Nutrition Guide: Crawler
Print out the Nutrition Guide for easy nutritional reference specific to your child’s stage of development.
As your Crawler starts to grow familiar with mealtime and her developmental skills improve, she may be able to start feeding herself. Her fingers can now pick up small pieces of food and bring them to her mouth, making this a good time to introduce stage appropriate finger foods, such as diced, ripe banana or well cooked pasta. It’s also a good time to let your baby hold a spoon and try feeding herself a few bites. It may get messy and it is likely that your baby will not be able to get any food into her mouth, but letting your baby practice these skills will prepare her for being able to feed herself.
Following your baby’s signals
As your baby continues her solid-food journey, it’s important to follow her appetite. Using the cues below can help you know when she’s hungry and when she’s full.
|BREASTFEEDING & BOTTLE-FEEDING
||BREASTFEEDING & BOTTLE-FEEDING
|Cries or fusses
||Releases nipple or stops sucking
|Flails her arms and legs
||Moves head away from nipple
|Smiles and looks at you or even coos at you while you’re feeding her
||Slows down speed of sucking—may even fall asleep
|FEEDING SOLID FOODS
||FEEDING SOLID FOODS
|Opens her mouth and moves toward the spoon
||Turns her head away from spoon
|May try to swipe food toward her mouth
||Spits out familiar food or pushes it away
|Shows excitement when food is presented
||Becomes distracted or notices surroundings more
* Average estimated intake. Your baby’s needs may be greater or less than these stated; always follow your baby’s hunger and fullness cues
Common nutrition needs and gaps
As your child increases her solid food intake, it’s important to make every bite count. This means limiting desserts, sweets, and sweetened beverages in your child’s diet. The Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddler Study (FITS) 2008 found that 43 percent of nine- to 11-month old babies had a dessert, sweet or sweetened beverage on a given day. Introduce your child to nutrient-dense foods. Iron and zinc from cereals and meats continue to be important. Offer a variety of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. These foods supply important nutrients and help promote healthy eating habits.
Some other nutrition concerns at this stage include:
Fruits and Veggies
The Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study 2008 (FITS) found that all age groups studied were not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. When feeding your baby fruits and vegetables, let the colors of the rainbow be your guide. Different colors of fruits and vegetables have different nutrients; so serving from each color group will give your baby a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Be sure to properly prepare fruits, such as ripe bananas or canned peaches, by dicing or mashing them into smaller sizes that your baby can easily eat.
Iron and zinc
The Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) 2008 found that a small but significant number of older infants aren’t getting enough iron on a given day. Iron is important for healthy brain development and is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the body.
By around the middle of the first year, supplemental iron and zinc are important for your breastfed baby. That’s because the natural iron stores that she was born with will start to deplete, and the zinc content of breastmilk may be inadequate. Babies can get these important minerals through pureed meats or poultry and infant cereals. It’s recommended that formula-fed infants continue an iron-fortified formula for the first year of life.
Eating foods rich in whole grains is an important part of a healthy diet—whole grains have fiber which helps support your baby’s healthy digestion. Introducing your baby to the taste of whole grains early may help develop healthy eating habits.
It’s easy to incorporate whole grains into your baby’s diet. Start her morning with GERBER® Whole Grain Oatmeal with Bananas and serve GRADUATES® Puffs during snack time.
Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ Menu Planner
The Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ Menu Planner generates easy-to-follow menus based on the food groups and nutrients recommended by health professionals for children’s healthy growth and development. You can use the generated menus, or create your own—either way, the unique 5-Star Rating System** lets you know your menu falls within our recommended nutrition guidelines for your child’s stage.
Menu Planner for Crawlers
The Start Healthy, Stay Healthy Nutrition System is an innovative approach which helps you choose the right nutrition for your baby based on her stage of development. Only Gerber offers a unique stage-based system with products, and feeding and nutrition guidance to support healthy growth and development and encourage healthy eating for your child from birth to 4 years.
Learn more about products for this developmental stage
The Start Healthy, Stay Healthy Nutrition Guide Milestone Symbols and Benefit Band are trademarks of Société des Produits Nestlé, S.A. © 2008 Nestlé. All rights reserved.