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Pureed Products Unnecessary and Harmful for Babies UK Expert

vegetables that they can chew and suck. There is no need for pureed food at all." While working as a health visitor for 25 years, Mrs Rapley also undertook her own UK-based research into the feeding habits of infants.

She found that babies who were fed on solids after six months (pieces of meat, vegetables and fruit that aren't mashed) developed better chewing skills than those who were fed pureed food. They also developed better hand control as they were more likely to feed themselves than be spoon-fed by parents.

Infants who had been fed pureed food before six months often didn't take easily to solids as they were used to eating food where individual tastes and textures were disguised. But babies who were weaned straight from milk onto solids proved to be less fussy about what they ate.

Those who were fed pureed food by their parents were also more likely to become constipated - because they could not control how much food they ate or how long they chewed it. But Roger Clarke, director general of the Infant and Dietetic Foods Associations (IDFA), which represents manufacturers Heinz, Nestle and Boots, has dismissed her warnings.

He said: "This is new research and we need to look at it carefully. "But the age at which solids are introduced depends on the nutritional and developmental needs of individual infants. "Generations of parents have relied on these recipes to provide safe nutrition with a wide variety of textures - from purees that are easy to suck straight from a spoon to soft lumps that encourage chewing."


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