Choosing the right baby food can be a challenge for parents who want to use something their baby will like, but is also healthy. According to the website Baby Center, it is important to choose baby food that has not expired and has a consistency that matches your baby's ability to chew. Both Beechnut and Gerber offer a variety of baby food selections, and you can mix and match from both brands or stick to just one.
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Gerber and Beechnut baby foods are both nutritious options that will help your baby reach her daily recommended totals for nutrients, which are important for her growth and development. According to Beechnut, its products contain no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and provide adequate amounts of protein, fiber, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals that support healthy growth during the first year. Some of Beechnut's products also include DHA, an essential fatty acid that plays a part in healthy eye and brain development. In addition, the Beechnut products have a good dose of fiber and protein to build muscles and keep your baby satisfied until her next meal. Gerber divides its products into the stages of a baby's growth. Each stage contains the individual nutrients needed in age appropriate amounts for supported sitters, sitters and crawlers.
Both Beechnut and Gerber baby food products come in several sizes that equate to a baby's growing appetite. Gerber separates its baby food into first, second and third foods, although each level is made up of pureed foods. The amount of food contained in each size increases in volume and consistency to coordinate with a baby's needs as he begins solid foods up until he is an experienced eater. Beechnut baby foods are divided into four stages, with each stage increasing in size and texture. The fourth stage features finger foods, while the other three stages are purees.
The flavors in the Beechnut and Gerber brands of baby food allow you to provide your baby with a variety of tastes that increase the chances that she will be willing to try new foods as she gets older. The website Baby Center recommends trying new foods one at a time so you can monitor your child for intolerances or allergic reactions. Beechnut offers single flavor foods such as applesauce, peaches and pears for its first stage, while its second stage includes foods like apples with cherries, and apricots with pears and apples. The third stage features more hearty options like green beans with potatoes and macaroni with beef. Gerber's first foods include sweet potatoes, bananas and squash, while their second foods feature banana-pineapple-orange medley and vegetable risotto with cheese. Third foods offer things like mixed vegetables with chicken and turkey with rice and vegetables.
According to the website Kids Health, organic foods are free of pesticides and probably better for your child's health. Gerber offers many of their foods in organic versions that are available at most grocery stores nationwide. If you feel that organic is better for your baby's health and the environment, it may be the right choice for your family, but it is more expensive than traditional baby food. As of December 2010, Beechnut does not offer organic baby food options.