The beginning of solid food and finger food for your baby is one of the important phases of your child’s development. Your baby learns how to grasp things with the help of his thumb and the index finger. Hand to mouth co-ordination is also learnt by the child and the facial muscles also undergo good exercise that is required for their full development.
Unfortunately, yes. The introduction of finger food is a great learning experience for your child but it can also be dangerous, if you, as a parent, do not take proper precautions. The danger is of chocking. So, you should be close to our child while he experiments with his solid food. Sometimes, the chocking sound is not even faintly audible and you may never know that your child is in danger.
Sometimes, you may be persuaded by your friends or acquaintances to give every kind of solid food to your child. But mind it, you should not experiment with a large variety of finger food but try only that food which you deem fit for your child. When your baby crosses the six-month age mark, he is ready for solid food. However, you must consult your health care provider or your doctor before starting solid food for your baby.
Which solid food should be given?
There is a large list from which you can choose form. The most suitable solid food is mentioned below, however the list is not exhaustive and you can be innovative also. The advice of your doctor must precede your innovation. The following variety of finger food is worth trying:
Bagels, plain rice cakes, zwieback cookies, crispy unsalted crackers, chunks of banana, small pieces of plain pancake, cooked fruits, cooked vegetable strips, melba toast and hard toast.
Keep in mind that you have to try the above variety of food when your baby is able to pick up things with his thumb and index finger or at least tries to do so. You must not force your baby to adopt such a behavior because every baby has a unique growth pattern and you should wait for the right time before trying the above food list.
Which food should be avoided?
Variety of things should be avoided up to the time when your baby has developed his molars like nuts, hot dogs or other meat chunks, adult dry cereals, grapes with seeds, berries, pretzels, hard candy or suckers, whole kernel corn, raisins, raw carrot, raw peas, popcorn, chips, globs of peanut butter and honey.
Though some people argue that honey is very beneficial for the child, it should be avoided as per the latest medical opinion. Studies have shown that honey may lead to botulism, which is a severe paralytic disease caused by botulin present in honey. Some people even tend to dip the bottle nipples, pacifiers or cookies etc. in honey, so that their child may like them. This should be strictly avoided.