Development-based Milestones

The Gerber Nutrition Journey is a unique milestone-based plan with guidance on developmentally appropriate feeding choices. In line with the CDC developmental milestones and the Dietary Guidelines for feeding infants and children, the Gerber Nutrition Journey recommends starting with breastfeeding because breastmilk is the ideal food for babies. Once baby is ready, Gerber can provide guidance on developmentally-appropriate feeding choices.

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Supported Sitter Development

Gross Motor

Baby turning head away from a spoon being held by its mouth.
  • Controls the head
  • Good head control - can turn head away from the spoon
  • Truncal stability to sit with support

Fine Motor

Baby grasping an object with its hands.
  • Sustained voluntary grasp
  • Wraps fingers around object placed in hand
  • Grasps spoon

Oral Motor

Baby moving food around in mouth.
  • Moves puree food forward and backward with tongue to swallow
  • Loss of extrusor reflex (tongue trust)
  • Gag reflex locus moves from the mid portion to the posterior of the tongue

Supported Sitter Nutrition

Eating skills

  • May push food out of mouth with the tongue, which gradually decreases with age and experience
  • Moves pureed food forward and backward in mouth with tongue to swallow
  • Recognizes spoon and holds mouth open as spoon approaches
Spoon of food being held towards a baby with its mouth partially open.

Feeding Tips

Baby may soon be ready to start small feedings of cereal or purees, but breastmilk or formula will still be baby’s main source of nutrition.

Infant cereal has iron, which is important for healthy brain development, learning, ability, and growth. Why babies shouldn’t skip infant cereal open_in_new

Baby with a bib sitting up in a high chair.

Sit baby securely and upright in a high chair

Baby holding and chewing on a coated spoon.

Use a coated baby spoon to protect tender gums

Spoon with food being held infront of a baby with cereal on its lip.

Put a dab of cereal on lip, then put next bite into mouth when open

Share our helpful Guide to Starting Solids open_in_new with your patients

Keep in mind

This is a time for exploring new tastes and textures. It’s not about quantity, just exposure and exploration. Set the foundation for future acceptance of a wide range of foods and healthy eating habits!

Introducing complementary foods

  • Start with single-grain iron-fortified cereals, and single-fruit single-veggie purees one at a time
  • Wait at least 3 days to see if there are any signs of sensitivity, such as skin rash or congestion, before introducing the next new food
  • Talk about introducing allergenic foods
  • For more tips see our Starting Solid Foods articles

Hunger Cues

  • Opens mouth and leans towards spoon when food is presented
  • May swipe food toward mouth when hungry
  • Cries or fusses to show hunger
  • Smiles and looks at you while feeding to communicate they want to continue eating

I'm hungry!

Crying baby being held in someone's arms.

Cries or fusses

Baby with mouth wide open and leaning towards spoon of food.

Opens mouth wide and leans towards spoon

Fullness Cues

  • Turns head away from spoon when full
  • May be distracted or notice surroundings more when full
  • Keeps mouth closed, will not open when spoon is presented
  • Spits out familiar foods
  • Blocks mouth with hands

I'm full!

Baby pulling bottle away from their mouth.

Releases latch from nipple

Baby turning away from a spoon that's being held by its mouth.

Turns head away from spoon

Baby with food on its face looking down.

Gets distracted and gazes around

Products for Supported Sitter

Infant Cereal

Developmentally appropriate textures that meet a growing infants' needs with essential nutrients like iron for brain and cognitive development, B vitamins, vitamin E, C, Zinc and Calcium.

Gerber Infant Cereal products showing three varieties: Rice, Grain and Grow oatmeal banana, and Powerblend Probiotic oatmeal

Baby Foods

Made from wholesome vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meats, legumes and more in developmentally appropriate textures and a wide variety of tastes.

Gerber baby food products for Banana puree, Fruit and Yogurt strawberry banana, and Organic Veggiepower sweet potato.