When Is Baby Ready for Stage 2 Foods?
Your baby should be ready for Stage 2 foods at about 6 months of age. Stage 2 foods include mashed or chopped fruits and vegetables. You can now introduce pasta, meats, yogurt and cheese into your baby's diet. Your baby is reading to move on to Stage 2 foods when he can swallow easily, begins to feed himself, wants more food at mealtimes and is developing more teeth. This is also a good time to start introducing your baby to a sippy cup.
What to Feed
Use Stage 2 baby food to introduce new varieties and flavors of food to your baby. Stage 2 baby foods can be simple combinations of foods, since your baby has already been introduced to single-ingredient foods. During this time, you can introduce meats, proteins and dairy products. You can find pre-made Stage 2 single-ingredient and simple-combination baby food.
How to Feed
Stay with your baby's current feeding routine when you introduce Stage 2 baby foods. Continue giving your baby breast milk or formula with every feeding. Gradually introduce Stage 2 foods, and if your baby turns her head or refuses to eat, try again at a later time.
Give your baby 24 to 32 ounces of breast milk or formula daily. You can give the breast milk or formula to your baby with his meals or in between meals. Start the morning with 1/2 cup cereal and 2 ounces of fruit. Offer 1 ounce of meat, 2 ounces of fruit and 2 to 4 ounces of vegetables to your baby for lunch. As an afternoon snack, offer your baby 2 ounces of fruit. Give your baby 4 ounces of a Stage 2 dinner mixture and 2 ounces of fruit. This is just a sample menu for Stage 2 feeding, so remember to listen to your baby and stop when your baby turns away or will not take the food.
Your baby should be ready to move on to Stage 3 food when she is around 8 months old. Your baby will want to eat more and more of a variety of foods. Keep feeding your baby Stage 1 and 2 foods as you introduce her to Stage 3 and table food. When you offer table food, make sure to cut it into tiny bite-size pieces and watch your baby at all times when she is eating.