A good time to introduce finger foods as part of your baby’s diet is around eight months. During this time parents notice their babies showing an active interest in adult food.
They start picking bits and pieces of food off their parent’s plate and trying to put them in their mouth. If you notice your child showing an active interest in the food you eat or try to put bits of solid food in their mouth, you then know that it is time to start the food transition process.
Babies attempting to switch to solid food and trying to feed themselves is also an indication of their growing independence. This is also a trying time for parents – from choosing the right kinds of finger food for their toddlers to cleaning up the mess left behind by them after finishing a meal.
Choose finger foods which are soft and easy to swallow as babies have not yet started teething at this period. Also choose squashy bite sized pieces of food which the baby can pick and eat by themselves. Alongside feeding the child with pureed food also continue the baby on their normal bottle milk feed.
Many producers of baby food have also started including finger foods as part of their range. Some of the common baby finger foods available in the market today are cereal like puffs and teething biscuits.
These food items can be easily held by babies in their pincer like grasp and also dissolve easily in their mouth thereby preventing any dangers associated with choking.
Parents can also include bits of soft toast and rice cakes as part of their baby’s finger food diet. Babies enjoy all things sweet and hence have a special affinity towards fruits.
Bananas and peaches which are soft foods and digest easily can be given to babies. Stewed fruits like apples, pears and peaches along with bits of melon and blueberries can also be given to the baby. Hard and citrus fruits should be avoided.
Babies also enjoy eating bits of steamed butternut, broccoli sticks, green beans and sweet potatoes. Many babies enjoy eating soft multi grain biscuits as well. Soft cooked pasta, bits of cheese and tiny pieces of tofu are also enjoyed by toddlers at this point.