I was naturally dubious about feeding my 6.5 month old daughter party food but in the end she munched her way through some boiled egg, cucumber sticks, bread sticks and some cheese & tomato pizza cut into small finger slices.
The thing that got me this time was the way she was picking up one thing and chewing on that for a while, then catching sight of something else presumably more interesting, then discarding what was in her hand and picking the other thing up. She was picking and choosing her food and having a great time.
One challenge is convincing my boys not to put food on her tray. They see her eating normal food and obviously don't know the thought that goes on behind the choices so think its ok to give her food. Not all of which is appropriate. (not quite at the cake and crisps stage yet!)
So I've come up with a couple of guidelines for us about what we're ok with her eating at the moment (not necessarily in any order of significance) and some other things we're bearing in mind.
* Food that is holdable by small hands - stick shape usually. Slices of apple, cucumber, toast, peaches, potato, baked carrots and sweet potato. Bread sticks, grated cheese to name a few foods.
* Little or no salt and sugar content where possible.
* At least 2 varieties of food per meal.
* Foods that if a bit breaks off and DOES go down her throat, that it is squashy enough to not get lodged. Raw carrot is one to be watched VERY carefully in this respect.
* Variety of textures in each meal, ie; don't be afraid to get messy! Mashed potato blobs are a great hit here.
* On a practical note, sit baby upright and have her easily accessible in case she needs her back patting - y'know securely sat, but not so tightly strapped in you can't get her out in a hurry
* If baby is not really hungry then at this point, you'll get more out of mealtimes. She's eating to explore and taste rather than satisfy her hunger which would be frustrating for her.
* Cover up! Floor, baby, you... Whatever it takes so that no ones worrying about mess so that baby can concentrate on exploring her food and not develop anxiety about getting food everywhere (its inevitable BTW).
This list is not exhaustive so no doubt I'll be coming back to it at some point.
Do you have anything to add?
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