Baby Led Weaning or Puree?

Is Puree (mashed food) better or is it Baby Led Weaning?

Mothers usually can’t decide how best to feed their baby when he/she starts eating.

This article aims to provide the differences and similarities between the two, and which one would best suit your child!

To watch the full video, click on this link.

 

Mirna Sabbagh: Adult and Child Nutiritionist

Figure 1. Source: Pinterest.com


Question Number One: What is Baby Led weaning?

Baby Led Weaning is a relatively new baby feeding concept that was first used in Britain, then spread internationally. It claims that a baby doesn’t have to start eating solid food as Puree (or mashed food). Instead, actual solid food should be given as long as it is safe to be eaten by a baby. Some of the examples are:

  • Avocado (cut vertically)
  • Boiled carrots (cut vertically)
  • Boiled potatoes

And many others that could be given to the baby directly to eat at the age of 6 months. Also, this method ditches baby rice cereal and Puree machines!

Sounds weird, right?

Well it isn’t at all! In fact, this is a MAJOR misconception; a baby can chew soft food using his/her gums before developing teeth, contrary to popular belief.

You might ask yourself, but won’t the baby suffocate?

To answer that: Studies that compared both babies who had Baby led weaning and Puree, showed no difference in suffocation levels. In fact, suffocation in both cases was mainly caused by parents who left their child alone while eating, or gave them the wrong types and delivery methods of food.


Question Number Two: Why would I recommend Baby Led Weaning, and in what ways do I disagree with this method?

I am a supporter of Baby Led Weaning because:

  1. I recommend that babies feed on meals similar to our daily cooked dishes, like chicken, meat, fish and vegetables.
  2. I don’t recommend that babies have Rice cereal, as they are mostly rich in sugar 

Whereas I don’t agree with this method because:

  1. A baby NEEDS to have it both ways! It’s not one way or another, either eat by hand or by spoon. Unless babies learn the skill of using a spoon, how would they be able to eat soup, yogurt, rice, meat or chicken?

Always find a middle point, and make sure your baby starts practicing Baby Led Weaning not more than 8 months of age to avoid future chewing problems. 

  1. Some Baby Led Weaning extremists claimed that food isn’t that important, and babies can get all their needs through breastfeeding and formulas. Which is not true! Neither breastfeeding nor formulas are enough for babies after the age of 6 months. 

Food isn’t for fun, a baby needs it for vitamins and minerals! If you don’t supply your baby with his/her needs at that point, you will not be able to compensate in the future and a baby will definitely have vitamin deficiencies. 

 

Mirna Sabbagh: Adult and Child Nutritionist

Figure 2. Source: Pinterest.com


My personal advice is, use logic in all your actions. Don’t go to the extreme with either method, and give your babies what they need!

AAP, WHO and other medical experts recommend that you should not force your baby to eat. Instead, apply “Responsive Feeding” which is the healthier option. Whether you feed your baby advanced textures directly at 6 months, or gradually change from Puree towards more advanced textures, it’s totally fine!


We hope this information was helpful!

To watch my full video, click on this link.

Mirna Sabbagh, an adult and child dietitian, nutritionist, and lactation consultant sees patients physically in Dubai, and also does online consultations for weight loss for adults and children, pick eating and  other services. In addition, she also has several digital courses: breastfeeding course,  starting solids 6-12 months course, child nutrition for all children including picky eaters, and also a weight loss course for adults that you can sign up for from the comfort of your home. You can also e-mail Mirna for questions on info@mirnaelsabbagh.com