Half of you are shaking your heads and thinking “No duh”. You raised your children on little jars of Gerber and the kids turned out just fine.
But in the years since I was a tot, “Baby-Led Weaning” has taken off, and with it, a whole new set of food rules for babies. One that many crunchy types have latched onto is that purees are not just unnecessary (that one is true, folks – babies can learn to eat without purees) but are harmful. This, friends, is simply not true.
While my older three barely ate any purees as their first foods, Shiloh has eaten purees almost every day since she started eating solids two or three weeks ago. She’s had cream of peanut and butternut squash soup, homemade applesauce, and pureed pumpkin whenever the family has those food items – which, for right now, is almost every day. That’s what we eat in the fall when squash and apples are in season.
And she’ll be just fine.
What you do want to watch for is that your baby doesn’t ONLY get purees for months on end. The evidence suggests that there is an ideal window for the introduction of texture – babies who don’t get introduced to textured foods by about 9 months are much more likely to become pickier eaters and to develop texture aversions. (References: Delayed introduction of lumpy foods to children during the complementary feeding period affects child’s food acceptance and feeding at 7 years of age; The effect of age of introduction to lumpy solids on foods eaten and reported feeding difficulties at 6 and 15 months).
So don’t only serve your baby purees, but don’t stress if you find yourself picking up a little container of puree at the grocery store or blending some for your baby: There’s nothing wrong with serving your baby purees.