Introducing finger foods to your baby – the best time to give baby finger foods is whenever he/she is ready!
What is the age for introducing finger foods to babies? When will your baby be ready for finger food?
To answer the above question, all babies are different and there is no set-in-stone age for when to introduce finger foods. The average age for introducing finger foods to babies is between 7 and 8 months of age. Some babies begin solid foods by eating “finger foods” rather than pureed foods; this is called Baby Led Weaning.
When deciding to offer your baby finger foods, here are a few things to help you determine the right time. Your baby should be able to “chew” using his or her gums to mash foods. She should also have a pretty good pincher grasp. The pincher grasp is the the ability to grab and hold objects between the thumb and the fore finger. If your baby has the fine motor skill to maneuver, grab and hold onto foods with the pincher grasp, then your baby is probably ready for finger foods. It is also important that your little one be able to sit up unassisted. A baby eating finger foods is more likely to choke and being reclined or supported may only increase this risk.
Why is the Pincher Grasp important when offering Baby Finger Food?
As with anything your baby is learning to accomplish, there is a level of frustration that comes with each milestone and accomplishment. If you offer your baby finger foods and your baby is not physically ready to pick up and hold onto the small bits of food, your baby may become frustrated. It is important to limit baby’s frustration so as not to inadvertently begin to foster a negative relationship with food and self-feeding.
Finger Foods for Babies will do more than just provide nutrition.
Finger foods help baby learn fine motor skills and finger foods allow baby to engage in the wonder and fun of food experimentation. When your baby reaches between 7-8 months old and has a pretty good pincher grasp, you may think about offering him finger foods.
What are Good Finger Foods to Offer Baby?
Ideal finger foods are those foods that baby can easily pick up and easily mash between his gums. Finger foods help baby begin to learn to self-feed. Good baby finger foods are any foods that baby has already had – and anything that you can make into small soft and “mash-able” bits.
Visit the Baby Finger Food Recipes and Ideas page to see the variety of foods you may offer.
Quick Tips for Baby Finger Foods
- Baby Finger Foods should be “”mash-able”” between the gums.
- Finger Foods should be age appropriate – do not offer your 8 month old whole eggs scrambled for example.
- If your baby cannot hold her head up and sit up unassisted, do not offer her finger foods.
- Baby should always be sitting upright when offered Baby Finger Foods so as to avoid possible choking.
- NEVER leave your baby unattended when serving Baby Finger Foods (or any other chunky food for that matter).
- There is no brand of teething biscuit/cracker or recipe for teething biscuits/crackers that is guaranteed not to crumble or break off into pieces.
More on Finger Foods for Babies
All babies are different; there is no set-in-stone or perfect age for introducing finger foods. You should introduce finger foods when you feel that your baby is ready; this may be at 7 months or at 10 months old.