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Friday

Finger Foods for baby

By around 7 to 8 months you can introduce finger foods. Your baby may find it easier to pick up food with his fingers than use a spoon at this stage. These finger foods can be made out of anything that’s not too sloppy to cut. Here are some ideas:

* Slices of bread or toast. Press the bread firmly with a rolling pin before toasting or cutting into fingers to make sure that no crumbs or lumps will fall off
* Strips of pitta bread, nan or chapati
* Fingers of pizza
* Cubes of cheese, or a pile of finely grated cheese
* Peas
* Cooked pasta in sizes and shapes your baby can pick up
* Cooked vegetables
* Chunks of dessert apple or finely grated apple
* Slices of carrot, celery, cucumber
* Tiny sandwiches with fruit or savoury filling

Note: you should always stay with your baby when he’s feeding himself in case he chokes. Usually, babies will cough or spit food out if they cannot swallow it. Occasionally you may have to pat him on the back or put your finger in his mouth to remove a piece of food.
Your baby and family meals

At this stage your baby can join in more and more with family meals. Seat him at the table in a highchair, perhaps with a cloth underneath to make clearing up easier.

You might need to give him his main evening meal rather earlier than you have yours - a baby cannot wait until 7 o’clock for his tea, unless he has a substantial snack in the afternoon. And some babies are asleep by 7pm!

Similarly, some older babies need an early lunch, at around 11 or 11.30am, and then have a post-lunch nap. Trying to keep a baby awake to fit in with your meal time is unfair and not very productive. However, even if you are not eating yourself, do sit down with him at the table and chat to him while he is eating.

Many families compromise, and eat together when they can, at the weekends and on holiday. You’ll find it is easiest to be fairly flexible, and to expect your baby’s routine to change from time to time.

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