Finger Food Feeding Tips
Is there a "right time" to start trying finger foods?
The following signs are some of the ways your baby will let you know they are ready for more than just spoon-feeding:
• Sits upright without assistance
• Easily swallows pureed foods
• Starts to teethe
• Grabs at the spoon your holding
• Reaches for food you're eating
How should I introduce finger foods?
Start small by placing a few pieces on the tray and add more as your baby shows an interest or appetite.
Be sure everything offered has been cut into very small pieces. At first, babies tend to grab a handful of food and cram it into their mouths so watch them closely, but eventually they figure out how to use thumb and forefinger to pick up individual bits.
Even when taking care to cut food into small pieces, choking can occur. We recommend that every parent be certified in Infant and Child CPR. Check with your local hospital or Red Cross office to find a class nearby. This sort of certification is like having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. You certainly hope you'll never have to use it, but will be very glad it's there if needed.
A tip about allergies
Watching out for allergies can start well before trying out finger foods. Each time you introduce a new food to your baby, leave a few days in between before trying something else. This allows you to watch for adverse reactions and can help pinpoint any problem food groups.
When should children join the family for dinner?
Starting around one year old, try to include your baby in family meal times.
Babies learn by imitation, and having them with you during meal times helps establish healthy eating habits and lays the foundation for future table manners.
Got feeding questions we haven't answered here? Pop on over to our Facebook page and ask. We may add it in to a future edition of our feeding tips!
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