Difference Between Gerber 1st & 2nd Foods

By Kristal Smith
Calcium is a nutrient found in Gerber's first and second foods.

Gerber brand baby foods are designed for promoting healthy growth and development in infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Gerber foods are based on a stage-based system of products to support your child's growing mind and body. Gerber puree baby foods are available in three stages. The first stage of food is for younger babies just being introduced to food, the second stage is for older babies, and so on. Gerber also has foods beyond the three stages for toddlers and preschoolers.

Nutrients

When a baby first starts eating baby food, their nutrient requirements are different than from a six month old. With Gerber stages, the baby food's nutrient contents are designed accordingly with the focus on the following nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. Gerber first and second foods have different amounts of these nutrients based on the age and needs of the infant.

Textures

When babies expand their diets, advancing textures help them develop eating skills. Gerber first foods are designed for new eaters, particularly around two to three months old. Gerber's first food textures are soft and runny, and are made with gentle ingredients that help babies easily swallow the food. At around six to eight months old, Gerber's second foods are introduced. These foods have small pieces of solid food and are thicker--helping babies learn to chew.

Flavors

Gerber's first foods flavors are basic vegetables and fruits, such as peas, carrots, bananas and peaches. Second foods introduce new flavors to your baby, such as butternut squash and corn, chicken noodle and apple strawberry banana. These mixed varieties help your baby get used to eating a variety of flavors, preparing them for meals in the next stage.

First Foods Testing

Gerber first foods introduce one new flavor at a time. During this phase, parents discover what flavors their child enjoys and which flavors they do not like. It is also important to try different flavors and watch for signs of allergies, such as vomiting, rashes or diarrhea. If these allergies occur, stop the feeding and consult your baby's pediatrician.

Between Stages

After about a month of having cereal in their diet, your baby may start eating Gerber's first foods. Watch for changes in the way your baby eats his food. When he starts to eat quicker and swallows food easily, he may be ready to start eating Gerber's second foods. This change usually isn't until around six months old.

About the Author

Kristal Smith has been writing for the web for more than six years. Smith holds a visual communications degree, with a photography specialty. She graduated from Ivy Tech College in Evansville, Ind. Her articles specialize in health, nutrition, photography, Internet and web design.