What are Finger Foods? Why are they important?
Finger foods are small easy-to-eat pieces of food that your baby can pick and eat all by himself. Eating finger food is fun for the baby but at the same time very important as it helps in developing their fine motor skills and coordination. It is important to introduce finger foods because sometimes babies quickly get bored with bland food, so it is important to get your baby familiar with many kinds of textures and flavors. Finger foods are a great way to encourage your little one to explore and enjoy solid foods.
When should I introduce finger foods to the baby?
Introducing finger foods is an exciting and nerve-racking time for us. There is no hard and fast rule in terms of when babies can start eating finger foods, but mostly between 8 and 9 months, they are ready to start feeding themselves.Some of the indications to look for are:
- Baby is reaching for the food as you feed her
- Baby is grabbing the bowl or spoon and trying to put the spoon in her mouth
- Baby is ready to sit independently
- Even if the baby has no teeth, finger foods can still be given as they can squash the food with their strong gums.
How should I introduce finger foods to the baby?
It is best to begin with small pieces of soft food that can dissolve easily. Avoid giving baby finger foods that are large, sticky or don’t dissolve easily, because of choking hazards. Put some finger food on her high-chair tray and let her try to get it into her mouth. Finally, never leave baby unattended while she’s eating.