What is the age for Introducing Baby Finger Foods – When will Baby be Ready for Finger Food?
All babies are different and there is no set-in-stone age for when to introduce finger foods. You should introduce finger foods when you feel that your baby is ready; this may be at 7 months old or when baby is 10 months old. The average age for introducing baby finger food is between 7 and 8 months of age.
Your baby should be able to "chew" using his or her gums to mash foods. Your baby 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 and grab and hold onto foods with the pincher grasp, then your baby is probably ready for finger foods.
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.
Here's a list of finger food favorites:
- O-shaped toasted oat cereal or other low-sugar cereal
- Lightly toasted bread or bagels (spread with vegetable puree for extra vitamins)
- Small chunks of banana or other very ripe peeled and pitted fruit, like mango, plum, pear, peach, cantaloupe, or seedless watermelon
- Small cubes of tofu
- Well-cooked pasta spirals, cut into pieces
- Very small chunks of cheese
- Chopped hard-boiled egg
- Cut-up raisins, softened dried apricots, or stewed prunes
- Small pieces of well-cooked vegetables, like carrots, peas, zucchini, potato, or sweet potato
- Small well-cooked broccoli or cauliflower "trees"
- Pea-size pieces of cooked chicken or other soft meat
- Rice cakes or crackers broken into small pieces
Baby Finger Food Quick Tips
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.