Don’t play with your food! Believe it or not, it is completely acceptable for your toddler to use their fingers to mess around with their food. Finger food is a fun and easy way for your child to become more familiar with various textures. Between 6-9 months, your baby will begin to pick up objects with their thumb and forefinger. This is known as the ‘pincer grip’ and it allows babies to try finger food for themselves. Self-feeding helps your toddler develop the small muscle movements that make up the fine motor skills. It can be a real giggle as your toddler smashes banana all over their face, drops and spills food everywhere. But fear not, practice makes perfect and it won’t be long until your toddler has table etiquette fit for the Queen!
So what are the best finger foods?
First Finger Foods should be soft so that they are easily chewed and digested. Here are some examples:
- Cooked soft vegetables e.g. carrot, parsnip
- Ripe, peeled fruit – pear, banana, peach
- Fingers of buttered toast, rice cakes
- Cubes/Slices of cheese
- Well cooked pasta
- Coarsely pureed meats
Gradually, as your toddler’s grip and grasp strengthen, you will be able to offer them bite size portions of what you are eating. It is very important not to leave your little one alone when eating.
TIP – Using a messy mat under your highchair will catch any spillages and save you having to wipe the floor!
If you need any more tips on feeding your baby our Careline advisors would be delighted to help you. Call our Freephone Careline on 1800 570570