Finger Foods: What They Are and Why They Are Important for Your Baby’s Diet

Finger Foods: What They Are and Why They Are Important for Your Baby’s Diet

Finger foods are food pieces that your baby can pick up and eat by himself.  At first, finger foods are mostly tools for practice in self-feeding, which will help your baby to develop manual dexterity and give him more control of his mouth muscles. Practice at finger feeding also promotes the skills necessary for later self-feeding with a spoon.  Once these skills develop (9-10 months), finger foods will become an important nutritional part of your baby’s diet.

Babies’ tummies are small and they must eat frequently—no more than a few hours apart.  They should eat three small meals and two or three snacks daily.   Snacks should be as nutritious as main meals; don’t think of snacks for babies as dessert foods or sugary treats.

WARNING:  NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD ALONE WHILE SHE IS EATING.  WATCH HER CAREFULLY AS SHE EATS IN CASE OF CHOKING.

Remember that baby’s mouth taste and sensitivity changes often. You may have to offer the same food up to 15 times before baby will accept it!  Baby may accept a food one day and refuse it the next.   Offer your baby a variety of healthy foods.  Never push or force your baby to eat.  Keep mealtimes pleasant and as stress-free as possible.

Let your baby eat plenty of finger foods. Your baby may stop accepting the spoon from you and insist on feeding themselves. This is normal and a good sign of independence. Don’t dismay, just let her feed herself with her fingers, a spoon, or by dipping foods into sauces as explained in the next few guest blog posts. This week’s blog posts will tell you everything you need to know about feeding your baby healthy, organic, nutritious finger foods. Stay tuned!

 

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Ruth Yaron

Ruth Yaron is the author of the best selling baby food book of all time, Super Baby Food , now in its third edition, completely revised and updated. You can find Ruth at www.SuperBabyFood.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SuperBabyFood and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Super_Baby_Food

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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