Somewhere after the age of 9-10 months, babies start demanding to eat food with their hands. And by all means, let them do exactly that! It will create a mess, agreed, but it is a very important development stage for your baby to do exactly that. It needs to explore the food, get to know it, examine it in every aspect, not just to fill the belly. So, in order for your baby to get to love food, here are some baby finger food tips.
Offer a variety of foods
Give your baby a great variety of foods. Use different foods with different colors, shapes, and texture, and let your baby explore. It will squeeze it, smash it, smear it, and hopefully, taste some of it. The amount that ends up in its mouth is of secondary importance.
Let your baby show you how much food it needs
Let your baby decide about what it eats from the things you put in front of him, and how much it eats. After all, your baby is the only one who really knows when its stomach is full. However, you will decide the time for eating, which should be – as much as possible – constant. Also, you need to be the one who decides what you put on the table, especially when your baby becomes a toddler and, later, a preschooler. Don’t push your toddler to eat more than it wants to or else it will have difficulty learning to listen to its own body saying “I’m full”.
Keep mealtime without distractions
Don’ t use distractions like loud music or TV to “trick” your baby into eating. That could cause overeating and establish bad habits.
Choose healthy foods for baby finger food
Iron-rich foods are very important. They should be on your meal plan most days of the week. Such foods are beef, turkey, chicken, veal, lentils, beans, and spinach. Give a little orange juice to your toddler, or include some Vitamin C rich foods on the menu, such as broccoli or lemon. Vitamin C helps in absorbing iron.
Don’t mind the mess
Your baby will create a mess. You will clean it up. Again. And again. And, for an unbelievable number of times, again…
Hold on to memories
Have a camera at hand. Nothing beats the cuteness of such a little face covered in sauce!
Find yummy, toddler-friendly recipes and foods
Having said all that, you can find our favorite, full of nutrients meatball with veggies recipe here. This one is perfect to make small meatballs for your toddler to tear apart and taste! This recipe helped me with my little girl, who wanted to eat by herself from very early on. She never was much of an eater, so I needed to make every bite count. And, to be honest, we all love eating them!
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