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Q&A:
Which is best for an 8-month-old: table food or baby food?

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Question


It depends on what table food and what baby food you give a child. Baby food manufacturers claim to use pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, use produce that is riper in the field than common store produce, and add no salt or sugar.

Answer


It depends on what table food and what baby food you give a child. Baby food manufacturers claim to use pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, use produce that is riper in the field than common store produce, and add no salt or sugar. If you give your infant produce that has been sitting in the market or a crisper for several days and is not organic, it may not be as healthful as commercial baby food. Also, table food prepared at home often has salt added either in the cooking water or after cooking, and additional salt is not recommended for infants.



On the other hand, if you prepare fresh, organic food, steam it in a little water with no salt, and use some of the cooking liquid to help puree it, she might be right. Avoid preparing spinach, beets, turnips, and collard greens, though, as they may contain nitrates that could be toxic for an infant.



When a baby can grasp something in a pincer grasp—that is, the thumb and forefinger coming together accurately to grasp a small object—table foods such as Cheerios or unsweetened Alpha Bits, small pieces of ripe produce such as mango, banana, avocado, or teething biscuits that mush up in the mouth are acceptable and add interest to the baby's diet. However, as pureed food is digested and absorbed more easily than uncooked or whole food, the best diet for an 8-month-old is a combination of these.

 
 
 
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