Introducing finger foods to your baby's diet

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Baby experimenting with finger food
Baby experimenting with finger food

As parents, we witness so many incredible milestones, and it brings such joy seeing our babies develop and master new skills every day. We celebrate each development, be it that first smile, sitting, crawling and eventually those wobbly first steps!

And their food journey is no exception as we see them begin to enjoy their first foods. For the first months of a baby’s life, they rely solely on breast milk or formula, but from about 6 months their diet expands to include purees and other solid foods. Squish 100% Fruit and Veg purees are not only ideal for your baby’s very first food, they can be incorporated into their diets at every stage of their development right from when you start introducing solids. From first foods to snack time to eventually mastering the messy fun of finger food, Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Purees are here to assist you every step of the way.

Once your baby has experimented with Squish 100% fruit and veg smooth purees for long enough, you can then start to include things like pieces of steamed and cooled sweet potatoes, pumpkin and ripe avocado. Later they can advance to foods like boiled green beans, soft pasta, rice and steamed broccoli. All these foods can be paired perfectly with Squish 100% vegetable purees.

Small mashed up pieces of fruit like melon, bananas, steamed pears or even grated apples can be offered. These can be mixed with Squish’s delicious range of 100% fruit purees or yoghurt and fruit purees. Simply mix them up in a bowl and allow your baby the freedom of exploring the food at their own pace.

As babies mature and become more familiar with the art of eating and swallowing, they might begin to show signs of wanting to feed themselves, and this should certainly be encouraged for so many reasons.

Why are finger foods good for baby (and helpful for mama)?

Finger foods will help your baby learn fine-motor skills and allow him/her to engage in the wonder and fun of food experimentation.

  • Learning to grasp at food and bring food to their mouth is an art that takes practice and will eventually lead to mastering a spoon.
  • Finger foods help to introduce more variety in texture, which helps babies become less fussy eaters later on.
  • Finger foods work as a great diversion for parents with picky eaters who need some distraction while feeding. Allowing your baby to play and explore finger foods means they will be more likely to oblige to you spoon-feeding in between.
  • It encourages a healthy sense of independence and instils confidence from a young age.

When can I start offering my baby finger foods?

When your baby reaches between 7-8 months old and has a pretty good pincher grasp, you may think about offering him finger foods. As long as you follow these basic guidelines, there should be no reason why your baby shouldn’t start playing with certain age-appropriate foods.

  • Your baby must be able to hold his/her own head up and sit up on his/her own.
  • Don’t leave your baby alone while eating.
  • Make sure the food you offer your baby is age appropriate. Ensure that there are no big chunks of food or crackers or teething biscuits that can easily be broken causing choking hazards.
  • Food for young babies (8 months - 12 months) should be soft and easily “mashed” between the gums.

There is a whole world of tantalising flavours and textures just waiting to be explored with your little one.

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