From around seven to nine months old your little one will be ready to start on finger foods. Keep these important things in mind as your child takes this next step on their exciting food journey.
1. Readiness clues
So how exactly do you know that your baby is ready to move from purees on to finger foods? At around seven to nine months old, your child will start to master the pincer grasp – this means they can pick things up with their fingers and don’t need to use their whole hand – and will be able to bring their hand to their mouth with intention. One of the easiest clues that your child is read for finger food is that they will start reaching out to steal food out of your hands or off your plate!
2. Keep it soft
When first introducing finger foods start with softer textures so that they are easy to chew or suck and your little one can move the food around their mouth easily. Try mango, avo or banana, as well as sliced hard-boiled eggs and softly toasted bread. Initially you’ll need to take the crunch out of veggies like carrots so that your baby can chew them easily – simply lightly steam or roast.
3. Size it right
To make grasping easier, don’t slice food too thinly. Prep food to be about 2-3cm thick and about 6-9cm long. You don’t want your child to feel frustrated because they can’t pick it up!
4. Add dips
Finger foods love a dip – and so will your little one. They are a great way to introduce new tastes, flavours and textures to your child and are so easy to make: just add a tablespoon of Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Puree to yoghurt or smooth cream cheese and mix well. Or you could simply use the puree on its own – there are a variety of flavours to choose from, including Squish 100% Summer Berries, Banana + Apple, and Sweet Potato, Apple + Cinnamon. Squish 100% Fruit and Veg Purees are packed full of natural goodness. They are completely free of added colourants, flavourants and preservatives, and have no added cane sugar. The resealable lids on Squish pouches cut back on waste too – just use what you need, then screw closed and pop back in the fridge for later. You’ll find more dip inspiration under the Quick + Easy Recipe tab on our website, like this tasty and nutritious Bean Dip.
5. Take these precautions
Choking is always a concern, especially when your little one first starts eating solids and finger foods. Make sure your child is sitting securely in their highchair to minimise choking risks – and sit with them so that you can supervise. Now isn’t the time to multitask! If they start to get sleepy while eating, remove the food. Also, remember your child should not eat in the car, unless there is an adult sitting in the back seat to keep an eye on them.
6. Get adventurous
Once your little one has mastered basic finger foods, you can start to increase their menu options. Try these yummy recipes – they’re all packed with Squish goodness: Cheesy Veg Balls and Potato Pops.