How Purées Can Complement Baby-Led Weaning


As with so many parenting milestones, there are many paths to take when introducing solids. From purées to baby-led weaning, and a combination approach, we’ll take you through the benefits of each, so you can make the best decision for your family.

Starting With Purées

After liquids, purées are the next texture, so starting solids with purées is a natural progression. O’Farm expert, Nicole Lattanzio, RD, CSP, IBCLC says, “serving purées can help to ease babies (and their caregivers!) into their food journey.” Feeding your baby purées offers nutrition and new flavor exposures in a safe, smooth texture. As she reminds us, “there are plenty of purées that fit into adult life!” Think: smoothies, mashed potatoes, blended soup, yogurt, and more.

Baby-Led Weaning

Baby-led weaning is where baby skips purées and starts with finger foods to self-feed. It’s a popular approach to introducing solids that comes with many benefits. Lattanzio says, “one large benefit is the ability to serve finger foods which can promote oral motor skill development.” Additionally, “it allows babies to eat at their own pace and follow their internal hunger and fullness.” It may also help in reducing pickiness when kids become older.

The Combo Approach

For Lattanzio, the combo approach (where you offer both purées and finger foods) is her personal favorite. As she says, it’s pressure-free! “Some days you may want to experiment with finger foods, others you may need a quick purée, and most days you can offer both at the meal.” This exposes baby to a range of textures and flavors; for parents, it allows flexibility.

How Purées Complement Baby-Led Weaning

"Serving both purées and finger foods at meals can give baby options,” says Lattanzio. Some purées can go naturally with other foods to create a meal (think smoothies and avocado toast). “Other times, purées can serve as a dip or spread.” She shares that purées can be very helpful at times when baby is teething and more sensitive to rough textures, as they offer nutrition and fill their tummy.

Every child is different, just like every parenting path is unique. At the end of the day, you’ll do what works for your family, and that will make it the right decision.

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