"I've been pureeing (my 10-month-old's) foods, but he (and I) are ready for some solids. When I try to give him small pieces of bananas or avocados, they just slip through his fingers. The only advice I've seen online is to coat them in "Cheerio dust" or wheat germ, which I obviously don't want to do. Any suggestions??"
I didn't have any experience with this at the time, so I threw the question out to my Facebook followers. We received lots of great suggestions, so I compiled a quick list ...
- What about a little coconut flour?
- You can start out with doing those mesh strainers to help him work on his grip and then transition to foods with more of a skin like a piece of orange or let him chew on a slice of grilled zucchini.
- Put them in the freezer for like 10 minutes.
- Or just start with foods that aren't aren't so slippery and are easier to grab...like blueberries or cut up carrots or sweet potato. Check out Wholesome Baby Food for good ideas (just ignore the grains part).
- I say just let him practice, he'll get the hang of it!
- We find that bananas are MUCH easier to hold if not sliced. We just break the banana into thirds and give him the big chunks. At 10 months of age a baby will have no problem biting small pieces off of a bigger chunk. With avocado, they are less slippery when they are a little less ripe, but often times we just finger or fork feed small bits of avocado because it's a lot less frustrating for everyone. BLW doesn't mean you can *never* feed baby with a spoon or fork, as long as you're respectful and don't force anything. It's a good learning experience for them, since the ultimate goal is for them to handle a spoon/fork by themselves.*
- I liked to cut the avocado in spears and leave the skin on, so they could hold it and work around the skin, letting them figure out what part to eat and what part not to eat
- Wash wash wash the skin and give it (to) them with the flesh!
- Almond meal or coconut flour.
- Maybe try steamed chunks of sweet potato or pumpkin. That worked very well for our son. Also try steamed wedges of apple or sliced pear.
*This tip comes from Carli over at One Fit Mom. If you're not already reading her blog, definitely check it out! Lots of informative, detailed and well-researched posts about parenting and nutrition.
As for me, I used the practice approach. I actually spoon fed my daughter for quiet a while (we didn't do baby led weaning). When the time seemed right, I started giving her little chunks of food to work with. She struggled and struggled and struggled, until one day (about a week before she turned one) she just got it. Now, there's no stopping her.
How did your baby learn to grip food and feed him/herself? Did you use any of these tricks, or did you try some other method?
PS: Speaking of Cheerio dust -- have you seen this commercial? It totally perpetuates the idea babies need Cheerios to learn how to feed themselves. Soooo not true (Cheerios have only been around since 1941)! I think the first thing my baby picked up and put in her mouth was a piece of meat.