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Stage 2 Baby Food: Best Combinations

January 03, 2023 9 min read

Stage 2 Baby Food: Best Combinations

Learning how to eat is a key milestone in your little one's life, and all baby food stages, from 1-4 are meant to guide them along this journey, offering new flavor combinations and complex textures to explore.

Keep reading to learn about the ins and outs of stage 2 baby food including how they differ from stage 1, preparation and storage techniques, and some of our favorite stage 2 baby food combinations.

What is the difference between stage 1 and stage 2 food?

When introducing your little one to food it is best to slowly work your way up to more complex combinations that offer a variety of flavors and textures. Beginning with stage 1 baby foods are a perfect stepping stone between breast milk or formula feedings to introducing solids because it takes time for your baby's digestive system to adapt to these changes.

Although, as your baby gets more comfortable with the feeding process you can take the exciting step to stage 2 baby foods, which offer a more varied sensory experience sure to satisfy your little one's growing appetite. There are a few key differences between stage 1 vs stage 2 baby foods... let's take a look at them.

Stage 1 vs stage 2 baby foods | Organic's Best


Stage 1 Baby Food

Stage 1 baby foods are often made with just one or two simple ingredients and are completely pureed and quite watery to make them easy to eat. This use of minimal ingredients can help monitor for any food allergies or intolerances.

The introduction to stage 1 baby foods can begin at around the 4-month mark. Signs that your little one is ready to move on to stage 2 include the loss of their tongue reflex, finishing their food quickly and easily, and overall enjoyment and ease while eating.

Learn more: TOP 7 Baby Food Recipes: Puree (Stage 1)

Stage 2 Baby Food

This stage is where food can get a little more complex and exciting, as new foods are introduced and different baby food textures are explored. This stage often incorporates multiple ingredients together into a strained or mashed paste.

This introduction of thicker solids can include legumes, meats, fish, as well as the already familiar fruit and veggie blends. If you're wondering when to start stage 2 baby food, the timing may vary depending on your baby's development, but this step will likely happen at around 6-9 months.

Baby Food Combinations That Are Rich in Nutrients

When beginning the transition to solid foods you can either go the store-bought or homemade food route. Combining foods rich in nutrients can offer a variety of nutritional benefits to your child's diet. This can be done by combining fruits and veggies, or veggies and meat, the same way we would eat these foods together in our own diet.

Some great foods, to begin with, are sweet potato, carrot, chicken, blueberries, chickpeas, mangos, banana, avocado and much more, as most types of foods can be enjoyed at this stage. For some inspiration on how to combine these ingredients keep reading!

How To Make Stage 2 Baby Food Combinations Step-By-Step

Carrots + Sweet Potato

Both carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamins A, C, and B, potassium, and antioxidants. To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • ¼ cup roasted sweet potato (about 1 sweet potato)

  • ½ cup steamed carrots

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Option if you don't have time: Holle Veggie Bunny: Carrot, Sweet Potato & Peas

Holle Veggie Bunny | Organic's Best


Avocado + Banana

Avocados contain healthy fats while bananas are rich in potassium and an excellent source of fiber. To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • 1 Avocado

  • 1 Banana

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Avocado Banana Stage 2 Baby Food | Organic's Best


Carrot + Blueberry

Blueberries are rich in vitamin C, and when paired with carrots can make a delicious treat full of fiber and antioxidants. To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • ¼ cup steamed blueberry

  • ½ cup steamed carrots

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Carrot Blueberry Stage 2 Baby Food | Organic's Best


Pineapple + Mango

This fresh and tropical recipe is packed full of vitamins and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • ½ cup steamed pineapple

  • ½ cup steamed mango

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Pineapple + Mango Stage 2 Baby Food | Organic's Best


Carrot + Mango + Banana

This simple recipe is rich in potassium from the bananas, vitamin C from the mango, and antioxidants from the carrots. To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • ½ cup steamed pineapple

  • ½ cup steamed mango

  • 1 banana

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Option if you don't have time: Holle Carrot Cat: Carrot: Mango, Banana & Pear

Holle Carrot Cat | Organic's Best


Pear + Avocado

This recipe is a healthy mix of fat and carbs and is packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins C, E, K, and magnesium.To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • 1 avocado

  • 1 pear

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Apple + Fennel

Apples are rich in antioxidants, and fennel contains potassium and calcium, making this a great combo! To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • ¼ cup apple

  • ½ cup Fennel

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Option if you don't have time:Holle Fennel Frog: Pear, Apple & Fennel

Holle Fennel Frog | Organic's Best


Sweet Potato + Chicken

This recipe is a great combo of healthy carbs and proteins. To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • ¼ roasted sweet potato

  • ½ cup cook chicken

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Sweet Potato + Chicken Stage 2 Baby Food | Organic's Best


Pear + Blueberries

This antioxidant-rich combo is naturally sweet! To prepare this recipe, simply mix all ingredients together to your desired consistency.

