The Complete Finger Food for Children
Finger foods are made in a style that can be eaten using hands and are familiar to children. These foods can be introduced to a child after they master purees. However, the introduction time is different for babies; but it mainly occurs within seven to nine months.
At this time, the child is mastering the palmar grasp, and they are also learning how to put their hands in the mouth. The WHO recommends these foods be introduced at six months, and you should ensure your child shows the following signs before administering these foods;
- Good head and trunk control
- Sitting with no assistance
- Interested in food.
Below we discuss all you should know about finger foods for baby.
How to Introduce Finger Foods
You can introduce finger foods to your child in several ways, and below, we discuss a few;
- Baby-Led Weaning
This entails feeding children finger foods from the beginning, around six months of age. Here, you should keep it basic and begin with 2-3 foods simultaneously. Do not put large food quantities on the plate. Also, start with stick-shaped foods to make grasping easier.
Here, it will help to give dissolvable or meltable foods to the child, but only if the first stage is successful.
Preparing Finger Foods
Below we discuss how to prepare finger foods;
- Soft foods- finger foods should be soft enough to enable the child to squeeze them between their fingers. The baby's first food should be smooth for easy gnawing. Other foods, like pawpaw's, are generally soft, while vegetables and fruits require steaming.
How to Keep the Baby Safe
Parents know how scary it is to introduce finger foods to their children. However, the fears loosen with the proper knowledge and calculation, making this adventure enjoyable for both of you. You should avoid choking on food, and the child should be seated upright.
Parents should also check the child's mouth after eating. This is important because some babies might pocket food on their cheek's side after eating or remain with stuck food.
Best Finger Foods for Children
Below we discuss the top finger foods you should consider feeding to your child;
- Banana- should be peeled or crushed for easy eating
- Salmon- should be baked, and the skin removed
- Oats- let them cook for five minutes, and serve them in round potties.
However, certain foods increase your child’s choking chances, depending on the preparation. Parents should avoid feeding their children the following foods;
- Melon balls
- Fish with bones
- Dried fruits
- Grape tomatoes
- Raw and complex fruits.
Parents should also avoid feeding honey to the child until they surpass one year since it has a botulism risk. Undercooked meals like meat or eggs can also cause a food-borne infection. Low food fat versions should not be fed to children because they require fat for development.
Finger foods play a significant role in the child's development and should be given at an early age. They include fish, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. The above article has discussed all you need to know about these foods, and more are available online.