Basically, this method involves feeding your baby meals that start off very smoothly blended so they are almost liquid, like the milk your baby is familiar with. Meals then change to mashed and slightly textured, and then lumpy, until your baby's meals are made of normal, chopped up, food
Cooked potato or pumpkin, stewed apple, or mashed banana. All are ideal foods to feed a baby with purées. Will she love avocado? Will he pull a face at cauliflower? It's time to get your camera ready and find out!
So should you use purées? If you decide to start giving food before six months then you are likely to be reliant on your blender for a few weeks as younger babies often do not have the hand-eye coordination needed for baby-led weaning.
They can struggle to move morsels from their high chair tray to their mouths. This is also true for premature babies and those with certain special needs.
Or you may have simply decided that finger foods will be introduced later in your home. In either case, consider these key points...
1. Wait until your baby is ready
This is usually at about six months of age. Weaning before four months is not recommended as it can increase the chances of your baby suffering from allergies in later life. The NHS offers the following as signs that a baby is ready to wean:
- He can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
- He can co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so that he can look at the food, pick it up and put it in his mouth, all by himself.
- He can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out, so they get more around their face than they do in their mouths.
Offer a variety of foods, even ones you are not keen on yourself
2. Get your equipment
A blender is invaluable when making purées. Sometimes a potato masher can't get the smooth, thin consistency you want for the first foods you make for your baby. A small hand-held contraption may be all you need if you don't already own one.
Make space in the freezer, and go shopping! Root vegetables are a good choice to include when you are getting started as they tend to mash well. So are soft fruits, like peaches. Of course you will need bibs, little bowls and little spoons, and a high chair too. Oh, and plenty of washing powder – things could get messy!
3. Get cooking
Try combining different foods together, as well as giving her plain, pure, options. Freeze portions in small amounts. Don't offer too many sweet options, or more savoury flavours could be rejected.
Don't rush, wait until he opens his mouth before putting the food in. Don't carry on if your baby seems to have had enough, or is uninterested on occasion. It’s also a good idea to offer food after your baby has had some milk. He will be too stressed and upset to eat if he is very hungry. Milk should be the main source of nutrition until one year of age. If the sprouts are not a success one dinner time, it doesn't matter - food is really mainly for fun at this stage!
5. Keep it interesting
Eat with him and make exaggerated chewing motions, this can help babies to learn, funny though it may seem. Offer a variety of foods, even ones you are not keen on yourself. This should help to avoid fussiness later. Sometimes mums delay too long when moving on to more lumpy food.
Don't forget that the main aim is for your child to be eating ordinary food one day, not purées forever.
Read more popular articles
Baby-led weaning: recipes, tips and ideas
11 foods to AVOID until your baby's first birthday
First foods: veg-led weaning