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Encouraging DD to eat finger foods

(7 Posts)
IndiaBound Tue 04-Mar-14 20:11:44


Our DD is 10.4 mo, 8.5mo adjusted.

She tends to run about three months behind the milestones - so is just learning to sit unassisted (once you put her in the position and settle her she will maintain it whilst looking around etc. for a length of time between 20s and 3 or 4 mins).

She has been on semi-solids and now more solid food (like pasta with sauce, mashed fruit and the like) for a few months and eats a hearty three meals a day and two large bottles of milk.

However, we just can't get her interested in finger foods (although I wouldn't say we have dedicated too much time to it).

She is in a high chair with a tray about just-under-chest height and if we put a favoued toy on the tray, she will pick it up if she is interested, thrash it about, then drop it. However, if we put chunks of fruit, cereal, etc. on the tray, she may swipe at them, but nothing gets picked up.

She does pick items up at other times of the day and then gum them.

She loves her natural sweet stuff - yogurt, mashed fruits, sucking on ripe strawberries, etc.

I tried tonight holding a chunk of strawberry for her to suck on, then took her hand and had to force it into it (gently of course), moved the hand to the mouth and held it. She sucked on the fruit but the moment I let go, the fruit fell - so she was not really holding it.

So, any ideas please ....

ouryve Tue 04-Mar-14 20:30:56

Biscuits grin

(Organic baby biscuits, or course wink)

It was the only way I could persuade DS2 to pick up any food. I'd feed him his meal, then put a small biscuit on his tray and walk away. He'd drop it like it was made of soap, the minute it got soggy, though.

He still has aversions to touching various foods at almost 8. Apart from things like baked beans or apple crumble, which he'll gladly dive into, hands first.

If she doesn't like the feeling of wet food in her hands, you could try her with a mesh feeder.

amymouse Tue 04-Mar-14 20:47:14

Does she hold toys reliably? It could be her general pincer/fisting grip is delayed alongside other milestones. My prem took quite a while to figure out holding anything really for more than a few seconds and ended up being quite a while before she could coordinate some of her movements (eg. trying to reach for something, transfer hand to hand etc). If she does enjoy toys, you could mix some washable toys with finger foods on the tray so she starts practising picking up whatever is infront of her.

And also, I agree, biscuits (you can have one too).

IndiaBound Wed 05-Mar-14 08:48:36

Yes she will pick up a toy, if on her back transfer it between hands and then will drop it or propel it after some time.

Will try with the biscuits but any other suggestions are always welcome.

tacal Wed 05-Mar-14 09:36:46

my ds really struggled with finger food because his motor skills were immature and still are at age 5. The first finger food he held and ate was a piece of crackerbread with a thin layer of spreading cheese on it. Toast and butter was another thing he would eat but he didn't eat many finger foods until he was quite a bit older.

IndiaBound Tue 11-Mar-14 14:59:30

OK, now she has the hang of it we have another problem ... so I'm turning once again to you excellent mums.

We found that if we are in the room, she is far more interested in being fed and looking at us - smiling as we point out the finger food but not going for it.

By accident, we left the room once and when we came back she had some apple in her mouth.

Today we tried her on toast and jam and sure enough, once we hid behind the door she picked it up and started gumming it.

Then the problem - suddenly she starts choking. We were straight there, held her upside down and a little slap had a gummed piece of bread on the floor ... and DD laughing her head off (she loves being upside down).

So, we need to keep her eating more and more herself, will probably need to be out of sight for sometime, but don't want her gumming off pieces she can choke on.

Is it just a case of staying with larger lumps of offerings or some other tactic?

tacal Sat 15-Mar-14 22:21:30

hopefully someone can give you some good advice regarding this. I would always stay beside my ds when he was eating because he would often have difficulties when he was eating. If he choked on something I didn't give him it for a while. He is 5 now and there are still things I don't give him because he could choke on it. I have had a terrible time with ds's eating so I can understand how difficult it is for you knowing what to do for the best.

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