As your baby grows and develops, they’ll start eyeing your food. This could signify that they want to extend their palate to other foods and textures. However, introducing table food to your child can quickly become an overwhelming experience if you aren’t sure of what you’re doing. So it’s necessary to know some tips for transitioning your baby to table food calmly and reassuringly. The next thing you know, they’ll be munching on bananas and avocados regularly. Your baby may be growing up, but now’s the time to find out what foods they like and don’t like.
How Old Should Your Child Be?
Children often develop their motor skills and have an easier time feeding themselves effectively with their fingers at 8 to 9 months old. They can then learn how to use utensils between 15 and 18 months old. Children also replicate everything their parents and siblings do, so start by scooping food onto a spoon and bringing it to your mouth to show them how it’s done. Additionally, try foods that stick to the spoon, such as oatmeal and mashed potatoes, to make it easier at first.
Have your baby use a silicone spoon, and help them guide the food to their mouths. It will take some practice before your baby adjusts to doing it themselves, so be patient.
Signs Your Baby Is Ready
Developmental milestones often indicate when your child feels ready to try table foods. Some signs that show your baby is ready include:
- They bring food to their own mouths.
- They show interest in other people’s food.
- They can sit in a high chair unassisted.
- They show little to no interest in being spoon fed.
If you’re looking for signs of teeth, don’t worry. Children should stick with softer foods when they’re trying out table foods. Their gums often help with chewing, so teeth aren’t necessary for your child to try table foods.
Finger Foods To Try
When you’re introducing table foods to your baby, you might feel worried about choking. A tip for transitioning your baby to table foods is to keep foods soft and mushy. Some appropriate foods include:
- Smashed blueberries
- Cooked carrots, sweet potato, and squash
The process might get a little messy, but that doesn’t mean your baby won’t love every second of it. Just make sure to stay away from processed baby foods in the meantime.
Stay Patient and Persistent
When your child is learning how to eat table foods, there’s a significant chance of the food ending up on the floor, on themselves, or even on you. This might feel frustrating initially, but make sure to remain patient and reward them for their progress.
Learning to eat table food isn’t a one-and-done situation; children often need several instances of exposure to new foods before they’ll accept them. It’s a time for your child to explore and learn about the world of nutrition, so have fun with it.
Food nourishes the soul, so watching your child enjoy avocado can feel heartwarming. Remember to help them with eating, and before you know it, they’ll master self-feeding.