My nanny occasionally has mini rants about young moms of today, first time moms, and in general, moms of this generation. She likes to say every now and then that, “You moms don’t listen to us nannies who have 20+ years of experience. Instead, all you do is listen to your doctors and the Google.” I tried to explain to her that the Solid Starts website and app was based on research and study done on thousands of babies… while nannies certainly have experience caring for and feeding babies, no nanny on this planet has ever cared and fed thousands of babies. That just would not be possible. She rolled her eyes at me, indicating she didn’t really care for or believe what I was saying. She just thinks I’m being defensive. And that’s fine. But I’m still her boss. 😛
We do agree on some things with feeding the baby, though: it’s important to model chewing and spitting out in an exaggerated way so that babies understand what they do when they have different textures in their mouth. We need to give babies more credit for how much they absorb in watching us do everyday things, including handling, chewing, and swallowing food. They need to understand the “map of their mouth” to know how to safely digest food and not choke: food on the front of the tongue is for tasting; food further back on the tongue is getting ready to go down and get swallowed. Pureed food doesn’t teach babies to chew; it only has them swallow. Chewing is important for basic survival, and knowing how to chew and chew well opens up babies to an entire universe of foods that are not only nutritious but tasty. Oftentimes, babies and toddlers will develop aversions to different food textures, and it’s because they just weren’t exposed to it much or at all early on.
So my nanny can say what she wants about “the Google,” but all these points are not only backed by data, but logically, it just makes sense when you think about how human beings eat.