Nutrition Guide: Supported Sitter
Print out the Nutrition Guide for easy nutritional reference specific to your child’s stage of development.
Although your Supported Sitter may reach out for something she sees you eating, keep in mind that breastmilk or iron-fortified infant formula should remain your baby’s primary source of nutrition. When your baby is developmentally ready and not before four months of age, you can gradually introduce solid foods, starting with single grain iron–rich infant cereals.
Single-grain infant cereal, such as rice cereal, is typically the first food introduced to infants. Rice cereal is made with single grains that are easy to digest and the smooth, fine texture of infant cereal is developmentally appropriate for your baby’s first solid food. Infant cereals also provide important nutrients, such as iron, that are ideal at this stage and throughout the first year.
Once your baby has successfully eaten single-ingredient cereals, you can introduce her to single-ingredient purees such as GERBER® 1ST FOODS® fruits and vegetables. Introduce them one at a time so you can watch for food intolerances and sensitivities. Learn more about how to introduce fruit and vegetable purees.
* Average estimated intake. Your baby’s needs may be greater or less than these stated; always follow your baby’s hunger and fullness cues
** Babies in the Supported Sitter stage may not be ready for GERBER Whole Wheat Cereal. GERBER Whole Wheat Cereal single grain cereal is appropriate for babies who have reached the Sitter stage and who have already been exposed to simple, single grain cereals like Rice or Oatmeal, as well as GERBER Mixed Cereal which is made with a smaller amount of wheat.
Common nutrition needs and gaps
Babies at the Supported Sitter stage are still getting their nutrition from breastmilk or iron-fortified formula. Breastmilk is best for babies but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends iron-fortified formula for all infants who are not breastfed, or who are only partially breastfed, for the first year.
Breastfed babies need supplemental iron and zinc beginning around the middle of the first year.
When your baby is developmentally ready for solids, iron-rich infant cereal is an excellent source of iron. Iron supports healthy brain development and is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the body. The Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddler Study (FITS) 2008 found on a given day that only 50 percent of four-to-five month olds are eating iron-rich infant cereal.
Breastmilk or formula—still the main dish
Breastmilk or iron-fortified formula is recommended as the main source of a baby’s nutrition for the first year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In fact, the Nestlé FITS 2008 study found that mothers are breastfeeding their children for longer than they did a few years ago. Thirty-three percent of nine-to-11 month olds were still receiving breastmilk compared to just 21 percent in 2002.
Introducing solids around the middle of the first year coincides with two events; your baby’s decreasing iron stores and her developmental readiness. Readiness for solids is what you can see—her ability to sit up with support, and take and swallow food from a spoon—as well as what you can’t see. When will you know the timing is right? Be sure to talk with your pediatrician, and take our quiz.
Start with single grains
Single-grain infant iron-rich cereal, such as rice cereal, is typically the first complementary food introduced to infants. Single-grain cereals are also good ways to check for food intolerances and sensitivities. So give them a try, but be sure to wait about three days between each type of cereal to see how your baby tolerates them. Watch for allergic responses such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. If any of these occur, eliminate the food from her diet and call your pediatrician.
Your baby’s first solids are really more like the consistency of runny milk. Mix 1 tablespoon of cereal with 4 to 5 tablespoons of breastmilk or formula to thicken it to a souplike consistency.
Fruits & veggies
Once your baby has enjoyed single-ingredient cereals, she will probably start to get more comfortable with mealtime. Your baby will begin to recognize the spoon and hold her mouth open as the spoon approaches. She may even start to close her mouth over the spoon to draw the food into her mouth. Just as you would with cereals, introduce single-ingredient purees one at a time, so you can watch for sensitivities and food intolerances. If you suspect a reaction, stop feeding the new food and consult your pediatrician.
Your baby may reject a new food the first time—do not be discouraged. It may take several tries before she accepts a new food. Some experts say it may take a minimum of 10 exposures to a new food before she decides that she likes it.
Following your baby’s appetite cues
Establishing healthy eating habits includes helping your baby follow her hunger and fullness cues. This helps you know when she wants more and when she’s had enough to eat.
|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
|Gestures: may nod, point, or grab the spoon
||Becomes distracted or notices surroundings more
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 Supported Sitters
Start Healthy, Stay Healthy™ Nutrition System
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.