Apple Fingers (and More Food Exploration)

Apple Fingers (3)

Pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is six months old to start solids, with lots of reasons behind the decision. First, babies actually consume fewer calories when they fill up on fruit and veggie purees or rice cereals because breast milk contains such ample calories. But I let both my kids “practice” with solids at five months and here’s why: I want Veronika to hone the skills of eating now (babies four months and older learn to move food from the front of the mouth to the back in order to swallow), so that she can truly dine at six months.

To wit, I’m slowly introducing a few tastes and textures into her world, and she is already smitten. These cute games will help your baby understand food – and have fun!

First, we played a game of “apple fingers.” I smeared a little apple puree onto Veronika’s tray, and didn’t need to wait long before those little fingers figured out exactly what to do.

Apple Fingers (1)

Let your baby smoosh it around and get real messy.

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Unlike her big brother, Veronika wanted control of her spoon right away. This girl knows what she wants!

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And of course, let those little fingers make it to the mouth. Your baby will receive just enough of a taste for an eye-popping surprise, and you can count fingers as he or she licks.

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It’s a wonderful introduction to all the healthy and delicious foods to come.

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The next day we explored food even more. I smeared a little rice cereal and sweet potato puree onto her tray.

Explore Food (1)

She didn’t waste much time before swishing her fingers in. This is almost like fingerpainting for babies!

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With the bonus of yummy fingers.

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When she seemed frustrated that she wasn’t getting much to taste, I handed her a spoon. She knew just what to do!

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Finally, you can let your baby explore foods with other textures under careful supervision. I sprinkled a few homemade corn muffin crumbs on her tray.

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She was delighted scattering them about, almost impish, as if she knew she was making a mess.

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Definitely watch closely if you give your baby something like this, though, since babies under 8 months old aren’t really old enough for baked goods.