Food served in such a form and style that it can conveniently be eaten with the fingers.
Ask anything about finger foods
When can you start giving Finger Foods to your baby?
Any bite-size, easy-to-eat pieces of food that your baby can easily pick up and eat on his own can be described as finger food. Eating finger food is fun for your baby, and an important step towards independence that also helps him develop his fine motor skills and coordination. When you can introduce finger foods to your baby? When your baby is between 8 and 9 months old, she'll probably let you know that she's ready to start feeding herself by grabbing the spoon you're feeding her with or snatching food off your plate. How should you introduce finger foods to your baby? Simply scatter four or five pieces of finger food onto your baby's highchair tray or an unbreakable plate. You can add more pieces of food as your baby eats them. Feeding your baby in a highchair rather than in a car seat or stroller will reduce the risk of choking and teach him that a highchair is the place to eat. Which foods make the best finger foods? When choosing the best finger foods for baby—whether you’re starting at 6 months or 9 months—experts suggest that it’s best to begin with small pieces of soft food that dissolve easily. Your baby may have a good appetite, but she probably doesn't have many teeth, so start with foods that she can chew or that will dissolve easily in her mouth. As she grows into a toddler, you'll be able to give her bite-size pieces of whatever you're eating. Remember that your baby is learning about food's texture, color, and aroma as she feeds herself, so try to offer her a variety. Resist the temptation to give your baby sweets like cookies and cake or high-fat snacks like cheese puffs and chips. Your baby needs nutrient-rich foods now, not empty calories. Here's a list of finger food favourites: Small pieces of lightly toasted bread or bagels (spread with vegetable puree for extra vitamins) Small chunks of banana or other very ripe peeled and pitted fruit, like mango, plum, pear, peach, or seedless watermelon Well-cooked pasta spirals, cut into pieces Very small chunks of soft cheese Chopped hard-boiled egg Small pieces of well-cooked vegetables, like carrots, peas, potato, or sweet potato Small well-cooked broccoli or cauliflower "trees" Pea-size pieces of cooked chicken, ground beef or turkey, or other soft meat Content source Featured image source
FAQ: Introducing your baby to solid foods
Introducing solid food to your child is a big step ahead in their growth chart. A lot of mothers, whether new or old, have a lot of questions revolving around this crucial step forward in their child’s life. We made a list of some of the questions, after studying the primary questions posed by mothers to their pediatricians, their own mothers, fellow-mothers or on group threads, social media, and discussion boards, and answered them. When should I introduce solid foods to my child? Ideally, six months is the right age to introduce a baby to solid foods. Before this, you might notice your child not allowing the spoon to enter their mouth or their inability to swallow solid food. Additionally, initiating solid food too early also reduces the production of breast milk, if you are breastfeeding the child. Introducing food before this age might also increase their chances of developing a food allergy or becoming obese. Though this is an ideal time to start solid food, each child is different and would give you the clues as to when they are ready to start solid food. These signs would include the following: The baby can grab and reach for objects. The baby shows interest in food and tries to reach for the food you eat. The baby can sit straight independently. This is the biggest indicator that they would have lost their tongue-thrusting reflex. The baby has an increased appetite where their milk times have increased or you notice them taking in more milk than their usual at a mealtime. Look out for these clues before you introduce solid food to them. Why does a baby need solid food at six-months? By the time the baby reaches six months of age, they have used up their stores of essential nutrients that they were born with. Now, to grow further they need essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, like iron and zinc, which solid food can provide them easily. By this time, their digestive system would be ready for solid food. This would be demonstrated by the fact that the baby’s hunger is not satisfied by breast or formula milk alone. This is also the right time to introduce allergy foods. Further, familiarizing them with solid food is the first step in making them independent for their forthcoming life. How often should I give my child solid food? In order to get your child used to the idea of eating, schedule a breakfast, lunch and dinner time for them. Even if they are not hungry, do sit them down with a tablespoon of whatever you have planned for them. This would get them used to the idea of mealtime and also help them fall into a schedule for the day. You would notice that most six-month olds would be comfortable eating just once a day. And as the majority of their nutrition comes from the breast or formula milk, it is all right if they do so. As your child grows, they would slowly get used to the idea of eating regularly and would develop a routine of eating three meals a day along with the family. My baby appears to be not interested in solid foods. Should I force them to eat? No. Never force your child to eat. This will only make them averse to food. In fact, if you feel that even after trying for a sufficient amount of time, they are not interested in eating anything, get them out of the high chair or any other chair that you use for feeding and move on to the next scheduled activity. Further, at times, the first feed is a little strange for the child, so they might not be able to accept it. As it has a different texture, smell, and taste, they just might end up spitting out the whole thing. But don’t worry. Remove the food from their vicinity and try again the next day. Just like at times we do not want to eat, babies also might not want to eat. Moreover, they are yet to fall in a habit so it’s all right if they skip a meal. What should be the size of the meals that I offer my child? At four to six months, feed the child between two to four tablespoon of the planned meal. Remember, their meal intake might change from meal to meal and from day to day. So don’t get worried if one day your baby is eating four tablespoons of food and the next day, they are eating just three. Also, as the child gets used to eating, their appetite will increase naturally. As this happens, increase the amount of food by a half-a-tablespoon until you feel that they are feeling full.
