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Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    Love the post where everyone is giving food suggestions.  Here's my problem.  How do you actually get them to pick them up and eat them?  My kids just drop everything into their lap.  Should I be spoon feeding finger foods until they get the hang of it?  Mixing with puree so they get used to the texture?
    I know I sound like a spaz - but I'm not sure how to proceed.

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from enjar. Show enjar's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    They figure it out on their own after a while, as they watch you feed yourself. 

    We would offer some finger foods at the beginning of a feeding, sometimes they got in the mouth, sometimes they didn't.  Then we would feed whatever after a few minutes with a spoon.

    Eventually more and more food made it from the tray to the mouth, and then later they start grabbing the spoon, too.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Notanewbie. Show Notanewbie's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    There's no real trick to it.  I think 9 months is the median age for developing the fine motor skills required for babies to self finger feed which means that some babies start as early as 6 months and others as late as 12 months.  My advice is to offer them with each meal but continue to feed purees. I started to move more to mashed foods around that age so that they would get used to more texture.

    Have you tried puffs yet?  I was scared to try them for a while thinking DS would choke, but they melt pretty easily and kids love them so it encourages self-feeding.
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    Hi Misslily,

    We started out with just sticking some cheerios or small pieces of fruit in front of them.  They would push it around and work on trying to pick it up.  Of course, once they picked it up, it went straight into their mouths (or at least toward their mouths!).  Eventually, they got better at it, but it took some time. 

    I don't think  you need to spoon feed it or mix it with anything unless the texture is actually a problem.  You can pick it up for them and stick it in their mouths if you want to so they can work on chewing and getting used to the idea while they're still working on their pincer grasp.

    The main developmental key for finger foods is that they need to have a "pincer grasp"--are able to pick things up between their thumb and forefinger.  If they haven't developed it yet, you may need to give it a bit more time, or just focus on things that can be eaten in larger pieces--toast, waffles, etc.

    Fruit can be slippery, so I've heard of other people saving the "cheerio dust" from the bottom of the cereal bag or crushing up cheerios and rolling or shaking the fruit pieces in it to make them a bit tackier and easier to pick up.  We also gave them cooked rotini cut into smallish pieces.  Toast is a great starter finger food as well.  You can cut it into 4ths or 8ths so it's a manageable size, but it doesn't require a pincer grasp to pick up.  My kids also like (cooked) frozen waffles and pancakes (of course, you can make your own too and freeze them for ease of use).  Those are easy to pick up as well.  Meatballs cut into pieces can be fun.  Some grocery stores sell falafel in the produce section where the vegetarian protein alternatives are.  My kids really liked those early on too.  Speaking of veg. protein...tofu is good, too.  Get the extra firm kind and cut into small cubes and stick it in a frying pan with some oil and spices of your choice.  The consistency is great for people w/o many teeth :)  Once they've got the pincer grasp down, scrambled eggs are fun too (just be prepared to give them a bath afterwards--my kids like to use the eggs as hairstyling products as well as eating them).

    Be careful once you start, and don't do what I did and stock up on jarred food right before introducing finger foods.  My kids pretty much refuse to eat anything I try to give them with a spoon now!

    We keep a list on a dry erase board in the kitchen of things we've given them so that we always have something to refer to if we're out of ideas or just too tired to be creative.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    Thanks everyone.  I'll just keep offering while I spoon feed.  They can pick up, but don't seem ready to "eat" yet.  I put a cherrio in each mouth tonight and got the worst faces! :)
    Daisy - my grocery store has a box where people leave food for a local food bank.  Perhaps you should drop off your jarred stuff in something similar. :)
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    My plan for the jarred food at this point is to hold on to it for a couple more months and when the kids get to a picky phase, to start blending it in to the food of the week (i.e. the only thing they will eat for several days on end) so they're at least getting something with nutrition in it.  If that doesn't work, or if I happen to have psycho miracle kids who continue to love their fruits and vegetables without interruption (yeah, right!), I will donate it to a women's shelter or somewhere else that will take it.  For now, I do use the fruit instead of butter on toast and waffles, and I also use it as "jelly" on PB & J sandwiches.  Donating it is a good idea, though, and certainly something I will do when I know for sure that we're really done with it!
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    Misslilly lots of good advice so far. We would just let DS play with the food, explore it, and soon enough he'd start to eat it himself. We'd of course still spoon feed him until he really got the hang of it. Even now, at 16 mo, I still find myself spoon feeding DS some nights.

    I was going to post my own feeding question today-how do other mother's stop the habit of their LO's using food as hair styling products? DS has taken to sticking all of his food on his head. The other day he stuck a slice of pizza (whole slice) on the top of his head. The next day he tried to see how many chunks of salmon he could stick to his face and hair at one time...sigh. I try not to encourage, but...
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

        Wait a few months.   You are introducing it very early, and there is no need.   That is, doing it will not help them learn anything new, or give them better nutrition.

