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What Does Stage 3 Baby Food Mean? What to Feed Your Child and When
The baby food stages are a great way to supply the nutrients your baby needs to support their growing brains and bodies. Let’s talk about what these foods are!
What Does Stage 3 Baby Food Mean? What to Feed Your Child and When
Your baby is rapidly growing and changing. Their brains are developing, their bodies are getting stronger, and they become the little people they’re meant to be. What fuels all this growth? Their food! The food that goes into your little one’s tummy is the fuel on the fire of their growth and development. So, what should you give them at stage 3?
By stage 3, your little one is likely a pro at scarfing down solids. Stages 1 and 2 were full of thinner baby food purees packed with iron and nutrients to promote your baby’s development. Now they are moving forward to stage 3 foods packed with protein, calcium, magnesium, and more!
Let’s take a closer look at stage 3 baby food includes and how they best support your little one’s milestones every step of the way.
Stage 3 Foods
When your little one reaches stage 3, they will start eating different foods. Here’s everything you need to know about stage 3 foods.
When To Start
The timeline for your baby is important, but it’s also important to listen to your little one. There is no one-size-fits-all for growth. Some babies move fast, and others move slower, but as long as your little one is happy and healthy, they are on the right track. And, more often than not, your baby will tell you when they’re ready to start.
Most babies are ready for stage 3 solid foods by 7-8 months, but stage 3 foods are okay for any babies older than seven months to eat. Your little one’s first solids will be around four to six months, so by 7 or 8 months, they will be ready to begin stage 3.
How To Know if Your Babe is Ready
If you’re unsure whether your baby is ready to move on from stage 1 and 2 foods, here are some tips.
- If they are starting to reach for food or toys nearby.
- If they show interest or disinterest in new foods (disinterest is normal! This shows that they’re interacting with the new foods).
- If they can hold their head up and are eating with a spoon successfully.
- If they are beginning to move their mouths in a chewing motion.
- If they are teething, stage 3 foods are thicker, so chewing or mashing is essential.
As a parent, you have instincts about your little one, so you’ll know when your little one is ready to move on to stage 3 foods. However, if you do have any concerns, talk to your pediatrician.
Your baby’s nutritional needs change throughout their development. But, because their brains and bodies are growing so rapidly, baby foods need to keep up. That’s why we created the milestone plan tailored specifically to your baby, so they get every ounce of nutrition they need to thrive.
During stage 3, your little one is growing more, their muscles and bones are getting stronger, and their brains are developing and need rest and good sleep. Your baby’s nutrition needs include the following:
At seven months, your baby is rolling back and forth, sitting up, beginning to balance and stand on their legs, grabbing things, and moving, moving, moving. Their bodies need lots of protein during this time to support all the work their growing bodies are doing and give them the energy to keep it up.
Your baby’s brain is rapidly developing during the first two years of life, especially at seven months. They interact with the world, moving their hands and using their senses, reaching for objects and trying to grab them, and looking around. One of the most important ways to promote your baby’s brain development is by supporting their sleep and nap time.
Magnesium is a mineral that helps nerves, muscles, immune function, and the cardiovascular system stay healthy and function properly. On top of this, it promotes better sleep by relaxing the nervous system and supporting calm throughout the body. So when your baby sleeps better, their bodies have more time to rest and stay healthy!
Some good sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables like spinach, nuts, legumes, seeds, whole grains, oats, and foods with fiber, so try our Broccoli and Pear puree.
Just like your baby’s growing body needs protein to support new movements and strength, it also needs calcium! Calcium supports healthy bones and helps your baby grow strong. Unfortunately, your little one only has one chance to promote bone strength, and it’s during their younger years.
Calcium can be found in stage 3 foods that contain broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage, almonds, sesame seeds, beans, oranges, figs, and prunes. For example, a Broccoli and Pear Puree and our Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Puree are rich in calcium.
Folate, or vitamin B, is essential for DNA synthesis, fueling cell growth, and building genetic material that builds our favorite tiny humans! As your little one is growing and starting to double in size, they need lots of folate to keep their bodies building more cells.
Foods rich in folate are spinach, asparagus, fruits, nuts, beans, peas, dairy, whole grains, brussels sprouts, and liver. Consider a Zucchini and Split Pea puree or a Dragon Fruit and Pear Puree to provide folate!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient to the body as they promote brain health, support sleep, and improve your little one’s overall health and wellness. Omega-3s are also important for building new cells and improving neurotransmitter function. However, your baby only needs 0.5 grams a day of omega-3 fatty acids, so here are some ways to provide them.
Chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and seafood are great sources of these essential fatty acids. Try our baby food purees with chia seeds for omega-3s and added texture.
Your baby’s heart is also growing along with the rest of their bodies, so stage 3 foods must promote heart health and function. Phosphorus is a vital nutrient for the tissues of the heart during this time.
Here are some stage 3 foods that are packed with phosphorus! Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Puree, Dragon Fruit and Pear Puree, and other baby foods with vegetables and fruits and beans are rich in the phosphorus your little one needs.
Tastes and Textures
Your baby is engaging with their senses more and more as they grow, so it’s vital to offer them a wide variety of tastes and textures to develop and enhance their palette. One way we do this is by blending multiple ingredients. This not only helps them experience a rich burst of complementary flavors, but it helps expand the tastes they know and enjoy!
We also make our stage 3 foods thicker inconsistency. This helps your baby’s tummy get used to thicker purees and helps them start chewing and mashing foods with their teeth and tongue. With added textures like chia seeds, flaxseeds, and skins, stage 3 foods also help them develop their texture palettes.
The first 1,000 days of nutrition are the most important. What you feed your baby now sets the stage for what they eat for the rest of their life. If you feed them food low in nutrients and rich in fructose, they may make poor food decisions later and choose sugary, processed foods rather than fresh, organic, and nutritious foods.
Learn more here about the importance of what you feed your babe in the first 1,000 days.
Your Baby’s Milestones During Stage 3
Stage 3 baby food is essential because it supports your little one’s growth and development during this unique time in their lives. Each stage supports different milestones, so knowing what to feed them and when is essential!
Our Yumi Milestone plan is customized to your little one’s milestones to support them as they grow and interact with the world. Our nutritionists handcraft over 60 unique meals and flavors that are rich in the nutrients your baby needs. Let our nutritionists do the hard work so you can spend more time loving your babe.
To learn more about the developmental milestones your baby is going through during stage 3, don’t take our word for it! Instead, our experts map out the milestones at seven months and eight months so you can best understand and support your baby’s growth—and nerd out a little in the process!
Check out your babe’s milestone plan here!