Introducing finger foods to babies is a very important step in the development of your baby. There are lots of parents who worry that their baby might struggle to swallow the food when they don’t even have teeth to chew properly. But a baby’s ability to hold small objects and various food items between the thumb and the index finger is a proud moment as they have taken the first step towards an independent life and can now feed themselves without the permanent support of others.
What about Purées and Baby Food Storage?
Parents often begin introducing solid food by making or buying purées. This enables the baby to try new tastes with little risk of choking which is why so many parents prefer it. Homemade baby food is easy to prepare, see some of our recipes on our Recipe Hub. With the Tutti Bimbi Baby Food Freezer Tray, baby food storage is easy too. However, it is important for the baby's development that they learn to feed themselves and so offering finger foods is important too.
The Signs that Your Baby is Ready to Eat Finger Food
There are a few signs that your baby is ready for finger foods. Firstly, they must be able to sit upright on their bottom without any support. Solid foods could be a choking hazard for babies that are still leaning against pillows or the sofa to be able to sit up. If your baby can hold small objects between their thumb and index finger, then this is another sign they may be ready for finger foods. They should be able to feed themselves small pieces of fruit & veg or bread without your help. Lastly, your baby should be actually interested in chewing food. Teeth aren’t a must, but it’s very important that they want to chomp soft foods between their gums.
What are the Best Finger Foods to Feed Your Baby?
When you know your baby is ready for finger foods, your next thought is, what can I give them that is safe? There are hundreds of things that are baby-friendly and gum-friendly for those with no teeth. Finger foods should be soft, easy to chew and chopped into tiny portions. Things like ripe fruit, boiled vegetables, soft cheese and pasta. Other things like dry cereal and biscuits are also fun to try and they are crumbly and melt in your baby’s mouth. It is important to be diverse and vary the types of food you give to your little ones. This will get them used to eating dishes of different colors and flavors- this has numerous health benefits and will also help to prevent having a fussy eater on your hands later down the line.
At the very beginning, most parents give their babies fruits and vegetables such as bananas and pears or cucumber and boiled carrots as they are extremely healthy, quite neutral in taste and are soft for baby gums. When your little one is used to fruit and veg, you can introduce cereals and biscuits, and even tiny sandwiches - things with a bit more taste! Proteins are also really important for a baby’s diet. So when introducing finger foods to baby it is important not to forget about eggs (hardboiled), meatballs and meat.
This is an important step in helping your baby develop and begin to become independent, and is fun and exciting as they experience new flavors and begin to learn more about the world around them.
If you would like to learn more about introducing your baby to solid food and a great baby food storage solution, visit us at www.tutti-bimbi.com