As your baby gets used to weaning, try these snack ideas to boost her food intake and encourage independent eating
Early on in the weaning process, your baby’s primary source of nutrition is still milk, but as she gets more used to solids, you can start to introduce snacks – particularly finger food snacks – between meals.
All babies develop differently, so if your baby can’t yet sit up unassisted or support her own head then she’s not quite ready for finger food snacks.
However if she can chew mashed up food (or gum it, if she has no teeth yet) and has a good pincer grip – the ability to hold a small object between her finger and thumb – then you can start to try her with some new flavours and textures.
Giving your baby healthy snacks is good for her in many ways. Firstly, it will strengthen her fine motor skills, which paves the way for using cutlery later on.
Secondly, giving your baby small snacks encourages her to try a wide range of different tastes and textures, meaning she’s less likely to become fussy. It also introduces her to the art of feeding herself, rather than her relying on you to feed her. These early forays into independence will flourish as she gets older.
It’s important to give your baby age-appropriate snacks – for example, cooked carrot sticks are fine at this age, but raw carrots are likely to be too hard to bite and chew.
Make sure she’s sitting upright if you’re giving her finger foods to avoid choking, and never leave her alone when she’s eating.
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