Starting out letting your baby feed him/herself can be a worry for parents so here’s all the things I have learnt along the way.
- Make sure your baby is ready! Your baby should be the recommended 6+ months old, be able to sit up in their high chair.
- Avoid serving any foods that are choking hazards, including nuts, whole grapes, chunks of apples and cherries. I always went with the thought process of ‘Will this food break up if I squeeze it between my index finger and thumb?’
- Be patient! – It took Oscar a LOT of goes before he was able to gobble up an entire meal. Remember that your baby gets most of their nutrition from the milk they are drinking and food should complement the milk and not the other way around. If you are breastfeeding this is the link I went by: KellyMom Starting Solids
- Start slow – Introduce foods at the beginning like spears of banana or sweet potato. I also gave my kiddies roasted butternut squash and avocado. Its so much fun watching them explore their new food and having that first magical taste.
- Offer a variety of yummy food – Expose your baby to a wide range of food and give him every opportunity to develop an adventurous palate.
- Be prepared for a little bit of mess – In saying that, food mess from a little baby is easy to clean up and if your baby has a good plastic bib on then the mess on him/her shouldn’t be that bad. Also, they get really good at eating really quickly. You just have to relax and go with it.
- Eat as a family – It is amazing to eat as a family anyway, but when it comes to letting your baby feed them self it’s even better. You don’t have to disrupt your own meal by trying to get them to eat one more spoonful while your own dinner is going cold. You simply all eat together and it is guaranteed that seeing your little one eat on their own will bring a whole new joy to your mealtimes.
- Have lot’s and lots and lots of fun! – Letting your baby feed this way is the best, most funnest (if that is a word) thing you will ever do and you will never regret it.