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What are Finger foods? When and How to start? – Its Benefits

Finger Foods for Babies | What is finger foods | Baby Led Weaning | When to start finger foods | Benefits of finger foods | List of finger foods | Recipes of finger foods | Can I give my baby finger foods | Precautions to be taken while introducing finger foods | Early food for Babies 

Finger Foods for Babies What are Finger Foods When to start finger foods How to start finger foods Types of Finger Foods Precautions while giving Finger Foods Benefits of Finger Foods Baby Led Weaning

Eating time is the most adventurous time and you won’t realize that’s time is ticking really fast and its already nearing for the next meal. We all can relate to that, don’t we? In that case, we need to follow Baby Led Weaning, tips to introduce finger foods to baby, and how to make it interesting during the food time. Better late than never, we can start immediately from now to relish the benefits and reap the results from training an independent and happy baby’s eating time and as parents, we can leap into other things rather than just monitoring the baby. No mushier and purees for babies, the evolution of baby feeding is all explained here with new tips and tricks to enjoying the results.

Soft stick-shaped hand holds sized food is a perfect finger food to start with. Starting finger foods early for the baby during their weaning days and semi-solids to solid days is highly beneficial. When this early journey start delivers and activates their oral motor development necessary for learning how to eat and for the development of speech as well. Once the baby sits and tries to grab food when we are eating and shows interest in the tasting, then the baby is perfectly ready to chew and enjoy independently.

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When to start finger foods?

sensorial development for babies

Food exploration is all about making an attempt and giving exposure to the child to develop interest and learn to eat a process that can start around 6 months. Even before starting solids, some babies love to explore with their mouths by putting things into them, which is the baby way of learning. When the right method and exposure in serving the baby with finger foods along with the baby purees gives an opportunity to try and develop eating skills independently and allow the chewing process to start, this is a great exercise for the brain development as well.

The experience of the senses like to look, touch, smell, and to taste will all come together and make the baby respond to its body needs of eating and to explore new foods. This feeling of independence to feed on their own will activate the sensory skills for both mouth and hands and a good exercise for fingers, getting them the hang of gripping and making the baby ready to have the pincer grip as well.

The baby can squeeze, touch, move, smell, smear and taste the food, however with the right input from the adults they’ll get trained gradually It’s a matter of fact to keep in mind at this baby stage to 6-8 months + stage, it’s not all about how much they eat but how was the experience and what was it they inferred by this.  Practice and keep trying together again and again and one fine day it will reap results with the baby eating it and it goes right into the mouth and there goes Bravo baby and bravo for their parents who tried with patience and lot of confidence on their child.

Benefits of Finger Foods

1. Oral Motor Development

Benefits of finger foods

  • Helps in development of jaw strength
  • Development of the tongue movement
  • Chewing food efficiently (Exercise for the brain as well)

2. Sensory Processing 

Independant eating with baby led waening

  • Combined exercise of all the senses like sight, touch, movement, smell, hearing, and balance
  • With learning how to taste food but also processing and brain for sensory signals while eating

3.Fine Motor Skills

How to start with finger food

  • Develops self-feeding skills
  • Inner confidence and satisfaction

List of Finger Foods

Finger Foods for Babies What are Finger Foods When to start finger foods How to start finger foods Types of Finger Foods Precautions while giving Finger Foods Benefits of Finger Foods Baby Led Weaning

  • Steamed vegetables – Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cucumber slices
  • Fruits – Pear, Strawberries, Blueberries, Watermelon, Banana, Avacado, Peach chopped
  • Cooked Peas
  • Cooked Lentils
  • Cheese Slices
  • Steamed Beans
  • Small pieces of bread chunks (Can be smeared with purees)
  • Soft, boiled small pasta (Wheat-based)

Along with the nutritional benefits that we get from food when we serve the baby with various shapes and textures they develop skills in hand and eye coordination, chewing, improvement in mouth muscles, handgrip, and speech development. We as parents need to focus not only on the baby’s eating walking or talking, but we need to equally focus on the social and emotional skills benefiting the behavior as well.

Allow a baby and a toddler to a child to self-feed as much as possible, with definitely giving a helping hand and encouraging finger feeding helps them develop overall. By the time a baby reaches 9 months they develop fine motor skills picking up small and precise movements that help to pick up small pieces of food and help them feed themselves. Holding food between forefinger and thumb in pincer grasp, this starts with a try and get into the expert zone by practice and picks the skill easily.

So no more feeding time is our duty, finger food and baby-led weaning will make it a usual meal time by a baby feeding themselves. Happy meal time parents and babies.

Note

  • Adult supervision is always necessary to prevent choking
  • The current Infant Feeding Guidelines recommend foods with a high risk of choking such as whole nuts, seeds, raw carrot, celery sticks and chunks of apple should be avoided for the first 3 years as their size and/or consistency increases the risk of choking.  It is also advisable to always supervise your children while they are eating to prevent choking.

What are Finger foods? When and How to start? – Its Benefits

Finger Foods for Babies What are Finger Foods When to start finger foods How to start finger foods Types of Finger Foods Precautions while giving Finger Foods Benefits of Finger Foods Baby Led Weaning

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