Your baby watches you take a bite of your breakfast from across the table. Guess what! She's interested in feeding herself, too! At about age 9 months, she is ready to start eating some early finger foods. With anything, you should talk to your pediatrician to make sure she’s ready, but if she’s chewing, has pincer skills, and can sit up by herself… chances are she’s ready to try!
Teach your little one to feed himself by serving a selection of finger foods.
Good finger food choices are soft foods that can be mashed up with his gums. Longer strips that can be grasped with his hand will be easier to eat than small cubes. Once he starts using a pincer grip, the smaller cubed food will be fun for him to pinch and eat.
Here are a few early finger foods to offer your kiddo that you may not have thought of:
Avocado is a great early finger food choice because it can be served raw, which means it's super quick and easy to prepare.. If a strip of avocado is too slippery for him to pick up, roll the avocado in crushed Cheerios to add texture that will help your baby grasp it without your help.
Steamed broccoli is a fun early finger food because it comes pre-equipped with a convenient handle for baby to grab and hold onto. To prepare broccoli, steam until it's soft, then allow to cool before serving.
Cut firm or extra firm tofu up into strips or small cubes and offer a few to your baby. You can also roll the tofu in Cheerios crumbs to add texture, if desired.
Roasted Sweet Potato
Roast root veggies such as sweet potato until they are soft and mealy. Cut in stick shapes or small cubes. Other good vegetables to roast: squash, potato, or rutabaga.
Yogurt as a finger food? Yes, if you mix some grippable goodies into it. Choose plain, unflavored, unsweetened yogurt or Greek yogurt, and mix in your own small cubes of soft fruit and some Cheerios to add texture that will allow baby to feed herself. Yes, it will be a bit messy, but oh, so fun for her! This is also a great opportunity to give her a baby spoon and let her attempt to use it.
First finger foods are training ground for growing up and eating a variety of good things.You'll be surprised and delighted when she starts to express her likes and dislikes. Maybe she'll even encourage YOU to try something new!
Heather Mann is a mom of 4 boys who designs clever crafts with a frugal twist at Dollar Store Crafts.