Ask Holly: Finger Foods?

Dear Holly,
I have been very nervous about starting my baby on finger foods. She is 9 months old and does not have any teeth yet. I make all her food (though have succumbed to mum-mum’s as a snack) and try to only give her organic, unprocessed foods. Do you have a suggestion for snacks I can give my daughter, that she can safely feed to herself? Thank you!

2 thoughts on “Ask Holly: Finger Foods?”

  1. Hi Sarah!
    Great question-I was right there with you. They obviously want to feed themselves and work on their fine motor skills, but it is so scary for us. Here are some foods you can try:

    * small pieces of very ripe banana*
    * small chunks of soft fruit- the kind that squishes down easily in your mouth such as watermelon, ripe pears, peeled an halved blueberries, mango, etc.
    * hard boiled egg yolk sliced into thin strips (use an egg slicer to cut the yolk one direction, then turn it 90 degrees in the slicer and cut again for good sized strips)
    * steamed broccoli, carrots, or other veggies cut into tiny bite sized morsels- make sure to cook until very soft so she can easily gum them
    * small (1/2 inch) squares of lightly toasted whole grain bread

    and since she’s mastered snacking on mum-mums, you can try Oatios or Healthy Times teething biscuits for the times when you can’t prepare the food for her.

    *TIP: If the food is too slippery for her little fingers to grasp, try rolling them in brewer’s yeast for an easier grip, and a B vitamin boost! Not a taste I prefer, but my baby will only eat banana this way! Don’t underestimate what your baby will eat!

    Remember to watch her closely the whole time she is feeding herself, and know that she probably will cough or gag at one time or another as she is getting used to the new texture in her mouth and learning how to chew (or gum) and swallow. This is a normal part of the feeding process. Just make sure to cut everything into small pieces, don’t cut anything into round pieces that could block her windpipe (picture the size and shape of a sliced hot dog- a definite choking hazard!), and remember to remove the skin from fruits and veggies. Also, just put 3 or 4 bits on her tray at one time so she doesn’t get overwhelmed or try to cram it all in her mouth at once. Finally, easier said than done I know, try to relax. After the first few snacks of finger food, she’ll be a pro!

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