Finger Foods for Baby
Babies grow quickly in the first year of life. From breast or bottle your baby will be eating with a spoon by one year. Around nine months of age, most babies have the dexterity to to pick up small pieces of food, chew, and swallow them. This is when the fun starts as your baby is ready to try new foods as they learn to feed themselves.
Prior to offering finger food babies will go through four stages of food: strained or puréed food, mashed with a few lumps, chopped with moderate lumps, and then small pieces of finger food. Each stage gets a little harder for the baby so be patience. Be sure the baby can chew and swallow food from one stage before moving to the next one. Once the first three stages are complete them the baby is ready for finger food.
Even if they do not yet have teeth, your baby can gum soft foods. Here are some general guidelines to consider.
- Start with small pieces for food about the size of a pea in case they swallow them
- Follow your baby’s cues for hunger, consider 3 small meals and 2 snacks a day
- Let the baby show you how much food they want, start with 4pieces at a time
- Sit down and snack when your baby is eating, they learn by watching you pickup and chew your food
- Avoid spices in the beginning
- Be patience, playing with food is developmentally appropriate- so be prepared for the mess 🙂
- Slowly increase the size of the finger foods as bay earns how to chew and swallow them
- Start with soft texture and move on to a wide variety after baby shows dexterity with soft foods
- Remember to offer a rainbow variety of finger foods
Here are some baby foods you may not have considered: