There comes a time when Junior is no longer needing to get by on just milk, or formula, yet full plates of food are still a stretch. This grey zone could be entitled the finger-food gap. It’s a time to slowly introduce a growing baby to the joy of eating solid stuff, by letting her sample easy to grasp and chew finger foods. The first step is to pick the right moment. Babies are generally ready for finger foods at about six months. But, each baby is different and there is no cut and dried rule. Look for signs that Junior has developed sufficiently to enjoy the prospect. She should be able to sit up on her own and grasp items firmly with a hand. A sure sign that interest is peaked is the ability and desire to put things into the mouth and interest in the stuff she sees on mom and dad’s dishes. When the time seems right go for whole foods, like scrambled eggs and sliced bananas. Always consider the danger of choking and avoid food that comes in a coin or ball shape. Good nutrition is a factor even in these early stages. So, go for nutrient dense options. If a baby is not ready, it’s probable that she will push the food out. So, parents should be advised. Since finger options are for transitioning Junior slowly, eventually bridging the gap to whole plates of real food, it’s important to keep the formula coming, as it provides needed nutrition at this stage. Never leave the baby unattended with these types of foods. And, remember that a palate is being developed. A little spice can open up a world of flavor for Junior.
- Starting baby foods at the right time can help create good eating habits in your child and may avoid them becoming a picky eater.
- Your child is ready for finger foods when they can sit on their own and grab food.
- It is best to avoid starting with soft food and begin with whole foods such as eggs, avocado, and bananas.
“There aren’t really any specific rules on age because, frankly, every child is different. Knowing when to start feeding baby solids is more about understanding the signs that they’re ready, willing and able to start branching out from a liquid diet.”