Pureed baby food is bad for baby

Filed under: Nutrition: Health, Media

I'm surprised that Generation X made it out of childhood. Our parents strapped us into adult seatbelts, or careened down the highway with us in their laps. We were just as likely to be formula fed as breastfed, and our canned baby food contained salt, sugar, artificial preservatives and even lead and pesticides. Awesome.

The truth is, parenting in the late seventies and early eighties seemed a lot more freewheeling than it is today. Today's babies are carefully strapped into cars with latch systems and five-point harnasses. Moms hear repeated whispers of "breast is breast, breast is best" from the time of conception to two years post-partum. And almost all baby food today is made without preservatives, as naturally as possible. Even though we fluked our way through our childhood, let it be said that Gen X's babies are very harnessed and educated and well-fed.

Except, that last part might not be so true. A leading UK Expert is saying that pureed baby food -- even the organic, free-range stuff -- is unnatural and could be bad for babies.

Unicef's Gill Rapley says that babies should not be fed anything except breastmilk or formula prior to 6 months of age. After that, she says, they are capable of eating solids themselves -- and there is no need for the artificially mashed up stuff. She makes the argument that babies fed pureed food have little control over how much food they ate -- making them vulnerable to constipation and pre-disposing them to fussy eating.

Huh. Interesting. I've never been a fan of canned baby food -- it always smelled of rotten cat to me, and I struggled to make Nolan homemade baby food, and I do understand what Ms. Rapley is saying. But what does she suggest as a replacement to mashed food? A hunk of apple? A cucumber sandwich? Nolan only had a few teeth at 6 months and I can't imagine him able to do anything but gum a sandwich and give it to the dog at that point in his life. I'm just glad he is two and can share his pasta with me now, because that smashed squash wasn't doing much for me, natural or not.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.