitely far from an expert, but maybe you can learn from some of the mistakes I've made! I'm definitely trying new things with this baby!

Good luck to you.



answers from Chicago on

Just wanted to let you know what my son's dr said: start with the veggies! The fruits are sweet and most likely your daughter will love them, but the veggies are harder to get used to after the fruits...she said try the orange veggies first: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, and we did Squash early on as well. My son NEVER warmed up to Peas, so I didn't force those! They told me to stick to one veggie at a time at first becuase this makes it easy to identify problem foods if your daughter has an allergic reaction--try a new food every 3-5 days. We went through all the Gerber veggies and have done 3 fruits so far. Then the dr. said we could start doing two feedings--one in the morning that is just oatmeal (but I throw in a Gerber banana because he just loves it) and then a 4oz. bottle, one Gerber veggie and one Gerber fruit in the evenings.
But one thing my wise mother of four always tells me: your son will learn how to eat no matter what, so don't stress to much about this! When we were kids they said you were a horrible mother if she didn't get us started on solids by 3 months--my doctor said try to wait until 6 months and we started at 5 months because he was HUNGRY! First time mom or not, go with what feels right--you know the little one best! Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

hello, my name is H. and i have 2 boys. ages 1 & 2.
neither of my boys liked rice cereal either. they both only ate oatmeal. i used to give them oatmeal in the morning before the bottle. thaey usually didnt eat that much so they filled up the rest of the way with the bottle. when they started eating more i eventually was able to do away with the morning bottle. they ate at about 6am so the next bottle was about 9:30 or 10 am. the next bottle was about 2 and then i gave them a vegetable about 5 or 5:30. after about a 2 weeks, i introduced fruits for lunch and it replaced a bottle in the afternoon. also biter biscuits with 4oz. of juice is a good afternoon snack. as long as she sits up well by herself! hope some of this helps!

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