The first few months of your baby’s life are fairly simple when it comes to what they eat. Your babe will be drinking milk for the first few months, and around 5-6 months they will begin their introduction to solid foods. Most babies start with single-ingredient purees, and over time begin to try more textured, combined flavors, such as those found in our blends. As your baby ventures forth on their solid food journey, you can begin to introduce finger foods in addition to offering them purees and blends. At Yumi, we believe that offering a combination of both purees and blends, as well as finger foods is optimal. Through the purees and blends, you can guarantee that your baby is covering all of their minimal nutrient intake. On the other hand, finger foods are a great way to improve your baby’s pincer grasp and fine motor skills.
Deciding what finger foods to offer to baby is one of our most frequently asked questions – what should I offer my baby in addition to purees and blends?! And what about common allergens?
We’ve broken it down for you below. Keep in mind there’s no set age to introduce finger foods because every baby develops at different speeds. So, rather than telling you what age you should give what foods to your baby, we’ve broken down the finger food journey into phases. We’ve also put a little * next to all major allergens. Current research proves that all major allergens can be introduced as early as 6 months. With that being said, don’t give them all at once. When introducing allergens, make sure to space them out so that you can keep an eye out for any potential reactions. If you have a history of food allergies in your family, make sure to talk to your baby’s pediatrician before introducing certain allergens.
INTRODUCING FINGER FOODS
PHASE 1: Beginner Phase
Your babe is still fairly new to the whole solid foods thing. They’re currently trying a variety of single-ingredient purees, and they’re curious about what you’re eating, too. During this phase, you’re looking for soft foods that are easy for your baby to grab and to swallow. The ideal size for cutting finger foods is between 1/4″ and 1/2″. Another option is to offer baby a piece of food that is too large for them to fit in their mouth, such as giving them half of a banana to gnaw on. Essentially, you want foods that are soft enough to swallow without much chewing, since they’re just getting the hang of things.
PHASE 2: Getting Adventurous
By this time, your babe has mastered single-ingredient purees and they’re moving on to more textured blends. They’ve also mastered their first finger foods. Diced avocado? Easy peasy. They’re beginning to express a desire to try new foods, meaning that they may have become bored with the foods that you’ve been giving them up until now. Your babe is now ready for more texture and new flavors.
PHASE 3: Your Little Foodie
Your babe is really movin’ and groovin’ into the world of solid foods. They’re still eating blends, and they’re also down to try pretty much any finger food you offer them. Watch out — they may be ready for some foie gras and caviar soon.
Remember, at the end of the day, what you feed your baby is up to you. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for every baby. As a parent, it means that you have to be flexible and you have to do what makes you feel comfortable. Be patient and be open.