Introducing solid foods to your baby: Quick tips
As your baby gets older, she starts to need solid food so she can get enough iron and other essential nutrients for growth and development. For about the first six months of life, your baby uses iron stored in his body from when he was in the womb. He also gets some iron from breastmilk and/or infant formula. But your baby’s iron stores go down as he grows. And by around six months, he can’t get the iron he needs from breast milk or infant formula alone. Introducing solids is also important for helping your baby learn to eat, giving her experience of new tastes and textures from a range of foods, developing her teeth and jaws, and building other skills that she’ll need later for language development. Signs that it’s time for introducing solids: Your baby’s individual development and behaviour will guide you when you’re trying to work out when to start introducing solids. Signs your baby is ready for solids include when your baby: Has good head and neck control and can sit upright when supported Shows an interest in food – for example, by looking at what’s on your plate Reaches out for your food Opens his mouth when you offer him food on a spoon. Most babies start to show these signs around six months, but the signs happen at different times for different babies. It’s not recommended to introduce solids before four months. If your baby is nearing seven months of age and hasn’t started solids, you might like to get some advice from your child and family health nurse or GP. How to introduce solids: Food timing When you’re first introducing solids, it’s a good idea to offer solids when you and your baby are both happy and relaxed. Your baby is also more likely to try solids after a feed of breastmilk or formula. This is because when babies are really hungry, they just want the breastmilk or formula that they know satisfies their hunger. They’ll still have room to try new foods after they’ve had a feed of breastmilk or formula. As time passes, you’ll learn when your baby is hungry or full, not interested or tired. Signs of hunger include your baby: Getting excited when she sees you getting her food ready Leaning towards you while she’s sitting in the highchair Opening her mouth as you’re about to feed her Signs your baby is no longer interested include: Turning his head away Losing interest or getting distracted Pushing the spoon away Clamping his mouth shut Content source Featured image source
7 Signs your little one is teething
Most babies begin to teethe between the age of 4-7 months but some babies begin much later. The signs aren’t the same for every baby. Teething can be painful process for many babies, while for some it is quite effortless. The teething process doesn’t usually make babies sick. If your baby gets diarrhoea, vomiting, rashes on the body, higher fever, or cough, call your doctor immediately. These aren’t normal signs of teething. Here we provide you some important signs of teething that every mother should know: 1. Biting more than usual: This teething symptom will turn your baby into a vampire. Bite, bite, bite on anything from plastic spoons, to toys, to your breast. During this phase you may give the baby teething toys which may prove helpful and make the process easier. 2. Excessive drool: When babies are still new-borns, they’re still learning how to swallow their saliva—this causes excessive drooling. Fast forward to teething, and the drooling starts again (or never stops in some cases). When baby is teething, the body creates extra saliva to lubricate the tender and bulging gums. 3. Fussier than usual, especially at night: These teething symptoms make babies who once slept through the night start to wake up several times for comfort. In the quiet hours of night, a baby often feels the teething pain more because there are fewer distractions. 4. Disturbances in sleep patterns: Because of teething discomfort, babies will usually nap less and wake up earlier in the morning. Fun times for all involved with these teething symptoms. 5. Fever, rashes, cough, and diarrhoea: Although some doctors disagree, many mothers detect a slight fever (under 100 degrees) in their babies when teeth are imminent. Additionally, the extra drool can cause facial rashes, chafing, and coughing, since it pools at the back of the throat. Some babies even develop diaper rash and diarrhoea. 6. Decreased appetite: When babies are in pain, they generally don’t want to eat, especially since it triggers their sore spots. Keep trying to feed them as much as possible, despite the resistance. 7. Pulling of ears and rubbing of chin and cheeks: Babies can be quite resourceful and administer self-massage. By pulling and rubbing around their jaw, they create counter pressure that eases some of the pain and throbbing. Content source Featured image source
Is baby ready for solid foods? (Developmental signs of readiness)
What do the experts say? Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it’s best to wait until your baby is around six months old before offering solid foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and many other health organizations recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or other foods) for the first 6 months of life. I’m not going into the many health benefits of delaying solids here; see When Should Baby Start Solids? for more information. Developmental signs that baby is ready for solids Solids readiness depends on both the maturity of baby’s digestive tract and baby’s developmental readiness for solids. Although the maturity of baby’s digestive system is not something that we can readily observe, research indicates that 6 months appears to be ideal for avoiding increased illness and other health risks of too-early solids. After this point, different babies are ready for solids at different times — developmental readiness for solids cannot be determined using a calendar. Most babies are developmentally ready for solids somewhere between 6 and 8 months. . Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include: Baby can sit up well without support. Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue. Baby is ready and willing to chew. Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development. Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.