       At some point in the next few months, tomorrow or in 90 days, it will click, and they will reach for things, the spoons, start really watching when you pick up something to eat - and reach for it.

         Sometimes, as you pick up something and put it in your mouth, you will look, see them watching, and open their mouth wide and close it again when you open yours and put something in.    Then is a fine time to say, want some?

        Puree food is fine until then, or as they get older, a more "junior food"  fork mashed like texture, before real solids.
        At this age babies would be more mouthing things till they disintegrate, then swallowing, rather than chewing and moving food.

         What is the hurry?   It is nice to wait for them to initiate things, seek what they want, rather than everything being presented to them, when you think about it.
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from am1028. Show am1028's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    Misslily, you've gotten a lot of great advice.  I just wanted to echo what most others said.  Just keep putting the finger foods on their tray and they'll eventually pick them up and put them in their mouths.  they may first put them in their hair, up their noses, etc., but the food will get where it needs to go eventually.  In the meantime, continue giving them their purees.  Good luck.
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    Misslily, I think that everyone -- especially Daisy -- has given you great advice! The one thing I wanted to add is something that I forgot a lot at the beginning -- introducing solids should be fun! I got very goal-oriented and obsessed about how much and what variety was getting into the baby, instead of just enjoying the whole process.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alyssa15. Show Alyssa15's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    This is such a helpful post!!!  I am struggling with understanding how to add food etc.  My 9 month old son started to eat solides really well at 6 months.  He was having three meals a day mostly with solids and then two bottles.  In fact I was worried he was not taking the bottle enough.  But now it is different.. about one month ago he started to slow down with solids.  We offer him dinner evey evening and he usually fusses and wants nothing to do with it.. and he takes about 3 oz of the bottle.  I feel like feeding time should be a happier time.  I have tried adding finger food (little bits of chicken, etc) and he seems to like that.. I am just not sure how much regular food he should be eating and how much formula he should be taking.  I just want meal time to be happy!
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    Alyssa, I found babycenter's chart very helpful:

    But I also think that following your baby's cues is important.
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    Pincer grasp is really important in feeding themsleves, but if they aren't ready, no need to rush. As for the stock of jarred food, don't be too hasty on getting rid of it. My normally voracious 17 month DD has had a cold with a sore throat (I know because she gave it to me, too) and wanted nothing to do with her usual (cut or mashed version of our food) dinner. She would eat yogurt, so I had to buy a few jars of baby food, and she ate those. Plus when I ate soup for my sore throat, she loved it too. So keep a few for those instances where they might want the softer textures of babyfood.
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from happy2bpg. Show happy2bpg's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    misslily -- so good to hear from you.   I think of you often!!   Cannot believe your LO are 9 months!!  TIME FLIES!!   My DD is 8 1/2 months and just started with the finger foods.  She was getting really fussy during meal time and seemed to want to participate more in the feeding -- she was reaching for things, etc.   My parents actually made the jump when they had her for an overnight a couple weeks back.  They did Cherrio's and we quickly moved to Puffs and other small bits of things.   Daisy made a lot of great suggestions (which is great b/c I have been meaning to ask her about that lately).   I've tried canned fruit (in light syrup) but it can be slippery.   She does well with it though.   We also do the Pepperidge Farms sandwich thins with a little laughing cow spread, any shredded cheese, grapes, grape tomatoes, mini bagels, "real" applesauce (unsweetened).  I bought waffles yesterday but haven't tried them.  We also baked her a potato last night, saved it and gave her some tonight.   

    Try not to be frustrated, or feel like the whole meal has to be finger foods.  Tonight I started with a puree and when she got tired of it, moved to some peaches, with spoonfuls of the puree in between.   Whatever works!!!   Good Luck and have fun!   :)
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Txgrl82. Show Txgrl82's posts

    Re: Getting 9 month old to eat finger foods

    I didn't read all the posts so if I'm repeating sorry.

    We had a really easy time with this and DD is close to 10 months and all of her food is now finger foods. I don't think there's any real trick as others have stated, just keep trying. One thing that I think helped was picking up the finger foods for her and feeding them to her like that. Eventually DD saw how I was feeding her and went for it.

    In the beginning I liked Cheerios better than the puffs. The puffs, although they melt easier, would get stuck on the back of DD's tongue and she would gag. She never had that problem with Cheerios so I just stuck with those until she was completely comfortable with finger foods.

    A good finger food is avocado because it's so soft. As another poster mentioned, Cheerio dust is helpful with avocado since it's slippery. Something else DD absolutely loves is those Baby Bell cheeses. I cut them up into little bite sized pieces. Another great option is frozen (thawed) blueberries. Even though they can be messy, DD really likes them and she will eat quite a few!