To make this recipe you will need the following:

  • 1 pear

  • ½ cup blueberries

  • a little bit of water or breast milk (to thin if needed)

Option if you don't have time:Holle Blue Bird: Pear, Apple & Blueberries with Oats

Learn more: Best Baby Food Pouches 2022

Should I Add A Little Sugar Or Salt To Homemade Baby Food?

When preparing homemade baby food you may be tempted to add a little salt or sugar to enhance the flavor but this is not recommended for a few reasons. The first reason is that fresh, healthy ingredients are packed full of flavor on their own without the need for any flavor additives.

It is beneficial to get your little one accustomed to the natural sweetness of fruits and the savory flavors of meat and veggies. It is recommended that children under the age of 2 not be given added salt or sugar, to encourage healthy dietary habits. Excessively adding salt or sugar to a child's diet can potentially lead to tooth decay and health problem in the future.

Reasons to avoid added sugar/salt in baby food| Organic's Best


Most baby foods on the market follow this rule as well. Some of our favorite brands like Holle and HiPP baby food are made with the simplest ingredients and are free from added sugars and salt.

Learn more: HiPP Baby Food

What Ingredients Can Cause Baby Allergies?

During your baby's introduction to solid foods, it is important to monitor for any symptoms of food allergies. It is also important to avoid giving your little one honey, as this can lead to infant botulism.

Some of the most common allergy-causing foods are:

  • Eggs

  • Nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds)

  • Cow’s milk (dairy)

  • Soy

  • Sesame

  • Wheat

  • Seafood

Top 7 allergy-causing foods | Organic's Best


Although these allergens are common, it is not recommended that you avoid including them in your baby's diet
, in fact, there may be some benefits to introducing allergens to your baby early on.

 

When and How to Introduce Potential Allergens to Your Baby

When introducing potential allergens to your baby it is important to do so in a way that minimizes any potential risks. It is important to note that even if you do your best to follow each guideline, it is still possible for your little one to develop a food allergy.

The following guidelines are recommended:

  • Introduce one new food at a time (especially if the food is a common allergen), so you can closely monitor for any signs of an allergic reaction. If your baby does have an allergic reaction, stop serving the food and seek the appropriate medical attention. If your baby handles the food well, it is beneficial to keep it in their diet, as this may reduce the chance of developing an allergy.

  • Keep variety in your baby's diet to ensure that they are eating products from each food group and receiving adequate amounts of beneficial vitamins and nutrients.

  • Lead by example by ensuring that you and your family are eating a varied and well-balanced diet to encourage your little one, as they explore new solid food.

  • Ensure that your baby is eating foods that are safe for their stage of development as introducing the wrong texture or size of food too fast can lead to choking.

  • Babies should be given these foods within their first year (including eggs and peanuts).

  • If your baby does have food allergies, it is important to make sure they are getting adequate vitamins and nutrients from another source to replace anything that may be lost from not including that food allergen in their diet.

How Long Does Homemade Baby Food Last?

If you are making homemade baby food it is important to store it properly to protect your baby's health. Most homemade baby foods can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, and in the freezer for 1 month.

When baby food includes meat or eggs or food that had been frozen, it is best to use it within 1 day in the refrigerator. Fruit and vegetable purees will last a little longer, for around 2 days.

How To Store Cooked Purees For A Long Time?

If you intend on making larger portions that will not be consumed within 1-2 days, it is always best to freeze it and use it within 1 month. Storing the cooked purees in individual portions can be a convenient option, as they will likely limit the amount of wasted food and can be easily prepared.

One way to store baby food is by following these steps:

  1. Divide the puree into ice cube trays or as mounds of food on a cookie sheet

  2. Covered in plastic wrap

  3. Once the puree is completely solidified transfer it to freezer-safe bags

Feeding Tips

Introducing new foods to your little one can be overwhelming, especially for picky eaters. Remember, this is all new to them and new flavors and textures can take some time to get used to.

Here are some tips to help the feeding process:

  • Give you and your little one plenty of time to adjust, especially at first. Have a variety of recipes in your toolbox and practice patience if they don't immediately love everything that they try. Expect there to be days in which they eat more and then some days where they eat less. This is completely normal and expected.

  • Engage other senses. Get your little one used to touching and holding food. This can familiarize them with new foods, and help teach your little ones how to feed themselves.

  • Avoid distractions during feedings.

  • Sit down together to eat and be a good example for your little one, as they likely will want to copy what you are doing.

Learn more: Introducing Your Baby to Solid Foods

Conclusion

Introducing stage 2 baby foods to your little one's diet can be an exciting time, full of new textures and flavors. Although there may be some hurdles in the way, take this time to sit down, enjoy meals together, set healthy dietary standards, and practice patience, because before you know it, they are on to stage 3!

Please be aware that this information is based on general trends evidenced in babies, it is in no way medical advice. Your baby's doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s formula, and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician prior to making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.

Disclaimer: Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.

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