What's the correct term?
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’
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.
- 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.
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
Comparing pureed fruit (blue line), mashed fruit (red), sieved fruit (green), and ground fruit (yellow) Ngram produces the following results.
"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
1. Soft or semiliquid food, as for infants.