The introduction of finger foods to babies aged 8 months and over encourages them to develop their pincer grip - ability to hold objects / food between between thumb and index finger.
Once babies grasp this action, morning and afternoon teas are a breeze - they can hold their own biscuit, feed themselves small pieces of food, etc ... no more trying to shove food in their mouths! YAY! This independence opens the door to other possibilities such as being able to push babies in the pram without stopping to feed them and them feeding themselve on their high chairs so that you can do other household chores, for a short period of time!
In recent weeks, Charlotte and Daniel have taken a very heightened interest in helping themselves to their main meals as well. I am always guided by the hints they give me so that I know when to transition them to the next stage of feeding with ease.
Since last week, in addition to being able to independently feed themselves their morning and afternoon teas, I have now added dinner to their repertoir. Lunch is still being fed by me or their teachers at Kindy because I want to ensure that they get a VERY GOOD midday meal before they go down for their one and only day nap.
Their dinners have consisted of the following combinations:
- Main Kid friendly beef sausage with sides of steamed peas & pumpkin, cheese cubes and a slice of multi-grain bread with butter and vegemite
Dessert watermelon chunks
- Main Oven baked crumbed fish, bubble & squeak with sides of steamed peas, pumpkin & broccoli and corn thin with cream cheese
Dessert apple chunks
- Main Pan-fried fish, pasta with bolognaise sauce, sides of steamed vegetables and a slice of bread with butter
Dessert Greek yoghurt with pureed apples
By giving them dinners in this manner means they are able to pick, choose and play with their food at their leisure without me trying to shove food into the mouths. Sometimes they require extra pieces of food and others times, not. I have learnt not to push it and let their bellies and brains make that decision. They are so much happier and calmer, which means I am too!
Their independence affords me the opportunity to cook dinner, clean up the kitchen, organise a few things here and there in the same space while they observe all the hustle & bustle of running a home, which seems to entertain them too! (what a bonus)
Next week, I will be introducing them to home-made chicken nuggets, cauliflower and ricotto & spinach filled ravioli topped with home-made pasta sauce!