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    Growth & Development

    Are you wondering when can you start feeding finger foods to your baby? Here's a complete guide. 

    Written on 16 August 2018

    Babies love to imitate everyone especially when the family sits together for a meal. You can encourage your little one to start the journey of eating independently after you celebrate his/her half birthday. Although your baby may not fully master the skill of pincer grip until 6-7 months, it is good to familiarize them with an idea of finger foods. Gradually your child will achieve the dexterity to pick up tiny bits of food. Eating finger foods (easy-to-eat food items) will help your child develop their eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. Some parents introduce finger foods to their little ones as soon as they turn 6 months old however according to the experts you must observe and look out for the signs that indicate he/she is ready to eat. Even though every child’s growth and development process are different but, in most cases, your baby would start showing signs when he/she turns 8-9 months old.

    Initially, the process can be challenging, and pint-size will be going in his/her mouth because the baby creates a lot of mess by picking the food items and throwing them around. If you are wondering how to begin this journey then first and foremost you should get a comfortable high-chair for your munchkin, child-friendly plate, bowl, glass, and cutlery. To start, give him/her a little bit and you can refill once your munchkin completes eating that portion. You must always aim to give healthy finger foods to your little one. Ensure the food is cut into small pieces and properly cooked so that it’s easy for your baby to chew and digest it. Consult a pediatrician if you are concerned about food allergies and introduce 1 new food at a time. Here are some of the best finger-food options for your little one:

    • Slices of fresh fruits make very healthy finger foods. You can use slices of apple, banana, mango, watermelon, ripe peaches, papaya, kiwi, and musk melon.

    • Steamed or boiled vegetables like cauliflower florets, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, and potato.

    • If you want to introduce the fresh taste of raw vegetables to your baby then you can offer thinly sliced cucumber or thin tomato wedges to your child after deseeding them.

    • Gradually your baby will love picking tiny vegetables from the dining table like boiled green peas, sliced grapes, sweet corn, peanuts, and beans. Make sure there are no choking accidents.

    • He/she would love to eat anything that is soft and chewy like mashed purees and soft vegetable parathas.

    • Your baby will love to nibble lightly toasted bread.

    • Your little munchkin can easily chew small pieces of pasta and small cubes of tofu.

    • Before introducing eggs in any form, you must consult a pediatrician first. Scrambled eggs and hard-boiled eggs can be cut into tiny pieces before offering them to your baby.

    Here are some of the finger foods that you must strictly avoid offering to your little one because they are unhealthy and can cause choking:

    • Large chunks of raw vegetables.

    • Fruits and vegetables that are not properly washed or are leftovers in the fridge.

    • Avoid feeding nuts, popcorns, chewing gums, nut butter, marshmallows, candies, raisins, and other jelly-like food items.

    • Always remember to deseed the fruit and vegetable before offering it to your little one.

    • Avoid giving unroasted bread, fatty foods, sweet items, and chewing gum to your little one.

    • Offer only age-appropriate finger foods to your baby by introducing larger foods first and then slowly moving on to smaller pieces. Make sure you never introduce finger foods before 6 months to your baby.

    • Do not compromise on the feeding sessions be it breastfeeds or formula feeds.

    • Do not offer packaged and canned food products to your munchkin.

    • Do not add salt and sugar to your child’s meal until their 1st birthday.

    • Have patience because your baby will gradually develop the habit of chewing and digesting finger foods.

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    Written by

    parul_sachdeva

    parul_sachdeva

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