Around 6 months, babies are learning to chew food with their jaws and gums. Babies don’t need teeth to eat soft foods. When you first start giving your baby solids, start by feeding them small amounts or mushy food with a spoon. However, it’s just as important for babies to learn to feed themselves too. Babies may hold finger foods a lot but not eat much. This is okay. Finger foods help babies:
- Explore their food through taste and touch
- Learn to use their jaws and gums
- Have fun creating a big mess.
Offering Finger Foods
When giving your baby finger foods, try to offer as many foods from the 4 food groups as possible. You can often share your own meal with your baby. Just follow some basic guidelines on making baby food and make sure that you are following safe food handling practices. Learn more about finger foods, including ideas about what to offer.
If you have questions about finger foods, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 and speak to a dietitian.
Babies learn how to eat until they are about 4 years old. They are still at risk of choking. Luckily, by taking a few easy steps, you can do a lot to prevent choking.
- Always be in the same room while your baby is eating
- Feed your baby while they are sitting in a high chair
- Avoid these foods: nuts, raisins, popcorn, hard/small candies, marshmallow, gobs of peanut butter or gooey cheese.
- Cut these foods into small pieces: olives, grapes, raw vegetables, hot dogs (cut lengthwise first, then into small pieces)
Choking Versus Gagging
Gagging can sometimes look like choking, but gagging is a normal part of learning how to eat. Choking means that there is no air moving. Your baby will start to look blue and won’t be able to make any sounds. If this happens, call 9-1-1 right away.