When are babies ready for finger foods?
Around 9 months, when he’s developed his pincer grasp. Does your crawler love to put anything and everything in his mouth? Take this as a sign you can break out the Cheerios. “Babies are usually ready when you see them picking things up with their thumbs and pointer fingers,” explains Daniel Miner, M.D., a Levittown, New York, pediatrician at ProKids, LLP.
“Now they are ready to take an active role in their feeding.” Some of the best first finger foods to try are soft, ripe pieces of fruit and well-cooked vegetables, soft pasta, and, yes, Cheerios (they’re just the right size and dissolve in his mouth). To prevent choking, it all has to be diced into quarter-inch cubes or needle-size slivers. Or spring for the pre-diced, bite-size foods in the baby-food aisle. They’ll be called something like “pickups,” “dices,” or “table-teaching.”