Finger Foods During Weaning

By Ashley | December 29, 2009
Finger Foods During Weaning

At around seven to nine months of age, babies can be introduced to textured foods. Some mothers take the baby led weaning approach and offer finger foods to the baby right from the start, while others opt for the puree stage. Getting used to solids and textures requires practice and babies usually need some amount of time to get accustomed to it.

You can begin the process by offering your baby mashed food, instead of pureed food. Initially mash the food finely and then allow bigger and bigger lumps in it, until you reach a stage where you are chopping the food. You can also try pureeing half the meal and mashing the other half. You can also add finely grated apple to a pureed dish or yogurt. During this time the baby’s pincer grip will develop, and he will be able to pick up objects using his thumb and forefinger. This is the ideal time to start offering finger foods. Finger foods also help the baby to learn self feeding and will get him accustomed to newer textures. There are many types of finger foods that you can offer to your baby. Small chunks of cooked carrot, potato and broccoli can be given to the child. Pieces of fruits such as banana, apple, peach or melon also work well. Small strips of toast are also an enjoyable finger food for babies. You can butter the toast lightly and offer to him. Cooked meat and fish can also be offered after cutting into pieces. Cheese pieces and omelet strips can be given to babies as well. Babies may not eat all the finger foods you give them, and this should not be a cause for worry as this is simply a way of having them practice and perfect their chewing movements. This type of activity also helps in building strong jaw muscles and speech development.

Gagging commonly occurs when a baby first starts eating solid foods. Gagging is a natural defense technique of the body to prevent choking. When babies eat solid or different textured foods, he may be unsure of how to handle it. As such he may try to cough up the food to prevent it from entering the airway. As the child gets used to eating solid foods, gagging will slowly stop. Babies may also be resistant to accepting textured and lumpy foods. It is important to be patient at these times and allow the baby time and space to become accustomed to new foods.

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