I thought it could be described as grind food. But a native speaker told me it's ground food. However, what Google shows me is quite different.

What's the correct term?

4 Answers 4


As Mari-Lou has said, puréed is probably the best term, and the one most often used today:

Baby food is normally puréed.

However, if you want a word with a Germanic root, rather than a loan-word, then you could use mashed:

Baby food is normally mashed.

Older recipe books (printed before the advent of food processors) would probably use mashed instead of puréed, and the term mashed is still used in traditional British cooking. For example: mashed potatoes, bangers and mash.

mash verb [WITH OBJECT]

Reduce (a food or other substance) to a pulpy mass by crushing it:

  • ‘mash the beans to a paste’
  • ‘mashed banana’

Oxford Dictionaries


Mush (or the adjective mushy) is usually the first word that comes to my mind when I think of any baby food. It's a slightly derogatory word that an older child or adult might say if he or she were served with some creamy but tasteless mass of food.


  1. any thick, soft mass.

If the OP wants the correct descriptive term for baby food, there is only one choice. It is purée or pureed, it is the standard, and positive term that especially describes homemade baby food.

Puree (or spelled purée) is a French loanword that has been used in English for over three hundred years, long before the invention of the electric blender.

purée (noun)

1. a cooked food, especially a vegetable or fruit, that has been put through a sieve, blender, or the like.

verb (used with object), puréed, puréeing.

  • McGrady pureed organic fruits and veggies for William and Harry

enter image description here

Comparing pureed fruit (blue line), mashed fruit (red), sieved fruit (green), and ground fruit (yellow) Ngram produces the following results.

enter image description here


"to Puree" is the technical term which describes the process of making a substance like baby food.

"Baby food is a Puree" is a true statement no matter how you look at it, is not derogatory and is well know and widely used.

I wouldn't recommend using the word "pap" as I am a native speaker who has a girlfriend with kids and I have never heard it. Also if you were to google it, you might understand how it could be an embarrassing word to be misunderstood using while using it.


No, it's not mush (which applies to many things that are not baby food), and although it is definitely puréed or mashed, so are many other foods.

If you're looking for a word to describe it, that word is

pap n
1. Soft or semiliquid food, as for infants.


  • "I'm going to make some mush for the baby," said NOBODY EVER. Same goes for purée. So what's your point?
    – Robusto
    Dec 24, 2016 at 16:13
  • You're right. There isn't one, really.
    – Mick
    Dec 24, 2016 at 17:36
  • You would say "I'm going to make some purè for Robusto" if you were Italian, it means mashed potato :) Merry Xmas!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 25, 2016 at 7:37

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